The Importance of 'Digital First' in Customer Experience Management
As we finish ringing in the new year in these last couple weeks of January 2021, as always in the first month of the year, it’s a very transitional time. Lest we forget, the events of last year provided us with about every exception in the books.
The global COVID-19 pandemic changed society in a number of ways. The shift to the digital era was already well underway, and the social unrest and health concerns of 2020 accelerated this shift by an incredible margin. As face-to-face contact became more rare, digital consumerism started to rise, forcing companies to adopt a digital first approach to business and interactions.
The term “digital first” refers to the way in which a company approaches their business practices. In communication specifically, the terminology refers to prioritizing a platform-independent, user-friendly customer experience that utilizes technology—especially business applications—to present an entirely digital experience.
In doing so, a company dedicates itself to the modern consumer by acknowledging and utilizing the same level of technology to “meet the customer where they are”, so to speak.
From reflecting on 2020, to looking forward at 2021, what does it mean to be digital first?
Creating Digital First Messaging with CCM
By using sophisticated customer communications management (CCM) powered by business logic and integrated databases, digital first allows your organization to meet the preferences of any consumer, ultimately elevating the perception of your company's customer experience in the eyes of your constituents.
For instance, while CCM is more than capable of delivering an automated message to a consumer through the digital channel of their choosing (e.g., SMS, application, email, etc.), this doesn’t exclude the luddites. CCM can also generate snail mail messages to your consumers who still prefer holding, handling, and reading hard copies.
Being digital first also means being able to communicate over multiple channels in real time. Customers may want to engage with your company through your website, via email or SMS, or any other means available, including the telephone. The key take-away is: a customer should be presented with the option to begin their customer journey with your company through analog or digital means of their own choosing. This, in turn, means integrating your CCM with other applications or your website, in order to create and manage automated messaging in real-time throughout that journey.
Many companies have strayed from using automated messaging services as a result of the bad reputation that bot-based spam voicemails and emails have garnered; the skepticism (from both the consumer and businesses) has some basis. However, with CCM you can carefully craft messaging for relevancy that you maintain via your communication staff. Once you create a specific message for any point along a customer journey, you can send through the channel of the user’s choice.
Being digital first essentially means prioritizing the customer experience by creating a digital landscape that’s totally accessible with well-managed, clear, and concise communication. The power of CCM brings ease and effectiveness into your automated business communications, which in turn leads to positive customer emotions and a better customer experience.
In reflecting on 2020, it’s clear that the digital era is here to stay. Going forward into 2021, it’s more important than ever to have a digital first mindset that optimizes your customer experience along the way.
For more information on CCM or the capabilities that CCM can bring to your business, get in touch with Topdown today.
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.