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Customer Service amid Digital Transformation: Four Trends Shaping the Change

Digital Transformation

In today’s digital age, businesses need to adapt and transform their operations to remain competitive. It’s not just about adopting new technologies or automating processes to cut costs, but about rethinking how things are done to become more efficient and effective.

Customer service is an essential aspect of any business, and in the past, it was a time-consuming and manual process. However, with the advent of digital transformation, businesses can streamline their customer service operations and provide both better customer and employee experiences. In this blog, we will explore 4 trends that are shaping the current digital transformation.

Trend 1 – total experience strategies

The current digital transformation process in customer service is being shaped by a trend toward total experience (TX) strategies. TX is a holistic approach to customer and employee experience that considers all interactions and touchpoints across various channels and departments, and, particularly, in the areas where their intersection is most evident. TX’s focus is on delivering a seamless, personalized, and consistent experience for both customers and employees.

Nowadays, businesses recognize that the employee experience is just as crucial to their success as the customer experience. As a result, the shift towards TX strategies is becoming increasingly important. Gartner predicts that by 2026, 60% of large enterprises will adopt TX strategies to revolutionize their business models and attain exceptional levels of customer and employee advocacy.

Customer experience (CX)

Today, customers expect more than just good customer service. They want an experience that is tailored to their needs, preferences, and expectations. Organizations that invest in TX strategies can deliver a superior experience that drives greater customer loyalty and advocacy. By focusing on the entire customer journey and providing consistent experiences across all touchpoints, businesses can build long-term relationships with their customers.

Employee experience (EX)

TX strategies also benefit employees by improving their experience and engagement. When employees have access to the right tools, information, and resources, they can provide better service and support to customers. This, in turn, leads to higher levels of employee satisfaction and loyalty. By investing in TX strategies, businesses can retain their limited talent pool and foster innovation within the organization.

Multi-experience (MX)

Multi-experience (MX) refers to using technology to deliver improved experiences across multiple touchpoints, such as voice, gestures, and no-touch interactions. To provide interactions based on each individual, it is crucial to have the right technology platforms that can adapt to changing circumstances.

This enables consumers and employees to find the information they need using different gestures, touchpoints, or vocal commands. To ensure that everyone is connected, interaction capacity needs to extend across multiple touchpoints, such as mobile apps, web, Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR), and wearables. A combination of approaches, including voice, touch, vision, and others, should be used.

User experience (UX)

User experience involves the continuous improvement towards effortless, more intuitive navigation in less time and across multiple devices. Through the practice of combining business objectives, user needs, and design best practices, digital products can be optimized for greater experiences.

Self-service portals that both consumers and employees can use, must work seamlessly on multiple devices, increasing adoption.

Implementing Total Experience (TX)

To implement TX strategies, businesses need to leverage technology and data to create a unified view of the customer and employee experience. This requires breaking down silos between departments and creating a seamless experience across all channels and touchpoints. By integrating customer and employee data, businesses can gain insights into customer behavior, preferences, and needs, and use this information to deliver personalized experiences.

According to Gartner’s research, by the year 2024, businesses that offer a complete and seamless experience for both customers and employees will outperform their competitors by 25% in satisfaction metrics related to both CX and EX. Thus, to succeed in the present and future digital age, businesses need to focus on the entire customer journey and create a culture of customer-centricity that drives employee and customer loyalty and advocacy. 

Trend 2 – more investments in automation

Another trend that is shaping the current digital transformation process in customer service is the increasing investment in automation. As companies strive to do more with less, investment in automation will surge. This trend is driven by the need to improve operational efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance the overall customer experience.

Automation can take many forms, such as:

  • chatbots and virtual assistants;
  • robotic process automation (RPA);
  • artificial intelligence (AI). 

By automating routine tasks, businesses can free up employees to focus on more value-added activities, such as providing personalized support and resolving complex issues.

Moving towards hyper-automation 

However, the trend toward automation is not just about automating individual tasks or processes. To achieve maximum benefits, businesses must move towards more strategic, enterprise-wide automation or hyper-automation initiatives. Hyper-automation is a comprehensive approach that combines multiple technologies, including AI, RPA, and machine learning, to automate end-to-end processes across the enterprise.

Hyper-automation enables businesses to streamline processes, improve efficiency, and reduce errors. If businesses automate repetitive and manual tasks, they can expect to reduce costs, minimize errors, and speed up processes. In fact, by combining hyper-automation technologies with redesigned operational processes, Gartner predicts that organizations can reduce their operational costs by 30% by 2024. Moreover, automation can provide a more consistent customer experience, as customers receive quick and accurate responses to their queries and concerns.

Considerations of automation

The move towards automation is not without its challenges. Businesses must carefully consider which tasks and processes are suitable for automation and which ones require a human touch. Additionally, businesses must ensure that automation is implemented in a way that aligns with their overall customer service strategy and provides a seamless experience for customers and employees.

Overall, to achieve maximum benefits and reduce costs, businesses must move towards more strategic, enterprise-wide automation or hyper-automation initiatives. And although the automation trend is reshaping digital transformation, businesses must also carefully consider the challenges and risks associated with automation and implement it in a way that aligns with their overall customer service strategy.

Trend 3 – the rise of composable enterprise strategy

One more trending factor influencing digital transformation is composability. It refers to the ability of businesses to assemble and disassemble business capabilities in real-time to meet changing customer needs and market demands. In essence, composability is a core pillar of business strategy that drives innovation and agility.

From outdated systems to composable business

Traditionally, businesses have relied on monolithic systems that are rigid and inflexible. These systems are difficult to modify and require extensive time and resources to update. This approach is no longer sustainable in today’s fast-paced digital environment. Businesses must be able to quickly adapt to changing market conditions and customer needs.

According to Gartner, the concept of composable business is based on four fundamental principles:

  • Accelerated discovery for increased speed;
  • Enhanced agility through modularity;
  • Improved leadership through orchestration;
  • Increased resilience through autonomy.

Composability allows businesses to achieve this agility by breaking down complex systems into smaller, more manageable pieces or composable modules. These modules can be easily combined and recombined to create new capabilities that meet the specific needs of customers. 

A change in business foundations

We are already seeing a rise in businesses that are using a composable enterprise strategy. These businesses are leveraging technology to create flexible, scalable, and modular systems that can be easily adapted to meet changing business needs. They are breaking down silos and integrating different systems and data sources to create a more unified customer experience.

But composability is not just about technology, it is also about people and processes. It requires a cultural shift within the organization to embrace a more agile and collaborative approach to business. It requires businesses to think differently about how they approach innovation and to be willing to experiment and take risks.

To conclude, the rise of composability is driving innovation and agility, and it has become a crucial pillar of business strategy in the context of digital transformation.

Trend 4 – the switch to low/no-code tools and automation

Digital transformation optimizes business processes through technology to improve efficiency, productivity, and, ultimately, customer experience. A significant trend in customer service is the increasing use of low/no-code tools and automation, enabling non-technical users to create applications and workflows without programming skills.

Low/no-code tools empower business users to design and build applications quickly and easily, which can accelerate the digital transformation process. With these tools, customer service teams can create their own applications and workflows to streamline their operations and improve customer experience. This means they no longer have to rely on IT teams to build custom applications or automate processes, freeing up IT resources for more strategic initiatives.

Enabling medium and small businesses to do more

Furthermore, low/no-code tools and automation have democratized the digital transformation process, allowing businesses of all sizes to take advantage of the benefits of digital transformation. With these tools, even small businesses can automate their processes, reduce costs, and improve customer experience. 

An illustration of this trend is Zendesk and similar software that enables workflow automation with little or no coding required. Additionally, combining such software with Knots applications, for example, can offer various business units the capability to further automate their customer service processes without any help from the IT department. Learn more about why Knots has the best Zendesk apps for 2024.

In essence, low/no-code tools and automation shape the current digital transformation in customer service by accelerating business operations for enhanced efficiency, productivity, and customer experience.

Conclusion: Leveraging the four digital transformation trends

Ultimately, the current trends in digital transformation present businesses with unprecedented opportunities to optimize their customer service operations and deliver exceptional experiences to both their customers and employees. While there are different approaches to achieving this goal, the four trends discussed in this article – total experience strategies, automation, composable enterprise strategy, and low/no-code tools and automation – provide a comprehensive framework for businesses to thrive in the digital age. As such, companies that are proactive in adopting these trends are likely to gain a competitive advantage over their peers.

The customer support process may be automated in a variety of ways thanks to Zendesk’s great built-in automation capabilities. However, with Knot’s Zendesk apps and middleware (for custom procedures that can be tailored to any application), you can leverage the four digital transformation trends.

Knots is a CRM-specific toolkit that can help you automate Zendesk like a pro. Unlike anything else on the market, Knots’ middleware solution is delivered as a suite of Zendesk apps that may be used independently or in tandem. Contact us today to see how you can enhance your customer service to meet today’s standards. Our support staff is available to assist you with your specific use case.

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