Digital Crisis or Redemption (Dimension Data’s Global CX Benchmarking Report)

Discussing customer experience and digital strategy over SMS text messaging with inthechat

SMS text conversation on smartphone inthechatWhy are businesses undergoing a digital crisis? Because they lack strategies for keeping pace with the rapid technological changes which are determining new models of customer experience. Dimension Data’s 2017 Global Customer Experience (CX) Benchmarking Report has been aptly named “Digital crisis or redemption – The uncomfortable truth,” to hammer home their critical message: the world of customer experience is undergoing fast-paced transformations and, while companies recognize that they must adapt, they are not adapting.

According to Dimension Data, corporate executives are well aware that CX means everything (in terms of customer loyalty, profits, and employee engagement), and yet they have no cross-organizational plan for implementing a new, successful, digitally-driven model for enhancing customer experience. Here are the challenges impeding their progress:

Achieving omnichannel. Companies suffer from disjointed legacy systems which need integration to facilitate information-sharing and to create a truly omnichannel system. Information remains housed in silos, preventing the accurate analysis of a full and complete data set and impeding a holistic vision of customers and their experiences. Customer journeys need to be connected and hotspots/frustration points need to be identified in order to improve CX; and this can only be achieved through omnichannel integration.

Using data effectively. A fundamental step toward enhancing CX involves the meaningful use of data to analyze customer behaviour and to create proactive and personalized functionality. Dimension Data has found that companies are not effectively collecting data and are only analyzing data superficially.

Meeting demand for digital adoption. Given the high consumer preference for digital service, Dimension Data predicted that digital communications would surpass voice by the end of 2016. However, companies fell short of these expectations. Dimension Data points out that companies need to increase the visibility of their digital channels and present them in a way which enhances customer-centricity.

Organizational divisionism. Customer experience initiatives will require cross-organizational collaboration; however, traditional corporate structures produce non-collaborative cultures and impede the sharing of information. Dimension Data specifically highlights the need for bridging the rift between IT departments and other departments, since IT expertise will be essential to digital transformation.

Redemption. Ironically, we have never had so many tools and innovative processes to help us overcome these challenges. This is where the “redemption” in “digital crisis or redemption” comes into play. Digital crisis can be solved through digital redemption. Omnichannel is possible and many tools (including InTheChat) integrate with larger systems, such as Salesforce. Big Data is a hot and growing field, and offers new possibilities for harnessing customer data. Launching digital channels can happen overnight and, with some collaboration from your web development team, you can quickly promote these channels on your website. Presenting customers with the option to message you at a particular point in their journey can save costs (by diverting expensive phone calls) and increase sales (by facilitating the purchase process).

Compared to the effort involved in achieving digital redemption, overcoming organizational divisionism requires much more widescale effort and demands the leadership of key figures capable of breaking down boundaries and fomenting a new culture of collaboration and innovative practice.

We are entering a new paradigm in business, where customer experience is everything. Thriving within this new paradigm requires a leap into a completely new way of doing business – a leap into the unknown. In the words of Dimension Data, “Commit: customers demand a leap of faith.”

Need help preparing for your leap into the future? Book a demo to explore how digital channels can fit into your CX strategy.

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About the Author: Kat Austin