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There’s no denying we’re living in a digital world. Technology continues to change and grow at a rapid pace, and it’s essential for businesses to keep up if they want to change and grow, too.
Digital transformation is changing the customer experience, and if you’re not taking part in that transformation, you could be missing out on marketing opportunities, meeting customer expectations, and offering seamless online experiences.
Of course, you probably didn’t start your own business because you were a technology whiz — and that’s okay! Let’s take a closer look at what digital transformation actually is, how it’s revolutionizing the customer experience, and what you can do to implement more technology into your business.
What Is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation is a new market reality being driven by customers. In a world where people have grown used to instant gratification from computers, phones, and digital devices, businesses must transform their practices to meet expectations and enhance the overall customer experience. When your business adopts a digital model, you’ll improve operational efficiency and meet the changing expectations of consumers in a digital landscape.
Digital transformation refers to the implementation of technology across all areas of your business. It’s designed to change the way your business operates on both a large scale and in daily operations.
Why is it important — and even necessary in today’s tech-forward world? Simply put, it helps to create highly-engaged customers while giving your business growth opportunities that likely wouldn’t be there if you chose not to transform the way you do things. Things like apps, machine learning and AI, and even virtual reality have given consumers the opportunity to get what they want when they want it. It’s no longer enough to have a standard digital presence online if you want to move ahead and grow with your audience. Their demands have changed and will continue to change, and the business that takes those demands seriously will be more likely to find long-term success.
How Technology Improves the Customer Experience
Maybe you’re on board with digital transformation but you’re not sure how — or what — to implement into your business practices? First, you can meet customer expectations, streamline positive experiences, and improve communication by using technology to personalize every experience. Things like social media are great for boosting customer engagement and collecting data that allows you to personalize every experience will go a long way.
But, you might not have the manpower to tackle that kind of engagement on your own. You can utilize technology to help you by implementing AI to support human connection. Not only can AI analyze data to help you implement more personal experiences for your customers, but it can also identify trends in consumer behavior, and handle repetitive tasks that will free up your employees to focus more on personalization and connection. Artificial intelligence can handle a lot, but at the end of the day, nothing replaces real human interaction. By letting technology tackle more mundane tasks, your human employees can foster greater connections.
If you want to streamline customer experiences while still providing support, you might also want to consider self-serving technology, like chatbots. Chatbots can benefit your business by reducing operating costs or assisting with customer interactions, such as by answering FAQs for most businesses.
Most of today’s consumers understand that chatbots are nothing more than machine learning robots, but that doesn’t take away from the experience or the “humanity” behind them. They can still make your audience feel heard and understood, and if an issue becomes too complicated for the computer to handle, it can be transferred over to an employee to take care of it.
The Benefits of a Personalized Experience
When you use technology the right way, it doesn’t take away from the humanity of your business – it enhances it. Today’s consumers are craving relationships with brands. They’re tired of traditional advertising techniques and want to feel a connection with the businesses they frequent. You can utilize technology to foster those connections and build loyal, lasting relationships that can boost user engagement and word-of-mouth advertising.
When you’re able to use technology to your advantage, you’ll benefit your customers and your business by building more personalized relationships. The biggest benefits of personalized experiences in marketing include:
- Relevant messaging;
- Increased brand awareness;
- Targeted lead generation;
- More useful content.
By implementing some of the digital transformation techniques above, you can get to know your audience, engage with them more often and take a streamlined, yet personal approach to customer service. You can also harness customer data the right way, and collect accurate feedback that can be used to make a difference in your future endeavours.
Digital transformation will continue to change the face of businesses ranging from IT and real estate to retail and software services, and it will also continue to transform before our eyes thanks to advancements in technology. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of the transformation and build healthy, lasting consumer relationships in the process.