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Today’s savvy consumers have come to expect outstanding customer experiences. From targeted offers to experiences tailored to their preferences, one-size-fits-all tactics no longer cut it when it comes to engaging customers.

Customers want something more. They want something personal. Just for them. And delivered straight from you. Exactly when they want or need it…if not before.

Specifically, 76% of consumers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations. And ultimately, want to have their expectations exceeded.

The ability to satisfy those needs hinges on one thing: data. And gathering that data relies on going digital; transforming business operations and the value offered to customers through the use of digital technologies.

Though digital integration and data capture have traditionally been viewed as challenging, it’s never been easier for businesses to integrate digital experiences to connect with and engage their customers.

Catching up with new customer expectations.

While customer service and customer experience have been referred to synonymously, they’re two very distinct concepts. Customer service is an aspect of the customer experience; one touchpoint in the overarching journey of a customer with a business or brand.

And customer service matters: studies show that 89% of people will stop transacting with a business after experiencing poor customer service. So it’s not something to gloss over – and it has a huge contribution to the overall customer experience (CX).

CX impacts loyalty and is highly ranked in customers’ buying decisions; with up to 40% of customers who are willing to pay more for a better customer experience.

With the rapid development of technologies that have taken customer’s attention from radio to TV screens, then into their own hands on their smartphones, how customer experiences are created has more layers than it ever has.

Along with the seemingly endless touchpoints that create the customer experience, the addition of and access to technology has created new customer expectations.

Namely, the desire to have their experience delivered to them with ease and convenience, to have a consistent experience no matter where they interact with a business, and for their relationships with the businesses they frequent to feel personal and thoughtful.

Today, the customer is in the driver’s seat, and businesses need to frame their strategy around their customers’ habits and desires. And, they do it by knowing more about them than simply their first name.

The matter of meaningful data.

With unmatched customer experiences hinging on the access to and use of data, businesses have to go digital and offer unparalleled levels of service along the way.

Demographics aren’t enough in this day and age. Especially when customers are seeking personalized experiences, perks and offers to draw them in or bring them back.

So, more than their name and address, simple data that packs a punch can be things like:

  • Purchase history
  • Time between visits
  • Average spend per visit
  • Number of visits per year
  • What location they frequent (for a multi-location business)
Customer Attributes in Thanx

What starts to surface when the right data gets captured is a well-rounded picture of your customers…and insight into exactly how you can surprise, delight and engage them over time.

The insight into their specific buying behaviors is the key information businesses need today to create the unique, personalized and timely offers and experiences customers are craving…and coming to expect.

The use of data to create meaningful digital experiences helps nurture an engaged customer base who’s six times more likely to try a new product or service from a preferred business, four times more likely to refer a business to their friends, family and connections, and two times more likely to make a purchase with their preferred brand, even when a competitor has a better product or price.

It’s that lack of loyalty that comes along with a disengaged customer base that has business owners looking at their own strategy for digital transformation, and how it can elevate the customer experience.

Because the threat of losing market share is real: a recent study showed 55% of business owners believe they have a year, or less, before they start to suffer.

Which means the time is now to start moving in the direction of digital.

How to start your digital transformation.

The case is clear: that adopting digital processes, systems, and practices isn’t solely for efficiency, but in service of your customer experience. Which is proven to impact your bottom line.

Knowing it’s a ‘need to do’ for businesses today, how do you start to move in the direction of digital transformation?

Keep it simple.

Instead of seeking out a handful of systems or tools to perform specific functions and gather data in isolation, seek out a platform that offers multiple services in one place. And, shoot for a cloud-based solution to up the simplicity; where upgrades happen automatically and where agility and flexibility run high. Plus, the cost of cloud-based solutions is often lower – removing a barrier to entry and making data capture accessible to businesses of all sizes.

Be personal.

Gone are the days of the mass email. Personalized digital experiences can, and do, bring your customers closer and offer a chance to deepen your personal relationships with them. Leverage a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool that holds your customer information in one place, and enable you to know, and serve, your customers like never before. Use customer-specific information to craft offers and campaigns that suit individual preferences that are both meaningful (they offer something relevant) and strategic.

Up your access.

Being directly accessible to answer inquiries and address complaints is a surefire way to step up your customer service, and elevate your customer experience. Customers expect a response—if not immediately—in no more than 24 hours, with 40% of millennials fast to use alternate channels of communication if they’re not responded to within an hour.  A digital platform that offers customers a direct line to give feedback can be a tool for creating a more connected customer experience.

By creating a dedicated channel for customers to connect with you, you’ll avoid the chance of their email getting lost in a busy inbox, leaving them frustrated and likely to give their business to someone who provides a better, and more timely, experience.

Wrap up

Customer experiences are being transformed by digital experiences. Those digital experiences are driven by data business owners are gathering and learning from to power highly relevant and personalized ways to engage their customers. Opting-in to digital transformation amplifies any business’s ability to serve their clients in a more connected and relevant way – turning up the volume on their understanding of what their customers need and want and, in the end, creating more trust and affinity in those relationships. Choosing a platform like Thanx offers business owners an opportunity to step into digital transformation with confidence and ease; offering the insights to know what to offer their customers when to make that offer, and the systems to get those campaigns and communication to them right on time (every time).