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Prioritizing Digital-First Transforms the Customer Journey Blog Feature
John Zimmerer

By: John Zimmerer on September 14th, 2020

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Prioritizing Digital-First Transforms the Customer Journey

Customer Experience | Customer Communications | Customer Journey

In the past decade, an enormous amount of communication channels have emerged. Most notably, many, if not most of these new communication channels have become digital, a key indicator of the powerful shift toward an interactive world where businesses must be able to operate and communicate with their customers in this realm. ‘Digital-first’ does not necessarily mean digital-only: a digital-first mindset provides companies with greater agility and flexibility to communicate directly with their customer base.

A significant study by Aspire CCS (link to webinar with overview) shows that every age-demographic prefers the phone as their number one communication channel. This is every consumer from 18-56+, including Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, and even Boomers. Of course, there are differentiations between the age groups.

For example, Boomers prefer email more than any other age demographic, while Gen Z and Millennials lean more toward SMS and web/chat platforms. While these differences are important to note when individualizing communications, the key take-away is that there is a vital demographic partial to almost every communication channel available. However, each demographic prefers the phone most of all.

In other words, companies must be prepared to serve a variety of consumers across a wide range of communication channels, especially when customers initiate communications via (smart) telephone.

Mobile phones drive digital-first customer communications

From phones to SMS to emails, customers crave digital communications.

Understanding the ‘Digital First’ Mindset

Being digital-first sounds exclusive to the digital-native demographic. However, this is far from the case. Approaching customer communication with a digital-first mindset really refers to optimizing the operational efficiency of communications across a variety of customer journeys.

As mentioned above, prioritizing a digital-first mindset really builds the most flexibility and agility into the company's communication strategy. In other words, digital-first allows a business to communicate with customers through the channels those individuals most prefer.

These individualized communications yield stronger conversion metrics, while simultaneously streamlining processes along the customer journey that ultimately benefits the customer.

Implementing CCM Software To Optimize Communications

It’s important to note that implementing a customer communication management (CCM) solution and utilizing a digital-first mindset positively impacts the customer journey, making it more streamlined, easier to access, and ultimately more personalized for the customer.

CCM software is inherently designed to benefit the customer and the organization by prioritizing the experience across customer journeys. As a result, the customer experience must assume the role as the centerpiece of an organization's communication strategy.

Streamlining processes along the customer journey is extremely important to the customer, as time (or the lack thereof) has become one of the most valuable commodities any of us have. Automating certain aspects along the customer journey can demonstrate to the customer a dedication and respect for their time spent with the organization that the customer truly appreciates, with the end result building both trust and loyalty into a brand.

Additionally, companies using CCM software are more readily equipped to meet customers where they already are, prioritizing the customer’s convenience, another positive contribution to the customer experience.

Centralizing Communications

One of the most compelling aspects of implementing sophisticated CCM software is that a singular software experience centralizes communications that no only concentrates content into one location, but also amplifies API-driven automated communications.

Today’s innovative CCM software solutions can easily interface with a variety of customer touchpoints, including integrated voice response (IVR)—as well as other similar automated phone systems—web portals, and applications. This allows companies to cover a wider array of real-time communication needs. In other words, companies can cover the entire spectrum of communication channels with a single elegant CCM solution.

Going Digital First to Deliver on Customer Needs

Building a comprehensive communication strategy requires dedication to a variety of communication channels. The best way to address this wide variety of needs across and throughout the customer journey is to centralize a series of communication solutions through CCM software.

For more information on sophisticated CCM software that can optimize your customer experience and streamline customer communications, contact us here at Topdown today, your premier information source for everything customer communications related.

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About John Zimmerer

John Zimmerer is the senior director of marketing at Topdown, where he leads market research and outreach efforts for the company's customer communications and customer experience products. Most recently, John has been researching and writing about the future direction of the technologies that power customer experience, and is regarded as a thought leader in this area. John has nearly 20 years of software product marketing experience. His areas of expertise include market research, analyst relations, public relations and digital marketing.

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