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The primary stakeholder driving your digital transformation strategy? Your customer.

By Johan van Heerden, Vice President of Engineering, K2

Digital technologies can power true and lasting business transformation. Today, most companies have digitization strategies in place, with goals that vary from improving employee efficiency and reducing costs to minimizing risk and enhancing regulatory compliance programs.

While digital transformation objectives do depend on the industry, company size and business priorities, there is one goal that seems to remain consistent across all companies-namely, creating an exceptional customer experience.

This makes good business sense, given that today's customer is the ultimate driver of the digital transformation movement. Well-connected through various digital tools and apps, modern customers expect their needs to be met quickly and seamlessly by their businesses of choice. Being able to leverage digital capabilities to meet these demands and create high-quality customer experiences is becoming critical to business growth, brand longevity and competitive prowess.

For example, experience-led companies have 1.6 times higher customer satisfaction rates. In addition, consumers who have an emotional connection with a brand have a 306% higher lifetime value. These are powerful data points that reflect just how influential the customer is in your company's journey toward digital transformation.

The tools for transformation

In this context, your company needs digital tools that are agile, intelligent and designed to meet multiple business and customer requirements. No technology can provide all this value on its own, which is why many customer-centric companies are taking a three-pronged approach to build business optimization apps that combines artificial intelligence, digital process automation and robotic process automation. 

Let's look at how these technology categories can work together to deliver a successful customer-centric digital transformation strategy.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) - Cognitive services perform tasks that would normally require human intelligence, helping speed up processes and meet customers' needs faster. AI capabilities include deciphering meaning from unstructured data, learning from experience and synthesizing natural language.

customer experience. For example, AI can be used to extract text from customer emails, pull out relevant data points and then use that data as reference points for the company's chatbots that interact with external customers, ensuring consistent questions are effectively answered.

Digital process automation (DPA) - DPA refers to a set of workflow design tools that allow you to standardize and automate internal processes across your business to boost employee productivity, improve data accessibility and enhance the customer journey.

Previously time-draining, routine work can be automated, allowing staff to concentrate on more strategic, empowering components of their roles. This could include paying more attention to key accounts and solving complex customer problems more rapidly. Ultimately, DPA can be used as a tool to make your business more efficient and responsive. 

Robotic process automation (RPA) - RPA is the execution engine for processing rule-based, data-centric tasks using the same applications and systems that human employees utilize. An RPA "bot" can mimic the keystrokes and mouse clicks that a staff member would carry out, thus automating repetitive internal tasks.

This technology can increase accuracy and throughput. And from a customer perspective, electronic bots can eliminate errors and speed up back-office tasks, enabling staff to conduct customer-facing processes more efficiently.

How these capabilities work together

AI, DPA and RPA can be combined to meet customer expectations more effectively and with much less manual effort. 

For example, when a customer encounters an issue during an interaction with a company and submits a request to the business via email, an RPA bot can automatically intercept the email and draw on AI/cognitive technology capabilities to extract context and determine the appropriate response to the customer.

The RPA bot can then escalate the customer request into the DPA platform for process management and collaboration. Here, the DPA technology can update the customer request with the additional information and assign tasks to the relevant resources to take actions that will effectively address the customer's request. These resources could be RPA bots or humans, depending on the nature and complexity of the actions required.

Looking ahead

Ultimately, the success of a digital transformation strategy depends on its ability to improve the experience of the customers using your system and interacting with your brand.

Forward-thinking organizations understand this and are narrowing in on leading-edge technologies like DPA, RPA and AI to optimize the user experience during digital transformation and foster a more loyal following from customers.

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About the Author

Johan van Heerden 

Johan van Heerden is the vice president of engineering with K2. He has been with the company for 15 years with experience delivering and managing K2's cloud solutions across North America and the company's global partners. Johan has a proven track record working and leading in the computer software industry. Prior to joining K2, he was a software developer with Mayibuye Group.

Published Tuesday, March 17, 2020 7:35 AM by David Marshall
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