2021: what is digital adoption really about?

Although Covid-19 has accelerated the process, the real driver behind digital adoption are changing customer preferences

2020 forced digital transformation down the throat for many businesses, prompting the world to switch from in-person to digital, and made public safety a top priority for companies and consumers alike. Nevertheless, digital tools should not be viewed simply as a crutch in a time of crisis, but rather as an integral factor for success in the longer term, as the post-Covid-19 global business environment is unlikely to change back to what it once was.

Although the current buzzwords mainly revolve around resource optimization and operational agility, overlooking the importance of customers and their attitudes may prove a costly mistake. It’s not that the power balance has shifted from the traditional product-centric, vendor-led focus of customer engagements due to the global pandemic – instead, the current changes are just an acceleration of digital trends that were already in motion before it hit. When it comes to customer experience, nice-to-haves have shifted to musts. You either disrupt or get left behind.

McKinsey&Company suggests that 3 priorities will define customer experience in the post-pandemic era: digital excellence, safe and contactless engagement, and dynamic customer insights.

In the midst of mobility restrictions, reshaping delivery models and streamlining customer flow have become the winning ticket to staying afloat, as well as forging stronger ties for the post-Covid-19 era. Today, customers need digital and low-touch options which directly translates into a necessity to make smart operational trade-offs for businesses. Rightsizing the IT cost structure through the use of cloud technologies is an important step towards reallocating existing resources to where they’re needed the most.

Reinventing customer experiences is essential to match the audiences’ shifting interaction preferences and buying behaviours. What they’re looking for are experiences that are simple, effortless, and repeatable. Moreover, the once typical “one-and-done” encounters have been replaced by long-term relationships where organizations have the ability to upsell, cross-sell, and collaborate with customers at every stage of a product’s or service’s lifecycle. Customers are not willing to settle for suboptimal and look for interactions that tie into their lifestyles at all times and are compatible with the devices they’re using.