What digital transformation means for customer experience in 2020

By Tanja Lategan, CEO, Enlight Strategic 

By now, most companies have at some level realised that they need to embrace digital transformation. For the most part, however, these efforts are still limited to upgrading IT infrastructure, with very little thought given to the rest of the organisation. 

A more holistic approach to digital needs to be adopted and “the customer” should be given more focus in an organisation’s digital transformation efforts. It is, after all, customer experience (CX), more than any other factor, that sets an organisation apart from its competitors. 

Marketing, CX, and digital transformation

In fact, research from Gartner shows that more than 81% of companies are competing mostly or completely on the basis of CX. The same Gartner research also found that marketing departments own the budget for and drive the execution of CX in most companies. 

That should hardly be surprising. Marketing departments typically possess customer data and the platforms needed to analyse and understand customer wants and needs. And, increasingly, what customers want is hyper-personalised, hyper-relevant, interactions on the digital channels of their choice.  

Any marketing department that understands this and has the backing of senior leadership within the organisation is ideally poised to play a leading role in its digital transformation. 

With a wider array of digital channels, and higher levels of customer expectation than have ever existed before, Digital Customer Experience will only become more critical in 2020 and beyond.  

Breaking down silos

That’s not to say that digital transformation should be left to the marketing department. Far from it. Instead, the customer-centric approach to digital transformation should be adopted across the entire organisation. That means breaking down the silos between Marketing, IT, Finance, and various other departments that make up a business. 

After all, a customer will likely interact with several departments during their relationship with an organisation. Using the right data in the right way, organisations can ensure that every customer gets a consistent experience with relevant, personalised messaging.  

Digital maturity 

But before any organisation embarks on a digital transformation journey, it is crucial that they understand their digital maturity level in the area of customer experience. 

While many companies will say that customer experience is their primary motivation for enhancing their digital communication, the truth is that they see cost efficiency as the goal and customer experience as the nirvana. Trouble is, starting with cost efficiency as the main business driver seldom results in a good customer experience. 

It’s also vital that companies regularly assess how digitally transformed their marketing efforts are and how effectively they’re helping the organisation meet its wider business goals. With digital tools becoming increasingly democratised, what was cutting edge in 2019 may be old hat in 2020.

Contact Enlight Strategic at info@enlightstrategic.com for a free digital maturity assessment to see where your company stands.