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The customer journey of the future is digital

Digital transformation is opening new doors for online customer journeys that allow organizations to maintain personalized services. Physical face-to-face interactions are by no means a prerequisite for ensuring unique customer experiences.

Whether entering a retail store, a bank, or a public service center, many consumers still value and even prefer the human interaction and face-to-face advice provided by the person behind the counter. Nevertheless, the focus on digital customer journeys is growing.

Almost half of the respondents of NNIT's Expectation Barometer 2020 (48 percent) agree that their digital efforts will be organized around customer journeys over the next 18 months. A third (35 percent) are still not focusing their digital efforts on customer journeys, while approximately a fifth (18 percent) find themselves in the middle, where they neither agree nor disagree.

A key explanation for this, according to Brian Troelsen, Business Development Director in NNIT, is that technologies have paved the way for taking online customer journeys to the next level:

"With all the new technologies and digital tools, businesses now have the best opportunities ever for delivering unique digital interaction with consumers. Your objective should be to rethink the experience from the physical interaction and move it online."

Data is the key to success
According to Troelsen, the number-one enabler of providing a successful digital customer journey is… data!

"Today, you can track previous purchasing history and online behavior patterns that allow you to fully adjust online services to the individual consumer. Based on data, you can automatically suggest specific products that seem relevant, or offer special discounts or bundles to frequent customers. There are endless opportunities", he explains.

More important than ever
According to the development director, the focus on digital customer journeys will only continue to increase as the lockdown forced upon so many by the global COVID-19 pandemic has changed the mindset in organizations.

"When physical stores were forced to close their doors, being able to provide the best customer experiences online became a prerequisite overnight. And this goes beyond having an online web shop, because digital customer experiences are about much more than that", Troelsen explains.

"While there are industries that are more mature than others, organizations are beginning to see the need for optimizing and personalizing their services online in a whole new light. Providing a good digital customer experience is no longer a nice-to-have, but a must-have. It has become a competitive necessity, and you cannot afford to just sit back, because you never know when external circumstances will force your customers online", he ends.