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Digital transformation sets the stage for 2020 customer experiences…and beyond

Customer experience futurist Blake Morgan addressed her thoughts on customer experience and digital transformation in a year-ending Forbes.com article. She emphasizes, “Digital transformation and customer experience go hand in hand. These 100 statistics show the growth and importance of digital transformation, its impact on customer experience and digital challenges and opportunities for the future.”

According to Salesforce.com, digital transformation is defined as: “…the process of using digital technologies to create new — or modify existing — business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business and market requirements.”

While technology will indeed play a pivotal role in the evolution of customer service, its best use will be to reinforce the high-touch element of interactions with customers. Simply put, when technology works to make people feel that they’re being acknowledged, respected, and deserving of the best experience possible, it will create a stellar customer service environment.

On the other hand, when technology makes people feel alienated and “shoved into an AI box,” it will create a negative environment.

Here are highlights from Morgan’s article that show company support for, and understanding of, the importance of improving customer service experiences:

  • 70% of companies either have a digital transformation strategy in place or are working on one.
  • Companies will spend a total of more than $2 trillion on digital transformation in 2019.
  • Executives say the top benefits of digital transformation are improved operational efficiency (40%), faster time to market (36%) and the ability to meet customer expectations (35%).
  • Nearly half of all companies say improving customer experience and customer satisfaction were the leading influences to start a digital transformation.
  • Digital transformation and a focus on customer experience can generate a 20-30% increase in customer satisfaction and economic gains of 20-50%.
  • Two-thirds of a company’s competitive edge comes from its customer experience. 
  • 67% of consumers will pay more for a great experience.
  • 79% of U.S. consumers only consider brands that show they care. 
  • 70% of the buying experience is based on how the customer feels they are treated.
  • 63% of customers are happy to get service from a bot as long as they have the option to talk to a human agent if needed. 

Happy New Year and may the customer service force be with you!

As technology and customer expectations evolve, so will customer service practices and commitments. Every indication points to increasing emphasis on keeping customers happy to keep the business going. Companies that go all in will survive and increasingly thrive. Those that don’t, even the ones that are “too big to fail,” face major loss of revenues and ultimately, extinction. Given their consummate emphasis on total customer service, such companies as Costco, Amazon and Southwest Airlines likely will continue to soar. Behemoths like Comcast and United Airlines, on the other hand, will see their customer bullying tactics backfire and customers run for the exits.

Do you have customer service snafus or stellar experiences to share? If so, feel free to comment on this post or email your thoughts to mark@marklusky.com.

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Mark Lusky is a veteran writer, storyteller and author, with 40+ years of public relations, advertising, marketing and journalism experience.

Author of A Wandering Wondering Jew… and co-author of Don’t Get Mad, Get Leverage,  Mark (aka The Happy Curmudgeon) is the owner of a Denver-based marketing communications firm.

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