CX Insight Magazine

October 2022

Improving Customer Experience Through Digital Transformation

by Frank Pettinato, CEO of Avantive Solutions

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being introduced in all aspects of our lives. From voice assistants in our homes to online fraud detection and facial recognition for unlocking mobile phones, it’s being integrated into everything we do. The pandemic further accelerated the need for technological solutions for solving problems and answering questions. It changed how we interacted with others and forced even hesitant individuals to get more comfortable with digital technology. By 2025, AI is predicted to drive 95% of customer experience.

Some people hear “artificial intelligence” and think of Sci-Fi movies where robots take over. Even for those that are not that wary, there is often the concern of interactions being impersonal and lacking human touch, leading to faster frustration levels — especially after two years of limited human contact around the world. However, when done well, digital transformation technologies not only optimize processes, but also make for a richer, more personalized experience for individuals.

Companies that do not embrace this technology or put it to good use will be left behind in the race for customer satisfaction. In a recent poll, 67% of business leaders say their company will no longer be competitive if it can’t be significantly more digital by 2020. The world is moving toward an increasingly digital economy, and companies are now required to provide not just good, but best-in-class customer experience in order to stay competitive. So, how do you get there?

Digital Transformation’s Impact on CX

Digital transformation as it relates to customer care is the process by which organizations become more responsive to their customers and make better use of available technologies; it’s meant to change business models and optimize practices, as well as products, into something significantly better. It encompasses several different technologies and systems, which is why it’s best to break it down into two distinct categories: Enterprise- and customer-centric digital transformation.

Enterprise-Centric Innovations

Enterprise-centric digital transformation is technology centered around the contact centers and the agents. It’s no secret that in today’s world, we are able to collect vast amounts of data on people, but that information alone is not enough. To really make a difference, companies must connect the dots to make a well-rounded customer profile. This is where technology such as cloud computing, AI, machine learning, and data and voice analytics come into play.

They allow companies to gain insights into their customers’ preferences, behaviors, and opinions. Understanding both psychographics and demographics provides a fuller picture of who your customer is, what they buy, and how they travel through their customer journey. The information can also be analyzed to identify trends and give insight into how customers interact over time, allowing you to create a more tailored interaction with the brand. According to SmarterHQ, 90% of customers are willing to share behavioral data for a cheaper and easier brand experience.

While technology can deliver a smoother experience for customers, there is still great value in the human element. You can increase the likelihood that a customer will have a positive encounter by pairing them with an agent who has similar personality traits or customer service skills through agent-to-customer matching. This sets the call up for a higher success rate before the conversation even begins.

Customer-Centric Engagement

Outward-facing technologies, or customer-centric digital transformation, are centered around the customers’ interactions with the brand. Customers have more communication channels than ever at their disposal. While some may pick up the phone, others may send a message through their preferred social media platform. Still, others may choose to text, email, or use a chatbot for instant interaction on your website.

Being omni-channel allows companies to offer customers self-service options well beyond typical operating hours. This can help reduce costs associated with human resources and improve efficiency by making processes less time-consuming for employees. The key is to meet the customers where and when they are most comfortable.

The biggest challenge with creating an omni-channel customer service strategy is ensuring it’s a seamless experience across all communication channels. Customer frustration tolerance is lower through non-human options, so it’s important that all channels are well-integrated.

Personalizing the Experience

There are countless benefits to personalization. It helps build trust with customers by demonstrating that you know them and their preferences well enough to make changes that will improve their overall satisfaction with your brand. In addition, the consumer feels more valued by being able to control their experience and communicate with you the way they like best.

Personalizing customer experiences involves capturing data and then turning that data into actionable insights that help you understand how best to serve people. Customizing your interactions through digital transformation will make customers feel like they’re getting exactly what they want from you — and that’s what increases brand loyalty. We can utilize a number of emerging technologies to accomplish this.

Demographic and Behavioral Profiles

To have an excellent customer interaction during outbound calling, you first need the customer to answer the phone. That has become increasingly hard in a world full of communication clutter and eroded trust due to robocalls. In fact, 94% of unknown calls go unanswered. The first step is to know the ideal contact time based on their demographic and behavioral profile. It’s one thing to know what time zone a customer is located in, but it’s even better to know that a customer is, for example, retired and typically home early in the afternoon. Using branded calling to add a company logo, brand name, and a specific reason for the call adds an additional layer of trust. When the right offer is presented at the right time, a higher conversion rate, up to 26% at the device level and 23% at the wireless level, was recorded.

Customizing Conversations

No one wants to feel like a number in a cue. One way to help agents connect to the customer is by providing a roadmap to help them navigate the conversation. Avantive Solutions does that through an artificial real-time intelligence bot (ARTI) and compliance adherence tool that runs alongside the agent CRM. Giving agents a co-pilot allows them to focus on listening and having an engaging conversation, while it suggests language prompts and speech speeds. Knowing what to say is useful, but knowing how to say it takes the engagement to the next level. Using ARTI guidance, one program saw up to a 17% increase in First Call Resolution and increased Net Promoter Score (NPS). A tool like this can also verify and guide agents on required disclosures, leading to improved policy and procedure adherence.

Tailored Offers for Better Sales

To succeed, you must understand your audience at more than just a surface level. This is where you need to explore customer needs, buyer intent, typical pain points, and more. Using machine learning, companies can leverage known data and predictive models to select targeted offers and communicate the right message to solve a problem or sell a product. Did you know 80% of customers are more likely to buy when businesses offer a personalized experience? For example, it would be helpful for a telecommunication company to know that a household has two teenagers who enjoy gaming. The household would probably be interested in faster internet speeds, particularly during after-school hours, with a multi-device discount. Adding additional layers of information through Machine Learning opens the door for more sophisticated customized scripts and offers, making customers feel valued.

Improving the Process for Success

To consistently improve your customer experiences, it’s crucial to collect data and continually improve your processes. Each interaction can provide you with critical information about the customer or member that you can use to work toward a better experience in the future. This is also where connecting the dots of like data can reveal the emergence of trends.

Giving customers a seamless digital experiences based on data-driven, cognitive artificial intelligence and tailored to individual needs, where and when they are most comfortable, is a formula for success. Research by Deloitte and Touche found that customer-centric companies were 60% more profitable. If you haven’t explored how digital transformation can drive a more personalize, improved customer experience for your customers, now is the time to start asking questions. Improving your processes could improve brand loyalty, increased customer acquisition and increased sales, and create a positive brand reputation that will set you up for a success in a quickly evolving digital world.


Frank Pettinato

About the Author:

Frank Pettinato is an accomplished thought-leader with expertise in strategic leadership, sales and marketing, innovation, and technology. Currently, he is the CEO of Avantive Solutions, a global provider of digital marketing and business process outsourcing (BPO) solutions, where he uses his passion for Purpose-Driven culture and results-oriented style to delight clients, engage and develop his employees, and support the community.

Avantive Solutions is a purpose-driven, global digital transformation leader specializing in designing, building, and delivering innovative customer experience (CX), strategic sales, and digital marketing solutions.

Learn more at avantivesolutions.com

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