September 23, 2022

Top Digital Transformation Trends That Drive Customers

No discussion of digital transformation trends is complete without a mention of how the pandemic disrupted every business and industry worldwide. Although many pre-pandemic discussions about modernization revolved around operational efficiency and agility, this doesn’t tell the whole story.

Digital transformation can’t come at the expense of customer experience. If you modernize in such a way that your customer experience lags—or worse yet, suffers—your customers will “reward” you with decreasing loyalty.

Customer demands should always drive digital transformation trends. This is true whether your focus is improving or simplifying the overall experience, providing higher security, or improving the way you deploy updates. Because user experience offers a competitive advantage, listening to your customers and adapting future releases to solve for their needs gives you a leg up over the competition.

Digital Transformation Trends Start With Culture

Digital transformation is as much about developing an agile mindset as modernizing technology. Today’s rapid technological advances empower us to flex quickly with changing market demand. As a result, your company must foster a culture that values and prioritizes how you can shift to achieve your goals better.

Companies that successfully adopt the top digital transformation trends adopt a Product Mindset to prioritize solving for specific needs and minimizing time to value. Everyone in your organization must understand the importance of iterating to deliver ever-better products and services. Impressing this on your team ensures you can best adjust to your customers’ changing needs.

The Role of Hybrid and Remote Teams in a Digital World

Modernization efforts empower your team to support the customer experience, giving them the tools to do their jobs anywhere in the world. After all, one of the biggest digital transformation trends is the development of hybrid and remote teams, which grew rapidly during the pandemic. This trend is here to stay, with 76% of Americans preferring to work from home at least a portion of the time. Using modern infrastructure to support a flexible work environment allows you to attract and retain top talent, which, in turn, allows you to better serve your customers.

Operational Implications of Digital Transformation

So much of the discussion around digital transformation trends centers on streamlining supply chain and logistics. However, while Amazon sets the standard for fast delivery, customer service industry trends focus less on creating an Amazon-style delivery method than on understanding and optimizing the entire supply chain. With this understanding, you can find—or even create—opportunities to manage customer expectations.

Above, we stated that digital transformation industry trends should not focus on operations at the sacrifice of customer experience. However, to clarify and offer a caveat: using customer experience as the primary lens, operational efficiency can and should remain a priority. After all, streamlining your operations can improve profitability while allowing your team to refocus on strategic priorities, including improving customer service.

Unfortunately, streamlining can create fears about job security and discomfort with changing processes. Truthfully, while resistance to change presents the biggest roadblock in successful digital transformation, fear of change has no place in an agile operation. To that end, even if your modernization efforts change the types of job responsibilities, they create opportunities for education or additional training.

Digital Transformation Industry Trends

Regardless of the industry, the goal remains to focus on how to compete and disrupt consumer services industry trends through digital means. Here are some examples of industries experiencing disruption due to digital transformation trends:

  • Digital Banking: Stripe is improving the way businesses are monetizing and selling digital products by making it easier for everyone to accept credit cards.
  • Cloud Migration: Among other benefits, modernizing legacy applications gives businesses greater security. It further allows for improved collaboration and better access to data—regardless of where they are in the world.
  • Artificial Intelligence: Increasing data points deliver a greater ability to predict user and customer behavior. AI allows companies to personalize their marketing and customer service to increase engagement and, in turn, improve satisfaction with the overall experience.
  • Automation: Automation allows a stronger customer experience by lending consistency to how companies engage customers. From email sequences to customer service chatbots and more, it’s now possible to streamline the customer journey like never before.
  • Blockchain: Blockchain is revolutionizing entire industries. It has huge potential impacts on driving better digital customer experience and improving logistics, operations, and security.
  • Security: Agile security is potentially the most important digital transformation trend. Faster iteration and deployment of critical security measures builds greater trust with customers.

The Sustainable Push

Sustainability isn’t so much a digital transformation trend as it is a priority for many consumers. When faced with a choice between two otherwise equal companies, 70% of consumers prefer those that implement sustainable practices where possible.

In using digital transformation to optimize supply chain and logistics and enable greater workplace flexibility, companies can reduce their footprint and uncover additional opportunities for sustainability.

As a result, companies are flocking to modernization efforts that also yield greater sustainability. McKinsey estimates that between now and 2027, a surge of roughly $130 trillion in investments will flood into projects to decarbonize and renew critical infrastructure.”

Digital Transformation Trends Can Change Your Entire Organization

Digital transformation trends touch every stage of the customer journey—and every aspect of your operations. Even if your primary goal is improving app performance, it has repercussions across your organization.

For example, when we transformed the user experience and data integration for Intrafi, we improved access to self-service options. These self-service options directly correlate to a decreased need for bank branch visits and therefore changing the way customer service agents work with customers.

Because changes have ripple effects, it’s imperative that you take a strategic approach to adopting digital transformation trends. By evaluating the byproducts of each modernization initiative you can ensure it’s achievable and solves problems, while accounting for any operational changes. At a minimum, no initiative or release should hinder the customer experience—and most should serve to improve it.

3Pillar Global’s team of experts is devoted to helping companies utilize digital transformation trends that aid strategic priorities and enhance the customer experience. To find out how we can help you, contact us today.

Special thanks to these members of FORCE, 3Pillar’s expert network, for their contributions to this article.

FORCE is 3Pillar Global’s Thought Leadership Team comprised of technologists and industry experts offering their knowledge on important trends and topics in digital product development.