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Your Business Has Gone Digital. Now What?
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Your Business Has Gone Digital. Now What?

Future-proofing your company isn’t just a matter of “digital transformation.” It’s about understanding your consumers and building a digital experience around what they need.

Business leaders are told they need to do a lot of things when it comes to technology. They need to build an app. They need an AI chatbot. They need more data. They need a social-media strategy.

In short: To better serve their customers, they need to go digital—and fast. But beyond buzzwords, what’s actually at stake in this transformation?

Today, across sectors—from finance to health care and public services—customers are increasingly connecting with companies and governments online, but they often encounter outdated or confusing systems that weren’t built with them in mind. This matters: When consumers can’t easily access what they need online, they’ll look elsewhere, leaving companies racing to digitize their experiences so they won’t get left behind.

This, perhaps, is truer now than ever before. In light of COVID-19, social distancing, and a widespread shift to remote work for much of the public, accessing goods and services digitally is simply the new reality. The pandemic has served as a shock across industries and accelerated the need to meet customers where they are: online.

To better understand the challenges that organizations face and help them plan their digital transitions, ServiceNow surveyed 600 global executives in an array of industries—including telecoms, health care, manufacturing, the public sector, and financial services—between February and March of 2020. They discovered that businesses have a lot of catching up to do. No matter what “the new normal” looks like following the coronavirus, how businesses digitally connect with the public will remain key to their success.

You’re probably not prepared, and you aren’t alone.

Creating a positive customer experience isn’t just about building a beautiful website or app. It’s about creating a digital workflow that enables customers to seamlessly access what they need, and most organizations don’t have a plan in place to do that. Even companies leading in digitization—those who have adopted the 11 best practices of building a digital customer experience (listed here)—have a long way to go.

– The percentage of the 11 best practices that have been implemented by organizations to date
– The percentage of implementation they expect to reach by 2023

Developing digital skills

Installing a customer-experience management system

Aligning experience with business goals

Identifying key customer touchpoints

Building an immersive and personalized experience

Setting out implementation road map

Automating customer service processes

Consolidating data into a single customer view

Implementing an agile program of testing, analysis, and improvement

Creating a system to gauge customer impact

Ensuring collaboration of functions

And you’ll need to work fast to keep pace.

The percentage change that’s expected over the next three years as organizations digitize is staggering.

– Areas of best practice implemented today
– Their projected increase by 2023

Developing digital skills

PERCENTAGE CHANGE

+240%

Installing a customer-experience management system

PERCENTAGE CHANGE

+223%

Aligning experience with business goals

PERCENTAGE CHANGE

+247%

Identifying key customer touchpoints

PERCENTAGE CHANGE

+243%

Building an immersive and personalized experience

PERCENTAGE CHANGE

+239%

Those further behind in their digital transformation will have a considerable amount of ground to cover in order to compete with leaders.

– Areas of best practice implemented today
– Their projected increase by 2023

What are the makings of a leader?

One essential component of a digital customer experience is maturity. Does a business know its key consumer touchpoints? Does it have a road map for implementing a customer-experience plan? Can it measure its impact on customers or create a single customer view? Based on the framework of the 11 best practices, only 27 percent of organizations surveyed could be categorized as “leaders” in this field.

Percentage of those surveyed who qualify as:

Of the private sector, health care/life sciences and manufacturing have the fewest leaders and the most beginners, and financial services and telecoms have the most leaders.

Beginners and leaders by sector:

Here’s how businesses and the public sector can get up to speed.

There’s no single approach to going digital that works across all industries and business models. Companies should tailor their strategy to their business goals, but they can learn from these industry insights, which reveal both the blind spots that beginners may be missing and the key areas of progress that leaders focus on as they mature their digital customer experience.

Blockchain and virtual reality may sound like exciting technological leaps forward for your business, but in reality, the solutions that yield high returns on high investment are often simple, effective technologies that better serve most customers’ needs, such as cloud-based platforms, digital payments, and social media.

Percentage of survey respondents who say these digital solutions generate high or very high ROI:

To learn from leaders’ progress, companies should first prioritize identifying key customer touchpoints, which will then enable them to create the customer experience that fulfills their goals.

Percentage of leaders that have largely or fully implemented these areas of best practice to date:

Developing skills to create a digital customer experience

Installing a customer-experience management system

Aligning customer experience approaches with business goals

Identifying the touchpoints that matter most to customers

Building an immersive and personalized customer experience

As businesses seek to bridge the digital maturity gap, they need to keep their customers at front of mind. This isn’t just to gain a competitive edge—it’s to keep up. ServiceNow believes that developing a mature digital customer experience is key to the ongoing success of organizations across industries, and these survey insights reveal just how pressing the matter is. While many companies have made progress in this area, the divide between beginners and leaders is set to grow rapidly. Beginners also lack many of the skills needed to excel in customer experience, as well as a deeper understanding of their customer touchpoints to inform a digital road map moving forward.

Prioritizing this digitization has noteworthy benefits, too: Organizations report a positive return on investment as they mature their digital customer experience, plus greater customer loyalty and understanding of their audiences’ needs. The outlook is clear: Those who implement digital solutions today to better serve their customers will be ready for what’s next—not only enabling them to succeed in the future but also to advance in the present.

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