The digital sphere has become entrenched into our daily lives, from the ways we communicate to the ways we consume. Digitalisation has rendered everything quick, easy, accessible, and right at our fingertips from the comfort of our homes. The developments are so far-reaching that we often no longer even notice them. For companies, however, keeping up with digital changes is no longer a choice. It’s a necessity if they want to keep up with the market. In this article we take a closer look at how digital transformation affects the customer journey and which strategies companies can use to improve their customer experience (CX) , i.e. their customer satisfaction (CSAT) and customer loyalty, internal processes, and finally sales and turnover to enhance.

What is digital transformation?

Digital transformation has the fate of many technical terms— at some point it becomes so broad that a definition can become vague. What do we mean? Integrated into our daily lives, digital transformation encompasses how we interact with media, through which channels we communicate, buy, review, provide feedback, and make market decisions. Since it is such a broad field, there are many points at which companies can start to incorporate digital tools and strategies and use them for improvements.

The most important realisation that has emerged over the past few years is that digital transformation essentially puts the customer at the steering wheel. Focusing digital marketing strategies on target customers is essential for any successful business. Since the internet offers a variety of tools that customers can use to compare and evaluate offers, companies that don’t deal with the needs and wishes of their customers quickly fall behind. Keeping customers happy has always been a goal but it is now the most important endeavour.

Corporate models must therefore not only be adapted to digital innovations themselves, but also make their digital possibilities usable for customers. The Customer Effort Score (CES) is a good metric that measures the effort customers put into interacting with your company. The higher the effort, the more frustrated the customer. Digital tools can increase user-friendliness and as such this is part of the digital changes that can make your customers’ lives easier. We’ll delve into this in more detail later in the article, but now let’s take a look at 3rd party cookie retirement as an example of digital changes and how to deal with them effectively.

Recent changes: 3rd party cookie retirement

When Google announced in 2020 that 3rd party cookies would be phased out by the end of 2022, a wave of panic arose regarding advertising and marketing strategies. Although such processes take time and we are not yet at the end of 2022, companies now need to think about how to adapt to such changes. Third party cookies are used to collect user information and help to tailor marketing campaigns and free content marketing resources such as blogs to users. Even if Google plans to substitute other technologies for similar purposes that rely more on privacy, companies must now take action.

It’s important to remember that third party cookies, effective as they may have been, have not always been reliable. Keeping in mind that the customer is at the heart of digital transformation, we should ask ourselves what other, more privacy-friendly ways there are to collect relevant information about audiences without such cookies. As obvious as it may seem, there are ways to get this information directly from the source. This includes the customers themselves, through survey-based solutions. Improving customer experience (CX) through direct and indirect exchanges with customers instead of sniffing out their data through cookies can be just as digital and effective and even more privacy-friendly. Let’s take a closer look in the next section  

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How digital transformation shapes the customer journey

As we’ve said before, digitalisation acts on all levels of human interaction. Therefore, digital transformation is also manifested at all stages of the customer journey. From marketing and recruitment, to comparisons of offers on the market, to first interactions, the purchase of products or services and communication with customer service in case of questions or problems. Let’s look at the different parts of the customer journey that can benefit from digital solutions and how they improve the customer experience (CX) in general.

The benefits of implementing digital transformation strategies

Customer satisfaction (CSAT)

The overall satisfaction of your customer is your core concern as a business. In the digital world, word of mouth spreads quickly and is easily accessible. Positive customer experiences can lead to positive reviews and recommendations to friends and family, as well as repeat purchases. On the flip side, this unfortunately also means that negative reputations can develop faster than ever before. We all know that we are often more annoyed about the negative aspects than enjoying the positive ones. It is therefore very easy for a company to quickly become the focus of negative attention—through bad reviews online, Twitter rants or private messages, for example.

By using a CSAT survey tool to incorporate various CSAT surveys into your business strategies, you can quickly and easily collect feedback that will help you identify where and how things can be improved. Digital transformation also helps you to easily design surveys digitally: through simple online forms, automated follow-up emails asking for feedback or through a pop-up window on the website after a purchase.

Customer loyalty

Another important factor related to customer satisfaction is customer loyalty. Happy customers are more likely to stay with you and make repeat purchases, or if they have a subscription, keep it going. It’s far more financially rewarding to focus on retaining customers rather than spending more time, money, and resources on acquiring new customers. With survey-based solutions like the Net Promoter Score (NPS), assessing how likely customers are to recommend you, or strategies for churn management, you can assess your customer loyalty and find out ways to improve it.

Customer service

As previously discussed, customer service is one of the most important factors along the customer journey. Digital tools offer an ideal way to make your customer service more efficient and user-friendly. This can mean, for example, using an AI-powered chatbot on your website to save customers time on the phone. Or you could include an accessible FAQ or a manual on your website. Essentially, it is about saving your customers time and effort. The Customer Effort Score (CES) is a great way to estimate how much effort, fatigue or frustration your services are causing customers and how to optimise them, consequently smoothing our processes and also positively impacting your employee experience (EX).

If you want to find out more about the possibilities of digital transformation and the impact on your customer experience (CX), you can reach us at any time via this contact form or start your free Netigate trial today! Check out our VoC software and customer survey software sites for more information on creating your feedback strategy.