By: Kevin Howard, Senior Consultant
Customer experience, data collection, and digital analytics – these are some of the terms of the times when it comes to your business. But what exactly are they, anyway? And more importantly, how do they improve your bottom line?
To understand what these words really mean, it helps to consider a brief history of companies on the Internet. Once there was no Internet, and thus no company presence there. Then there was the Internet, and companies arrived like business cards – digital presences, and nothing more. Finally, real transactions began to take place online. These digital interactions saved companies an enormous amount of money, and customers an enormous amount of time. For customers, the instantaneity and ease of online business became an expectation, one competing companies were happy to meet. The smartest companies took special note of users’ actions, or lack thereof, through data collection. They took the time to understand the reasons behind the captured behaviors through digital analysis. Finally, they reacted accordingly, adjusting the user journey with the foresight to know that whoever creates the most seamless customer experience wins the customer. Basically, customer experience, data, and digital analytics are all opportunities for competitive advantage.
Taking advantage of technology to consistently foster mutually beneficial changes for your company and your customer leads to loyalty. No one would argue with that fact. But it’s important to realize that not only is it a good idea to embrace these digital solutions – it’s imperative. Take insurance, for example. It’s a product people buy and then hope to not use. Thus, when they have experienced a loss of some sort and reach out, they are already not in the best frame of mind. For them, it will be particularly important to enjoy a smooth, stress-free process. If they don’t find it with you, they’ll find it elsewhere. In the digital age, customers aren’t just appreciative of a great user experience. They demand it, and they can, because it’s easier than ever to switch to a competitor if they encounter a hitch in their customer journey.
When you embrace digital transformation and harness your data, your company and customers get to enjoy the benefits – and there are many.
For one thing, when you don’t just collect data, but actually take the time to glean insights from it and put them to work, the customer’s experience will become far more personal. Not personalized to market segments but personalized to the individual. Eighty-six percent of mobile marketers report success from data-driven user personalization – including higher revenue and retention. Yet only 1.5% of apps personalize their experience. Clearly, you have the chance to differentiate your company. If for example, an insurance company can capture and study customers’ unique digital behavior, then they can place specialized products that speak to those customers in front of them – making the process of finding what they need far easier and leading to higher conversions.
What’s more, digital analysis holds the key to understanding a large part of what makes your customer experience work, and not work. Which means you’ll understand what makes your company work – and not work. Of 700 million sites, 72% fail to engage users or drive conversions. This statistic is hard to believe, because these days, the answers to how to succeed in this arena are there for the taking. For example, you may notice through analyzing customers’ actions that they’re repeatedly checking to see if a payment has gone out on their claim. In response, you automate what used to be a manual process. Now customers can opt-in to be guided through the claims process by a series of mobile notifications. Once the payment is made, customers can receive a text telling them a check is on the way.
Responding quickly with exceptional customer experiences like these, though, means rapidly discovering why processes are or aren’t working optimally, developing strategic solutions, and embracing change. While many insurance companies have deep call center staffing models to answer those payment inquiries, today’s optimal customer experience may include an automated mobile model. Holding on to old practices is where many companies get tripped up. Don’t let that be the case for your company. It’s entirely possible to experience tremendously successful digital transformations. In reality, it’s not so much about digital, as it is about accepting new ways of doing things that align with what customers want. And when you look at it that way, not much has changed after all.