Why the digital transformation puts the customer in the spotlight
What has the digital transformation to do with customer orientation? This question may play only a small role in view of larger, supposedly more urgent topics. However, anyone who is more concerned with the topic will recognize that the customer is even at the center of the so-called digital revolution.
The role of the customer in the digital transformation
Digital transformation is changing our way of working, learning, living – and communicating. In the role of the customer, we are now networked, find important information within seconds with a few clicks and make almost no purchase, without having compared offers and reviews.
We can act more confidently. This has had a serious impact on our expectations: In communication with service providers, we expect speed, authenticity and (especially with more expensive products) a high degree of consulting service before and after the purchase.
Expectations in the age of the customer
Companies are mostly concerned with trends and change processes. Customers still have to adapt to pre-designed, inflexible processes in many companies. However, especially in the B2B business, the customer experience can have a significant impact on the entrepreneurial success. In this “Age of the Customer“, buyers choose companies that best meet their expectations. At the same time, they quickly find replacement when they are no longer satisfied with the performance or product of a supplier.
Lack of exchange because of silo thinking
One of the big challenges of digital transformation is silo thinking. If departmental thinking dominates and there is no cross-company exchange, valuable information is lost. Exactly this also applies to the customer management.
Precisely because of the increased interaction points between customers and service providers, well in advance of a purchase decision, it is only possible to know the customer as well as possible and fulfill his expectations in a cross-departmental collaboration. As in all areas of digital, more efficient collaboration, silo thinking also blocks corporate development in customer management.
Advantage by database
One of the basic requirements for improved customer orientation is the smooth exchange of data between all channels and departments. This requires rethinking – away from the old reporting lines and towards a 360-degree view of the customer through co-working tools and networked systems. In most cases, it is technically straightforward today to establish a common database across different systems with interfaces.
If you also want to take more care of essential tasks and want to have more time for customer needs, the use of workflow tools is a great help. This allows better control of business processes, assigning tasks more clearly and accelerating processes. Because not only technical and cultural changes are necessary for a customer centering – also employee resources may have to be planned differently.
Those who are just starting to rethink or restructure should not put their heads in the sand. Meeting the growing demands of digital transformation is an ongoing process that can vary from industry to industry. This challenge and the task of making the customer the most important person in the company will continue to occupy us all in the future.