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What is the future of digital customer experience? How do companies create today so they can execute tomorrow?
Those questions drew a number of participants to the recent Pitney Bowes 2017 Customer Experience Innovation Panel. My fellow panelists – Kaspar Roos, CEO, Aspire Customer Communications Services; Christopher Hall, Vice President, Product Management, Pitney Bowes; and Stephanie Trunzo, COO, PointSource – and I shared our industry perspectives on how companies can realistically undergo a digital transformation, including executing a digital roadmap that supports the entire customer journey.
While we brought different experiences and insights to the session, there were three themes that surfaced from the discussion:
1) Digital is just one aspect of a comprehensive communications strategy.
Digital is the main reason more than half of the Fortune 500 companies have disappeared since the year 20001. While this certainly illustrates that embracing digital is a critical business requirement, it’s not the only channel for reaching consumers, especially when your customers span multiple generations. Successful communication strategies deliver a channel-less and frictionless customer experience where the convergence of physical and digital is seamless. Consumers expect seamless experiences and companies need to deliver because…
2) Consumers rule.
It’s no surprise that today’s consumers are more informed and discerning. They are presented with endless options and choices; and it usually takes minimal cost, time and effort for them to change their minds and switch providers. If you want to be perceived as the premium brand, you have to deliver the best customer experience. Customer experience can be defined in terms of ease (i.e., easy to use and interact), effectiveness (i.e., relevant, personalized information), and emotions (i.e., empathy expressed in communications).2 The experience must also extend beyond customer acquisition, and, instead, support and service the customer throughout their journey to create lifetime value.
3) Be nimble and quick to survive and thrive.
Technology is changing how we communicate – and fast! Customer communication management was initially focused on reducing costs and risks; however, today, there is a hyper focus on understanding consumers and delivering better experiences. Digital will continue to play a critical role, especially with the use of voice as a daily platform and as digital natives (e.g., Gen Y and Z) enter the workforce. In fact, demand for digital-related services will account for more than 70% of all external services growth by 2019.3Companies have to quickly adapt to changing technology and consumer behavior if they want to survive and thrive.
Now is the time to be thinking about – and creating – the future of your customer communications.
1Pierre Nanterme, Accenture CEO
2Based on Forrester’s 3Es of Customer Engagement