With vaccines rolling out across the UK and the country opening up, enterprises are turning their sights to the economic recovery. Shoppers started returning to the high street in April, and B2B buyers are starting to show interest in purchases once again.
It’s a time when every little helps for enterprises hoping to drive revenue, and customer experience, or CX, is a sizable factor in profitability. A PWC survey found that 65% of British consumers agreed that their purchase decisions are affected more by their positive experiences than by marketing interactions, which far outweighs the 33% worldwide who say they’ll abandon a brand after just one negative experience.
While there are many issues that go into a positive customer experience, digital transformation can play a key role. It’s estimated that the pandemic accelerated digital transformation in the UK by approximately 5.3 years, changing customer expectations, buyer relationships, and redefining the field for business interactions.
As the digital transformation revolution is far from over, here are some of the ways that it altered the customer experience for enterprise customers.
Enabling the non-linear customer journey
It’s been a good few years since Gartner first announced that the B2B buying journey has become non-linear, and it hasn’t grown closer to a straight line since then. B2B buyers consume multiple pieces of content as they loop back and forth across channels and touchpoints, pinging between defining their problem, exploring solutions, establishing their requirements, and evaluating vendors.
B2B buyers who access relevant, useful content at the right time and place are 3x more likely to make a higher-value purchase and experience little regret, but it’s far harder to trace their unpredictable journey and deliver that content at the right moment. Digital platforms enable sales teams to track each prospect’s erratic progress through the funnel and ensure that the relevant content crosses their path just when they need it.
Empowering self-serve experiences
Today’s customers also value self-serve experiences, whether that’s in their personal or business lives. They’re low on both time and patience, so they want to be able to pay bills, check their balance, review contracts and pricing, verify license expiration and more on demand, direct from their phones.
In the B2B buyer journey, that translates into a more self-directed buying experience, consulting review sites like Capterra, G2, and TrustRadius and looking to self-serve content and self-drive demos powered by digital platforms. They expect automated, self-directed, digitised onboarding, payment, registration, and troubleshooting, and they’ll churn quickly if you don’t deliver.
Delivering personalised interactions
Personalisation isn’t just for T-shirts and shopping apps. B2B buyers also increasingly expect sales agents to address them by name and role, and send them content that’s tailored to their pain points and industry niche, rather than generic information.
Enterprises need digital tools to gather and aggregate customer data, and mine it for insights so they can better understand their motivations and needs. With artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), companies can produce individualised experiences at scale, as well as forecasting demand to deliver the products and services they want, well before they ask for them.
Facilitating smooth customer support
There’s an increasing expectation that enterprises should offer digital customer support channels like social media, live chat, and SMS messaging, and your company can’t afford to lag behind. Response time has to be as swift as possible for both B2C and B2B customers, and that’s difficult to deliver without a large customer support team or the help of AI-powered bots and automation.
As well as looking for fast responses, your customers also expect support that’s a smooth, single conversation across multiple touchpoints and channels. They get frustrated when they have to repeat their information to multiple agents, so digital platforms are vital to help customer support teams share information seamlessly to keep the conversation going.
Opening the way to more human relationships
As technology advances towards more and more automated interactions, human relationships are becoming even more prized as the peak of customer experience. Among UK consumers, 78% agree they’ll want more human interactions as tech improves, rather than fewer.
It might seem counter-intuitive, but digital transformation can enable your employees to devote more time to building a human connection. When you automate time-consuming tasks, sales reps can make more phone calls. Simplifying pricing with a digital system, for example, allows reps to spend more time on meaningful conversations and less time helping frustrated customers understand the pricing structure.
As the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated digital transformation, it also sped up cyber attacks and data breaches. Businesses in the UK lost more than £6.2 million to cyber scams in 2020, and hacking attempts rose by close to a third. As a result, your customers are more alert than ever before, and looking for reassurance that you won’t compromise their privacy or data security.
Use digital tools like one-time access codes, secure document-sharing platforms, and smart user verification systems that don’t slow down or disturb the login or registration process. These ensure user safety and help convince customers that they can trust your company.
place irritating obstacles in the login process while also ensuring user safety
Digital transformation can be the passport to top CX
Delivering excellent CX is non-negotiable for enterprises that want to benefit from the post-COVID economic recovery. With the help of digital transformation, you can deliver personalised, secure, and human interactions that move smoothly across multiple channels and touchpoints, track the non-linear customer journey, and enable customers to access self-serve experiences on demand.