TMCnet Feature
June 16, 2021

How Digitization Is Optimizing the Customer Experience in 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic last year transformed almost every aspect of buying and selling. Since customers were unable to go to brick-and-mortar stores, they switched to online shopping. More than 40% of adults in the United States have significantly increased their online shopping since the beginning of 2020.

With the sudden increase in online shopping, companies also had to digitize their customer care to adapt quickly. Since consumers could not speak to customer care executives in person, businesses had to ensure that buyers received the same level of service. Most of these transformations were already underway, but the pandemic forced them to accelerate these plans by almost a decade.

Adapting to the current digital scenario for most companies consisted of digitization and digitalization. Most people think that both these terms can be used interchangeably.

However, there is a distinctive difference between the two. Digitization refers to the transformation of analog systems or processes into digital methods. On the other hand, digitalization of digital transformation is the process of adopting digital tools and technology for business purposes.

Both digitization and digitalization have impacted consumer experience in several ways. In this post, we will talk about how digitization has optimized customer experience in 2021.

Impacts of Digitization on Customer Experience

In the post-pandemic, consumers are looking for an ongoing relationship with the brand instead of isolated transactions. However, that has also raised customer expectations as digitization has improved capabilities for businesses. A brand needs to provide faster and better service than before to thrive in the present competitive environment.

These are some of the most salient impacts of digitization on customer experience since last year.

Instant Access to Information

Most businesses have started storing the information on the cloud instead of physical storage. That makes it easy for customers to look for and find the information they need without speaking to customer care. They can also access several details related to online shopping, such as:

  • Previous purchase details
  • Current purchase tracking
  • Canceling or returning orders
  • Reordering

Automated Process

Modern consumers love automated processes. A survey conducted by Accenture (News - Alert) revealed that more than 84% of the respondents prefer interacting with automated apps and systems. Most of the respondents also felt that automated customer care processes communicated faster and more politely. That is why automation in customer service has also become a part of consumer satisfaction strategies.

Personalized Experience

Businesses can use the digitization of customer service processes to make the consumers feel special. They can use customer segmentation and map the user metrics using controlled APIs to provide personalized experiences. Digitization allows companies to tailor their content and product suggestions according to individual customer’s needs. These factors also make the consumers feel valued.

Transparent Data

Digitization allows businesses to automate the collection of user data. The data provides new insights into consumer purchase preferences and patterns. Thus, companies can come up with more effective digital marketing campaigns.

However, digitization also allows users to know the kind of personal data being collected as well as how it is being utilized. According to a survey published by the World Economic Forum, 87% of Internet users feel that they should be allowed to review and control the collection/use of their personal data.

Digitization also enables businesses to assure the customers that their personal data is not being shared with third parties. These factors can contribute to building brand loyalty and forge long-term consumer relationships.

Ways to Improve Customer Experience Through Digitization

Businesses often find it difficult to understand where to start with digitization and technological innovations focused on customer service. They need to establish a foundation based on their investment budget and expectations. These are some ways that can help them focus on digitization solutions for their business needs.

Establish an Organized Database on the Cloud

Storing all the relevant customer information on the cloud may sound simple, but it can elevate the customer experience to a whole new level. It can also lower operational costs for the company. Apart from the online shopping features that we discussed before, businesses can also offer FAQ sections to answer consumer questions faster.

Implement Automation for Customer Communication

Automation of customer service faced a few hiccups initially. But now the technology uses intelligent AI-based chatbots that can replicate human interactions. They can also offer live chat support as most customers prefer chatting over calling or emailing in the post-pandemic era.

Centralize Omnichannel Interactions (News - Alert)

Businesses may find it difficult to keep up with so many different channels and devices used by consumers to communicate with a brand. Customer service digitization will enable organizations to create a centralized system that saves all the data related to consumer interactions through various channels and devices.

Offering omni channel communication for customer service also enables them to cover more market segments while standardizing satisfaction.

Digitization and digitalization are rapidly changing the customer service landscape in the post-pandemic world. Businesses still have to rely on consumer opinions to optimize their products and services.

However, digitalization has helped companies cope with the increase in the volume of customer communications while maintaining satisfaction. We believe that these current trends of consumer service digitalization are just glimpses of the future of the customer service industry.

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