Many leaders have long been thinking about digital transformation as driven by emerging technology. It has become apparent that consumers drive it. First of all, being digital requires knowing how their customers want to interact with the brand. Business leaders need to hear from their customers as they adapt to a post-COVID world. They should strategically rethink the needs of their customers may and how their business addresses those needs. This approach will be vital to long-term success long after the pandemic persists.
Digital Transformation: The new client that is digitally conscious
Mobile apps, smartphones, machine learning, and artificial intelligence have allowed customers to get what they want and when they want it. This has led to an alteration in customer expectations and created a new type of customer. It has reshaped the way business is done in particular industries. These changes have immensely impacted the retail and healthcare sectors. Before the pandemic, for instance, almost all retail outlets were dependent on direct interaction with consumers. However, retailers had to reimagine consumer relationships by offering a digital experience that aligns with their expectations to remain viable in the COVID world.
Previously, it was usually seen as an “addition” to in-store interaction if a retailer had an online aspect to their business model; now, it’s a requirement. Many retailers have implemented new digital touchpoints to emphasize online sales platforms, such as mobile apps. Telehealth refers to the same move. Many features of an in-office visit are now carried out via video conferencing. This technology has been around for years. It was slow to be embraced by many healthcare professionals for numerous reasons, especially a lack of infrastructure and insufficient reimbursement.
However, the need to reduce risk and protect frontline healthcare staff has now generated an industry-wide move towards virtual treatment. It is likely to continue long after the pandemic fades away.
Three ways of rethinking the needs of your customers
As the world shifts, consumer expectations and behaviors are continually changing. It is necessary to take the time to actively ensure that you are in touch with what your customer wants.
Here are three methods to utilize while evaluating customers’ needs:
- Start with Empathy
Empathizing helps business leaders develop a deep understanding of the issues as the first phase in the design thinking process. Business leaders need to step outside their reference frame. They should take the time to understand their clients before developing a product that stands out in the market.
Empathizing requires that you observe your target customers and engage with them. You need to experience their physical environment, know their challenges, and discover their unexpressed needs to understand their digital behavior fully. Practicing empathy and adapting your customers’ perspective will allow you to think above and beyond the assumptions and more accurately extrapolate customer needs.
- Track Real-Time Usage Metrics
In their sales cycle, business leaders should track more than just the location of a customer. Most importantly, if a customer finds value in its offering, leaders need to measure and understand. The best method to do that is to visualize how clients use the digital touchpoints of your business. Which actions do they take, and which actions do they not take?
For example, if you have introduced an e-commerce option to your website, tracking the bounce rate and identifying why customers are dropping off is essential. Follow the sessions and session lengths if you have introduced a mobile app. These insights will help understand how to use technology for the customers and guide future digital transformation strategies.
- Ask for Feedback
Asking them is the best way to find out the requirements of the client. When you value direct customer feedback, you develop an opportunity to improve the experience of your company. Offer clients multiple opportunities through reviews, surveys, direct social media messages, or other means to send you direct feedback. Besides, to see what your customers are saying about your business, monitor social media for any mentions and comments. Immediate feedback is the most acceptable way to determine how your overall digital experience can be immediately enhanced.
Bonus: Never stop listening to the customers
Once you have taken the time to assess your users’ needs and rethink how your company can meet those needs. Then you can realize the technology that will drive your successful digital transformation. Keep in mind that your goal is to find the tool that will solve your customers’ problems. It is not necessary to tap the latest tech trend. That’s the only way to transform successfully.
Listening is the most essential thing that you can do. Only then will you be able to evaluate efficiently whether your current offers will satisfy changing customer needs. You can also know whether it is time to make changes.