Digital transformation creates opportunities to drastically improve the customer experience. Today's consumers have high expectations from the organizations they do business with, especially when it comes to seeking out smooth and streamlined processes. Companies pay particular attention to the millennial generation, as Accenture reports this demographic is spending $600 billion annually. These digitally driven consumers demand seamless and consistent experiences across every touchpoint, which can only be accomplished through proper process digitization implementation.

Omnichannel Consistency

Companies use many customer touchpoints to reach consumers during the buyer's journey. Websites, mobile apps, social media profiles, advertisements, events, store locations and customer service lines represent common touchpoints encountered by buyers. Many organizations put each channel in a silo, which makes it difficult or impossible to maintain consistency between channels. Nuance found 38 percent of customers get frustrated when they have to provide identical information as they move to new channels. Process digitization eliminates this problem by unifying customer data across all touchpoints.

For example, a customer needs support after she makes an in-store purchase. She talks with a representative through live chat. This support agent sees the product purchased and other customer details through integration with the in-store POS system. The customer gets referred to the phone line and the previous chat log and product information shows up for this support rep. After the buyer gets the help she needs, she receives a follow-up email a few days later checking in to make sure she encountered no additional issues. This omnichannel customer experience approach reduces friction throughout the process and helps the consumer feel valued.

Customer Behavior Data Collection and Analysis

Digitized processes allow businesses to collect and analyze data on customer behavior. This information plays a crucial role in personalized customer experiences. Gigya reports 73 percent of buyers look for organizations offering a highly relevant experience. The company uses key data points, such as content engagement, past purchases, email click-throughs, direct interaction and other information to fully customize each touchpoint.

Ideally, organizations use this approach on every channel for consistency, as Monetate discovered customers spend 40 percent more with omnichannel personalization in place. This means that e-commerce sites display recommended products and related content front and center. Emails reference wish lists, abandoned cart items. and self-service customer support resources display information relating to recent purchases and website browsing. Each touchpoint benefits from micro data customization and helps improve the overall customer experience.

Process Digitization Implementation Best Practices

Fully digitized processes provide the most value, with McKinsey finding operating cost reductions of up to 90 percent. Organizations may be tempted to "boil the ocean" and tackle the end to end process all at once. However, rapidly changing business processes leads to massive disruption at all staff levels. Employees need training to get up to speed on new systems and departments may need to be restructured. Additional hiring for specialized positions also takes time. If a company rushes the process digitization implementation, it may have a negative impact on the customer experience due to the back office disruption. Organizations should incrementally digitize the processes for a smooth and controlled deployment with limited company-wide disruption.

Customers enjoy their experiences with highly digitized companies, and they want every business to offer the same level of service. Process digitization cuts operating costs, streamlines many business processes, frees up human resources from easily automated tasks and creates consistency across all channels. Organizations need to invest in a digital transformation before they're left behind by the tech-forward competition.