The COVID-19 crisis has presented a moment of truth for companies and brands in how well they harness their communications with customers and across interaction channels. The digital customer experience has become the leading competitive differentiator in this new world. What may have been viewed as an idealistic aspiration a few years ago has become a necessity for continued survival.
In a recent survey that Omdia conducted in partnership with a client, an overwhelming 67% cited COVID-19 as the leading cause of disruption, followed by rapidly changing customer expectations at 49%. This sobering new reality is forcing a paradigm shift across enterprises to think differently about engaging with customers and serving them in new ways that will enhance relationships, improve loyalty, and increase monetization. Across every industry and sector, speed of transformation is essential, and traditional businesses that understand this recognize that a coherent approach to customers must be taken.
While many enterprises were moving toward a digital future before the pandemic, the digital roadmap has become more urgent now. Nearly every business will have to make some technology adjustments for the post-pandemic world, but certain changes will be more widespread than others. For instance, the need for agility and responsiveness for customer-facing employees in the contact center has been one of the most critical and obvious opportunities. Today, on-premise infrastructure is simply unable to meet the digital needs of the entire workforce.
In response, enterprises should anticipate new work practices that require unloading technical burdens and migrating to the cloud and SaaS tools. Conversational AI, low-code enterprise platforms, augmented and virtual reality, cloud contact center technology, and e-commerce will bridge legacy systems and critical agile and intelligent environments to enable proactive and relevant interactions with customers across all touch points.
As consumers become more comfortable with these tools and recognize the advantages they can bring in convenience and personalization, digital customer experience technology will become a tipping point for enterprises in the immediate and longer term.
However, continued success in a post-COVID world requires enterprises to also tie their digital transformation success to customer experience and measure results along the way. That emphasis will drive business investment in digital transformation long after the climate settles into this new “normal,” and ensure that their CX initiatives are delivering the desired personalized and relevant interactions at every customer touchpoint.
With the right investments, strategies, and approaches, the crisis can become an opportunity to move forward and create even more value and positive outcomes.
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