Getting customer digital experience right in today’s B2B market

It’s not just consumers who expect brands to be always-on. Business customers want to be able to get things done 24/7, quickly and easily. They expect to have digital channels in place to get routine tasks done on their own, without needing to speak to an agent. In fact, about 86% of business decision makers said they prefer to use self-service tools for reordering, rather than talk to a sales representative, a survey by McKinsey found.

More and more companies are looking to new technologies, like artificial intelligence (AI), to provide customers with faster, more efficient service. Using AI-powered chatbots to respond to frequently asked customer questions is just one example. By 2020, 30% of all B2B companies are expected to deploy AI to augment at least one of their main sales processes, according to Gartner. In fact, using AI when interacting with prospective customers can yield conversion rates that are up to 30% higher, Gartner says.

A better customer digital experience is one of the key benefits of digital transformation. It’s no wonder that 79% of business leaders surveyed in our recent Digital, Ready? report said that digital transformation is a strategic priority. These days it’s absolutely essential that corporates offer their business customers the same high quality service as consumers.

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Driving the right digital approach

Consider the telco industry. Say a business wants to get WiFi service, handsets for their team and cloud services too. In the past, they would typically need to ring up different service teams, or access a range of webpages, all with different user credentials. That makes for an unacceptably slow and inconvenient customer journey.

That’s why putting in place a world-class system that brings all products and services together into a single platform is critical. Enabling customers to make purchases quickly and easily, no matter the time of day, is increasingly make-or-break in the digital world.

The right digital approach also means getting the basics right, like billing. Customers should be able to see, at a glance, exactly what they are paying for.

A growing role for cloud technology

Technical insourcing, such as expanding in-house engineering teams, enables businesses to exercise greater quality control and plays a key role in delivering an excellent digital experience. At Vodafone, we’re also bringing together our IT teams from across consumer and business divisions. By sharing the same back end and building the same capabilities, we can boost our IT efficiency across the business.

Increasing cloud adoption is another important aspect of that digital journey. Our report showed that cloud is a key focus for businesses as they look to improve upon customer digital experience. Over the next two years, 84% of companies plan to use cloud technology along with digital solutions to ensure that their businesses run smoothly across mobile devices. It’s all part of today’s ‘any time, any place’ attitude towards work, software and services.

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Empowering people is key

Improving customers’ digital experience is a crucial part of digital transformation for any business. There are clear commercial benefits – for example, investing in your B2B customer experience can lower customer churn by 10 to 15%, according to McKinsey.

The key to getting digital transformation right is empowering people. That means providing engineers with the technologies they need to work more efficiently. It also means encouraging a culture of innovation across the business, rather than limiting it to a particular team.

By empowering teams, we can create the right digital experiences, for the right audience, with the right technology. And by providing our customers with the best possible service, round the clock and via the digital channels they prefer to use, we can stay ahead of the competition.

Written by Scott Petty, CTO at Vodafone UK
Written by Scott Petty, CTO at Vodafone UK

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