Gustavo Gomez

By Gustavo Gomez

Digital innovations have repeatedly revolutionised industries since the inception of the Internet two decades ago. From its impact on the travel industry, allowing consumers to book their own flights and hotels online, to the recent digitalisation of government services like filling in tax returns.

The growing shift towards digital transformation is no different. Bizagi’s recent research, The Agility Trap Report, reveals that changing customer expectations are at the heart of enterprises’ decisions to go digital. Forrester’s own research, a four-year analysis into five industries prioritising revenue growth (cable, retail, airlines, wealth management and healthcare) revealed that forerunners in customer experience crush the digital laggards on revenue growth, confirming that customer experience correlates strongly to increases in revenue.

Bizagi’s study of more than 1,000 global enterprises found that more than four in five (81%) believe shifts in customer expectation are increasing the pace of change in their industry. Furthermore, three quarters (75%) revealed that providing an experience that understands the immediate needs and situation of the individual is the key driver of digital change.

Understanding, customising and delivering the right services is the reality of how businesses must approach customer service today. In Ernest & Young’s customer survey, customers selected “the way I am treated” as the second most important reason for trusting their banking provider and this is the most common reason for opening and closing accounts. This insight has helped banks segment their customers, allowing them to provide tailored experiences based on each group’s specific needs.

The need to meet customer expectations becomes even more important for enterprises that already have high levels of digital change in progress. Of these companies, 79% identified higher levels of customer expectation around service, value and experience as the key driver of digital transformation. This was substantially higher than any other driver, such as the need for operational agility (55%) and driving change across the employee base (51%).

Getting customer experience right first time is therefore essential, as proven by high-profile cases of getting it wrong – including embarrassing security breaches, online shopping site crashes and mobile banking services that lock consumers out of their accounts.

The key to success is for enterprises to really understand what customers want, why they want it, and build a business strategy based on this understanding. They can then begin to ignite digital transformation by considering three essential elements:

  • Personalise your customer service

End users now expect personalised experiences in all aspects of their lives. By utilising big data, enterprises can provide the content that customers, employees and stakeholders demand based on their preferences, in turn driving sales and loyalty.

In the same way that bar staff might call out a greeting and serve your favourite drink when you walk through the door, users that create an account and buy something from a website will be enthused by smart brands that notify them when similar items or services become available.

The personalised offerings from digital leaders like Netflix, Amazon and eBay should now be reflected in workplace systems and processes – enabling organisations and their staff to meet the ever-increasing expectations of today’s customer.

  • Contextualise the customer experience

Relevant, tailored and adaptive digital experiences are now expected by consumers, so businesses must deliver relevant content, ads and services on the right device based on where the user is and what the user is doing.

The key to delivering this is finding technologies that use location, interests, buying habits and other contextual information to deliver real-time, in-context experiences. Despite the obvious advantages of delivering this kind of experience pioneered by businesses like Uber, Tinder, Amazon and Twitter, the challenges on the road to this journey are clear.

Delivering a real-time service, such as serving up a contextual ad or responding to what’s trending on social media to deliver a personalised message to a customer, necessitates that businesses need to act quickly. Accessing the right data in an instant can also be problematic given the sheer volume of data, requiring an agile business process and IT infrastructure, one that makes this information available across the enterprise, and surfaces it at just the right time.

  • Stay agile and connected

Business agility is vital to meeting the needs and expectations of your customers, and retaining those customers. This was confirmed in our research as more than four in five enterprises (82%) stated that business agility was critical to delivering the transformation that will improve customer experience. However, our research also found that businesses’ existing systems show considerable room for improvement, with just 25% of enterprises globally claiming high levels of agility across customers, employees and operational systems.

Making business agility a reality means that every part of the enterprise must be connected, allowing data to flow between systems and departments and be made available whenever and wherever it’s needed. Beyond a beautiful app or a nice new homepage, the challenge of true digital transformation is joining the dots and smoothing the cracks across the many touchpoints that customers have with your business. In practice this requires the breaking down of organisational barriers and silos to ensure data flows freely across systems to every place it’s needed.

These challenges and hardships that businesses face are why we created Bizagi – The Digital Business Platform. We help businesses ignite and accelerate digital transformation, saving our customers from being held back by rigid legacy IT systems. The features in Bizagi enable businesses to rapidly create process-based enterprise applications, delivering personalised and contextualised experiences without having to tear down their IT systems and start from scratch.