Technology to transform your business: How customer service is changing in the digital space

By James O'Brien

| Banking

If technology is poised to transform your business, it is likely because your customers are switching to mobile commerce and demanding digitally empowered customer service.

A recent Gartner study provides statistics on this phenomenon: By 2017, 50 percent of US digital commerce revenue will be mobile commerce revenue, and by the end of 2016, 89 percent of business leaders anticipate customer experience will be the primary frontline for competition.

If this is indeed the case, one of the most important vectors for business success will be a deep understanding of how customer service is changing in the digital space. In the following sections, consider what your own business is doing to meet new thresholds set by an increasingly tech-savvy consumer demographic.

Transform your business with automation

Banking is one key industry undergoing a technological transformation in manual processes and customer service. Digital tools such as mobile payments are quickly replacing manual, teller-based front-end processes, and technology that solves customer requests behind the scenes is key to fueling change.

When customers use digital tools instead of paper, for example, they empower IT to take charge of the back-end processes. When there’s no paper coming in, less manual work is required to get results back out to customers. Plus, when you take the manual processes out of the equation, technology allows businesses to automate cumbersome parts of the workflow.

As McKinsey & Company reports, digitizing workflows and automating decision trees — and supporting the processes that still need human interaction, such as financial reviews and deal origination in banking — often results in a boost of more than 50 percent in productivity and timely, accurate customer service.

Frontline transformations: Visualizing customer connections

For retail, tallying customer preferences and understanding which in-store experiences lead to consumer loyalty is crucial to success. Time-consuming tasks such as conducting surveys and pouring over sales data have long been manual, but technology is changing that scenario.

As 1to1 Media reports, stores can now use mobile technology to provide customer service in the digital space, creating an ongoing history of requests, solutions and trends. This analyzable history fuels marketing efforts — even automating parts of the communication strategy going forward — so offers, coupons and conversion-tracking all happen in smarter, faster and less manually intensive ways.

According to 1to1 Media, data analytics and automation can also mean cutting customer service time. At one company, manual response time for online interactions was taking up to two hours, but a digitally streamlined workflow for the same tasks cut reply turnaround to 10 minutes. Within months, this boosted interaction volume from 12,000 to 50,000.

Diving deeper at Amplify 2016

To learn more about how technology is set to transform your business and accelerate your customer service best practices, join the experts at IBM Amplify 2016. This year, the theme is “outthink ordinary.” You’ll have the opportunity to engage with technologists and business leaders doing just that at more than 200 panels, labs and sessions.

For even deeper insight into bringing new efficiency and results to customer service, add “DEC-1553: IBM Digital Experience, MobileFirst and MobileForms: Operational Efficiency in Customer Services” to your Amplify 2016 calendar. See you there!

Written By

James O'Brien

Technology Reporter

For the past half decade, James O'Brien has covered technology and the ways it intersects with our lives and work. His points of focus include data analytics, the mobile sector, driver-less cars, the Internet of Things, IT infrastructure, data security, 3-D printing, and technology…

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