Customer touchpoints can drive a brand’s digital journey

By Chris Nerney

Thanks to digital technology, consumers have more power than ever before. The Internet and social media provide them with prices, reviews and other comparative information when researching products and services. Mobile devices allow consumers to search, shop and communicate from anywhere at any time, and cloud-based mobile apps offer countless services and tools designed to make users’ lives and jobs easier.

All of this makes the modern consumer incredibly informed, demanding and discerning, but these same technologies can be leveraged by enterprises on their digital journey to meet the needs and high expectations of consumers. Enterprises that fail to engage customers across multiple touchpoints will eventually lose out to competitors that leverage these same technologies to interact with and attract customers, enhance brand loyalty and recognition and generate more revenue.

The value of digital touchpoints

Enterprises that employ multiple digital touchpoints to interact with customers gain considerable advantages in two ways. First, they are able to have open-ended, real-time conversations with customers, allowing them to provide answers to specific questions, offer and respond to recommendations and create an individualized experience. Second, these digital interactions create an enormous amount of real-time data that can be analyzed to better understand customers, increase conversion rates, suggest new product ideas and discover unexplored markets.

These individual interactions and troves of customer and demographic data can quickly translate into hypertargeted marketing campaigns and superior customer support, both of which can give enterprises a huge competitive edge along their digital journey.

The magic of mobile

Modern digital consumers demand flexibility and responsiveness — nobody is willing to be put on hold by customer service for 15 minutes. Rather, enterprises must communicate with customers promptly and on their terms, whether that’s through a website, blog post, mobile app, Facebook, Twitter or streaming media.

Because consumers have a highly personalized relationship with their smartphones, mobile technology provides enterprises with a unique platform for deepening engagement with customers while gathering valuable data about their habits, tastes and preferences. In turn, this allows them to deepen customer relationships even further.

For example, enterprises can leverage geolocation information and search data from personal mobile devices to offer special limited-time deals or suggest restaurants to nearby consumers. Data about a customer’s mobile app usage provides enterprises with valuable feedback about what works within the user interface and what doesn’t. This enables mobile developers to create apps that deliver personalized interactions and lead to delighted customers and higher conversion rates.

Customer connections take flight

For example, Air Canada improved customer satisfaction while cutting transaction processing time by creating mobile apps that extended the self-service functionality offered to customers through airport kiosks.

“We were intrigued by the concept of the mobile phone as a travel companion that would enable customers to connect to us where and when they wanted,” said Patrice Ouellette, director of customer solutions and innovations for Air Canada. “More fundamentally, we saw the opportunity to transform aspects of our self-service into more of a real-time dialogue with customers.”

Mobile technology allows Air Canada to provide customers with real-time information regarding flight changes or delays and targeted special deals.

“These benefits show the distinct advantage that mobile solutions have in embedding themselves into the fabric of customers’ lifestyles, which makes them such a powerful tool for strengthening customer loyalty,” Ouellette explained.

Learn more about furthering your digital journey

IT professionals and business decision-makers attending IBM’s Amplify 2016 conference this week can learn more about how they can engage customers effectively in the digital age through insights from yesterday’s breakout session, “DBV-1609: A Digital Journey: Transform Your Business with IBM Digital Experience, Commerce and MobileFirst.” The session highlighted how IBM is helping enterprises interact through multiple digital and traditional channels to increase sales and brand loyalty by engaging with customers in a personalized way.

Written By

Chris Nerney

Freelance Writer

Chris Nerney writes about enterprise technology, healthcare finance and IT, and science for a number of websites and enterprises. Chris has written extensively about big data and analytics, mobile technology, cloud computing, the healthcare revenue cycle, value-based care, data centers,…

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