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Digital transformation

Empathy is Driving the Digital Transformation

Jan. 3, 2020
Survey says that data and technology will fuel more human customer experiences.

Digital transformation is taking root according to a recent Comcast Business survey. Specifically, 54% of organizations have completed a digital transformation initiative and 58% are in the process of implementing one.

As organizations plan and undergo digital transformation initiatives, the study affirms there is one fundamental component every company needs to remain relevant: a relentless focus on an empathetic customer experience, supported by connected technologies and networked infrastructure.

The study found that organizations on the leading edge of digital transformation are combining direct and contextual customer data with analytics and business intelligence technologies to create “empathy at scale.” This includes a deep understanding of the customer; anticipating their expectations, desires, needs and actions; and responding to those needs and expectations in a caring and connected way.

The ability to provide a data-driven experience is crucial. This means that everything needs to be customer focused, that the strategic direction needs to be in alignment with that customer focus, and that companies should build an infrastructure and a customer-focused technological architecture that provides a pathway to communication and understanding toward empathy between the business and its customer. 

Power of the customer experience

Enhancing the customer experience continues to be a key driver in organizations’ digital transformation journeys, with 43% of respondents saying that one of the top three drivers to take on a digital transformation effort was to improve the customer experience, 34% saying it was to attract new customers, and 29% noting it was to retain existing customers.

According to the survey, one of the “foundational, but often-forgotten” ways to provide an exceptional customer experience is employing technological infrastructure that integrates data sources and systems across multiple departments and functions to provide “a single source of information and truth about a customer.”

Fortunately, manufacturers can create tailored, personalized customer experiences that can be scaled across an entire business by pairing direct human interactions (e.g., a customer service desk) and integrated technology infrastructure (e.g., real-time accessibility to customer databases), supported by fast, agile networks.

Understanding digital transformation barriers

The survey identified four key obstacles as organizations pursue a digital transformation: internal silos, legacy infrastructure, short term perspective and unclear ownership.

More than 30% of respondents identified business units having different priorities as an issue, and it was the top issue identified. There are even differences between lines of business. As a result, a single initiative often lacks enough momentum to move the organization forward.

Additionally, more than a quarter (27%) of survey respondents reported that legacy infrastructure is their second-biggest barrier to digital transformation. By pairing key technology investments with a strategic focus on customers, the survey indicates, organizations will forge a path to empathy at scale, pushing them toward the next level of business transformation.

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