In 2024, global spending on digital transformation will reach 2.4tn USD. Thanks to continuous investment, digitally transformed organizations will contribute over half of global GDP. What does it mean for an average business? – Digital transformation is profitable. The money you spend to change the way you serve customers pays off.
Customer communications are a part of the digital customer experience. Therefore, if you want to feel the benefits of digital transformation in your company, you need to communicate with consumers differently. Instead of bombarding them with messages, make every interaction valuable and informative.
How to bring digital transformation to customer communications? Keep reading to find out.
Digital Transformation Meaning
The digital transformation process is the integration of digital technology into different areas of business operations. It's not only about transforming the way you operate. It is also about changing the way you treat customers and deliver value. Digital transformation is a commitment to continuously excel your business, experiment, and implement the latest innovations.
Overall, digital transformation meaning is vague. It varies from initial efforts taken by a company to adopt digital technology to complete product changes. For example, the transition from fuel to autonomous electric vehicles is one of the industry's digital transformation strategy examples. At the same time, a change from a standard direct mail to triggered-based automated mailings within a company is also a digital transformation. Therefore, digital transformation greatly varies in scope and format.
Benefits of Digital Transformation
No business starts transforming digital customer experience without reason. When you make consumers feel good, they pay more, which translates into increased revenue. According to McKinsey, the focus on customers along with operational and IT advances improves economic gains by 20-50%. It's only one of the benefits of digital transformation. Here are some more reasons to opt for a software-powered digital customer experience:
- Powerful data analytics. The adoption of advanced tools necessary for digital transformation enables you to easily collect massive volumes of data. Software processes the information and generates useful insights your businesses can use to channel development efforts in the right direction.
- Increased customer satisfaction. Transformed digital customer experience puts customer needs at the center of attention. As a result, customer satisfaction increases, and people become more loyal to the brand.
- Competitive advantage.Innovative technology allows companies to be among the market leaders and attract more customers. When you offer a digital transformation customer experience, you do better than the businesses that haven't transformed yet.
- Improved flexibility. When you already have a reliable automated system with all the data, integrating new solutions is simple. It allows you to adapt to the changing market and tech needs.
- Advanced marketing opportunities. Digital customer experience enables marketing and sales teams to target the audience with more personalized and time-sensitive messages across multiple channels.
- Better productivity and connectivity of teams. Digital transformation allows companies to create a single environment uniting all tools and data. Since it also automates many routine processes, employees become more productive.
Digital transformation in customer communications yields the listed benefits pretty fast. It doesn't take much effort to implement and the positives become noticeable shortly. As soon as the shift from standard messages to automated digital communications happens, you feel the result.
How the Digital Transformation Process Changes Customer Communications
A decade ago, the primary goal of customer communications was to share the news. Businesses failed to bring real value to their buyers and were overly obsessed with sales. Digital transformation in customer communications changes everything. Nowadays, interactions become customer-focused, data-driven, and automated.
Customer-focused. Brands that go through digital transformation seek ways to make every interaction useful to specific customers. They send communications not to deliver information but to help the person choose the right product, find the best deal, etc. Besides, digitally transformed companies know when the customer is more likely to enjoy communications and what is the most convenient channel. Digital transformation should start with customers' needs.
Data-driven. Data analytics stands behind any successful communication. Even before engaging with leads for the first time, modern companies collect and process data about them. It allows segmenting the target audience and, again, sending the right message to the right person.
Automated. Finally, digital transformation makes most customer interactions automated. Marketing, sales, and support teams no longer need to use long customer lists to deliver communications manually or use spray-and-pray messages. With software for digital customer experience, you only need to configure flows and connect communication channels. After this, the software will automatically send messages based on specific activities and events. For example, when a customer checks the product on your website, they will automatically get an email with a related offer.
8 Steps to Transform Digital Communication Strategy
As you can see, there are multiple valid reasons to include personalized and automated communications in your digital transformation strategy. After all, digital transformation should start with customers. Here we map eight steps you need to go through to upgrade your customer interactions.
Step #1. See What You Have and What You Need to Achieve
Most probably, it's not your first digital communication strategy. You have already sent email newsletters, communicated with people on social media, or delivered ads. Even if these efforts weren't as effective as you expected, it's not bad. You can evaluate the outcome to understand how to build your next digitally transformed strategy.
First, you can interview the teams that communicate with customers. They know what messages reach the target and can give you insights. Besides, you can use any statistics on customer communication for analytics. It will allow you to measure the success of the upcoming digital transformation and set out the KPIs for the future.
Step #2. Think What Customer Communications You Want to Deliver and How
Omni-channel marketing is not about sending messages through every channel. It's about focusing on the channels people really use. To make all interactions customer-centric, you should understand your consumers' preferences.
Afterward, decide on the best ways to stay in touch with consumers. This information will guide you on what software you need to automate and align these communications. Overall, today most companies use the following channels:
Percentage of marketers using digital channels for their marketing strategies
As to the channels consumers use to get support, the distribution is slightly different. Most people reach businesses via phone (71%), email (48%), social media (35%), website (31%), text (28%), and messaging apps (8%). So these are the channels you definitely need to count in your digital transformation plan.
Step #3. Find Ways to Automate These Interactions
The software can automate most customer communications, from personalized emails to direct mailings. Such solutions automatically access customer data to generate customized messages and send them based on triggers. For example, when a buyer returns a purchased product, the system will send them an email confirmation with order and refund details.
Note that you will need to use several tools to automate customer communications. These are usually a CRM system, a customer support platform, and additional marketing tools like direct mail automation software. API integration is considered an optimum way to approach digital transformation in customer communication. It allows you to add multiple features on top of one platform instead of integrating multiple separate tools.
Step #4. Take Care Of Customer Analytics Software
Even though every tool offers some analytics features, they are usually not enough for comprehensive analysis. Hence, you need to connect a powerful analytics platform with KPIs, dashboards, reports, and visualizations.
The adoption of customer analytics software is an essential step to transform communications. These solutions track how people behave and interact with your brand. They support predictive analytics and market segmentation, which businesses use to tailor communications to each customer group. In particular, you can detect the most promising leads to invest more in nurturing them. These are the people whose behavior shows they are highly likely to convert and bring you profit. This way, you both enhance customer experience and optimize your performance.
Step #5. Integrate Tools In One System
Now, when you have chosen software for customer communication and analytics, it's time to connect everything. Integrate solutions into a single system and ensure all the tools work as expected. It may be a challenging step since every solution has unique integration requirements. Be ready to involve software engineers and closely communicate with support teams of the software providers.
Step #6. Segment Customers and Create Workflows
We know it sounds trite, but every customer is unique. Although you cannot create a separate campaign for each customer, you can develop several approaches for the main target groups. It will be enough for the digital transformation of customer communications.
To segment customers, mind gender, age, location, income level, education, and marital status. You also need to consider their previous interactions with your brand, like how long they stay with you, number of purchases, abandoned orders, complaints, etc. Combining these findings should help you get to know the subgroups in your target audience.
Based on them, you will later need to create workflows. Communication workflows are sequences of customer interactions that automatically happen one after another. When a customer does X, it triggers Y communication. The Y communication triggers Z interaction, and so on. Such workflows are the backbone of automated customer communications and digital transformation.
Step #7. Test the Implemented Campaign
Choose a small test group to see how everything works and spot problems. Once you launch automated workflows, mistakes are almost inevitable. Automating customer communication is a long process that takes time. Therefore, you will need to test the campaign on a small group before reaching all customers. It will help you make sure everything works as expected and collect first data on the efficiency of the digital communication strategy.
Step #8. Make Regular Adjustments
Only 16% of organizations report improved performance due to their organizations' digital transformation efforts. What does it mean for you? Get ready for a long way and continuous improvements. Remember we said digital transformation is a commitment? You will need to fine-tune your digital communication strategy along the way. It's essential to seek new approaches to make customer interactions relevant and beneficial to the consumers and your brand.
Inkit Helps Start the Digital Transformation Process
Inkit is a reach enablement platform that offers functionality for customer communications transformation. It consists of three products provided as APIs to connect with your system: Render, Verify, and Send:
- Render is an automated document generation solution that enables businesses to create and deliver personalized PDFs based on triggers.
- Verify is an address verification tool for checkout address autocomplete and more accurate deliveries.
- Send is a direct mail automation product you can integrate for trigger-based offline mailings. It automatically initiates personalized mail printing and delivery in omnichannel communication campaigns.
Would you like to know more about using Inkit for the digital transformation of customer communications? Contact us for a talk or start for free to test Inkit.