According to the Harvard Business Review’s market analysis, 89% of businesses have adopted digital transformation as an investment strategy. Yet, less than a third of these businesses have capitalized on the digital customer experience (CX) and AI-integrated technologies for their expected revenue increases.
Today, digital transformation remains a top priority, if not a matter of survival, for most businesses. As you plan your digital transformation strategy, you will likely notice a common priority across many digital-first initiatives: an updated customer experience (CX).
Businesses that prioritize digital transformation integrate modern data products, including AI-enabled analytics, into every part of their CX. This should not be surprising since 56% of CEOs have reported profit improvements from digital transformation.
Digital transformation gives businesses the power to redefine their engagement with customers. Yet, as you refine these processes and create new connections with customers through digital channels, you will likely face major challenges related to software hiccups, resource gaps, integration errors, and other issues. Your customers may know about these issues before you do since it will be their experience that is most impacted by your system’s shortcomings.
This is why customer feedback can be such a powerful tool for businesses to identify issues quickly and solve them without driving away customers. Here are 4 key reasons why customer feedback is essential to a successful digital transformation:
1. Customers are less tolerant of bad experiences
With revolutions in the digital CX, connecting with customers has never been easier. Yet, for many businesses, the connection can be a burden as well as an asset. The competition likely has the same technology, so your customers have more options than ever before.
Consider 20 years ago as an example. A customer might stay loyal to a local bank or other business due to the geographical convenience. Today, brick-and-mortar businesses are becoming formalities in the face of revolutions in online shopping and banking technology. In fact, 87% of business leaders report that they expect digital transformation to disrupt their industry in the next few years.
Even 5 years ago, the landscape of online retail was very different. There are over 60 million more online shoppers in 2023 vs 2019, with 60 million more predicted by 2028. Local businesses no longer have an advantage in many industries because consumers are flocking to online platforms with convenient shipping options to do all their shopping.
In other words, digital transformation has made it easier for customers to take their business elsewhere. All these improvements are driving up customer expectations and eroding their tolerance for bad experiences. 61% of customers now say that they are willing to switch companies after just one bad experience.
Customer feedback alerts you to these bad experiences in real time, allowing you to address customer issues before they cost you valuable business. While implementing digital transformation strategies has not been easy in the past, the rise of cloud technology and software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions has eliminated most of the pain associated with adopting new software programs. If a solution doesn’t deliver on its promises, businesses can switch to a new provider with relative ease.
2. Customers use multiple channels to engage with businesses
Modern businesses strive to achieve an “omnichannel experience,” which entails creating a more comprehensive customer experience that prioritizes the consumers’ chosen communication channel. This represents a new phase in the customer journey that is unique to modern technology: hopping between communication channels before landing on a decision. These days, marketers who use three digital marketing channels can see purchase rates as high as 287% compared to those who only use one.
Whether the channel is a website, a shopping platform, a social media site, or a chatbot, customers expect consistent information and refuse to tolerate bad experiences. What began as an obsession with mobile device integration has led businesses to the reality that customers engage with them how they want to. It’s up to businesses to include an understanding of these desires in their own digital transformation.
Feedback presents a powerful tool to accomplish this. Studies show that employing multichannel marketing strategies can boost customer retention rates as high as 89% but that customers are driven away by inconsistencies, dips in quality control, and misinformation. These are gaps that you can spot more easily with feedback alerting you to issues on any of your communication channels. Whether it’s an outdated deal on a mobile app or a problem with an email marketing campaign, customer feedback helps you address the gaps in your omnichannel experience before they become drains on your consumer base.
3. Customers expect personalized experiences
Personalization is one of the fastest-growing trends in the digital customer experience. Customers are no longer satisfied with generic experiences, expecting companies to know their preferences, purchase histories, and preferred methods of communication. 90% say they are willing to spend more at companies that provide this personalized customer service.
Research suggests that by 2030, the personalization software industry will be worth over $12.3 billion from $3.35 billion in 2023. Businesses that implement personalization strategies are feeding into a rapidly expanding market with clearly defined goals for business-to-consumer interactions in the coming decade.
Implementing customer feedback allows businesses to harness this desire for personalization in a few key ways:
- By gauging the accuracy of your personalization efforts, e.g., by letting a customer rate the relevance of a recommended resource or their interest in a recommended product.
- By adding another layer of personalization to the customer’s experience. Surveys tailored to the customer’s experience with an employee, location, product, or service show that you know how they’ve engaged with your business and that you’re committed to delivering a quality experience.
- By providing a channel for the customer to share issues and for you to respond personally, proving that you are committed to delivering the personalized experience they are looking for.
4. Customers are embracing new technologies
Some of the greatest innovations in business technology are focused on customer experiences; specifically, using artificial intelligence (AI) to engage with customers. With 80% of businesses believing that automation through AI-enabled services can increase profits, it’s important to ask whether customers are on board with the change.
Live chat, while still a human interaction at its core, is no longer the preferred method for asking simple questions as nearly 3 in 4 consumers now say they prefer Chatbots for this purpose as long as they still have the option to request support from a human agent if needed. According to the same studies, 60% of consumers with more involved queries would prefer to wait for a human agent, a decline from past years.
In some cases, customers have started preferring digital communication channels over human interactions in large part due to the advancement of AI chatbots. AI-enabled systems can provide human-like interactions that are efficient and useful without requiring long phone queues. The preference for digital interactions is predictably more pronounced in the younger generations, with 3 in 4 Gen Z shoppers preferring to find information about products on third-party digital channels like social media.
These channels are often cost-effective for businesses as they reduce the number of human interactions required to deliver quality customer service. This is a win-win: by connecting customers directly to the resources they need without waiting for a human response, you can reduce costs and improve customer satisfaction at the same time.
The only caveat is that your execution on these new channels must be excellent. If your new digital channels fail to deliver quality service to your customers, they will get more frustrated by having to switch to a new channel and may very well give up altogether. Introducing customer feedback within these new channels alerts you to gaps in your content right away and enables you to make dynamic changes to ensure a quality experience for your customers.
Customer feedback is instrumental to a smooth and effective digital transformation. By measuring and tracking customer satisfaction with digital experiences, you can identify and address issues before they impact your business.
The takeaway for businesses
Digital transformation is an ongoing process in how businesses adapt their customer experience (CX) to changing expectations in the current age. Customer feedback integration is a major digital innovation that allows businesses to connect with their customers in 4 key ways: shielding them from bad experiences, encouraging a multichannel approach, providing a more personalized experience, and utilizing new technologies.
Many businesses think of these changes as focused on their marketing infrastructure, but this is a customer-centric transformation, one that encourages consumers to engage with your systems on their preferred channels. Adding customer feedback to the system allows your business to respond to customer needs more effectively by spotting gaps in the information network, refining marketing messages, and measuring the value of your current lead-generation efforts.
With Macorva CX, you can seamlessly integrate omnichannel feedback into digital experiences to capture specific insights throughout the digital customer journey. Customer feedback tools allow you to personalize the experience for the leads that matter while generating consistent responses across multiple channels of communication. Remember, if your business is equipped with tools, your competition likely has them as well. Smartly utilizing feedback can be just as significant as collecting it, which is why a robust management program is essential when advancing your business’s digital transformation into the next era.