How digital transformation drives tangible customer experience

This is part three of a four-part series unearthing key insights from a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of UST.

As discussed in our first two blogs in this series, digital transformation (DT) is not a mere technology initiative. Instead, it is a holistic, business-changing approach that ultimately turns traditional organizations into Resilient Enterprises while driving huge benefits, including growing revenue and an improved customer experience.

How Digital Transformation can influence Customer Experience?

Increased Value: The reason why digital transformation is so often discussed is that the needs and behaviors of consumers have changed significantly in the past few years. Consumers want to buy goods and services digitally and have higher expectations that companies prioritize safety and security. We are living in a distracted world, so delivering a seamless experience clearly aligned to immediate needs is becoming essential. The study demonstrates just how valuable digital advancement leads to customer focus. 94% of advanced respondents have focused their digital transformation investments on improvements in lifetime customer value metrics for a year or more. In contrast, only 47% of beginners focused on the same value.

Customer Growth: The stakes are high. The COVID-19 pandemic widened the divide between advanced firms — which continued to gain customers — and beginners — whose customer base shrunk significantly. Digitally advanced firms are more agile and therefore can meet customers wherever their changing interests or perspectives are. Advanced firms reported customer account growth of 10.18% in 2019 versus 5.71% from digitally immature firms. The divide only increased in 2020, where mature firms reported growth of 11.28% versus 3.62% of beginners. So it stands to reason that organizations focused on customer value will experience customer growth.

Deeper Analytics: Digitally advanced firms focus on customer metrics (90%) while less than half of digital beginners do (41%). If you are not obsessively focused on tracking customer opinions and identifying ways to increase their satisfaction and better understand their needs, you lose out to competitors.

Employee-First: Digitally advanced organizations know employees are on the front line of customer engagements. Therefore, treating employees well will drive better customer engagement and, ultimately, satisfaction. First of all, they focus on employee satisfaction (93% for digitally mature to 47% for digital beginners). And then they measure employee output based on key customer metrics ( 90% versus 43%).

The business results reinforce this: 73% of decision makers at such advanced firms said they are either the fastest growing or among the industry leaders.

In summary, digital transformation will fail if it doesn’t address the customer’s needs and cater to their experiences. And digital beginners should focus on driving customer value as a first and most important priority. To learn about digital maturity and its impact on your organization, download the full study here. And check out our previous blog posts here and here.