Digital Transformation and Customer Engagement

The evolution to digital technology is changing the way businesses operate and creating new opportunities for organizations across every industry. While the move to digital has been in motion for some time now, in 2016, digital transformation appears to be taking center stage with organizations re-framing business models and investing heavily in the technologies they believe will help them compete and succeed in an increasingly digital world.


What is Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation is the idea that through technology organizations can enable their employees to be more productive and drive value for customers. As Microsoft defines it, digital transformation is: The realignment of or investment in new technology, business models, and processes to drive value for customers and employees and more effectively compete in an ever-changing digital economy.”

But what does digital transformation mean for your business? As such a broad concept it can be hard to nail down exactly what your business’ digital journey should look like and how you should get there. To start it helps to think about the outcomes you wish to achieve as you invest in your organization’s digital transformation. Generally, these can be broken down into four primary buckets:

  1. Engage Customers
  2. Empower Employees
  3. Optimize Operations
  4. Transform Your Products

In this post we are going to focus on the first outcome, Engaging Customers. This is the first in a series of posts that will explore these four pillars of digital transformation.


Engaging Customers Through Digital Transformation

One of the primary drivers of digital transformation is the ability to better engage with and meet the needs of 21st century consumers. This means harnessing the power of data to draw actionable intelligence and predictive insights to determine what consumers want and need. In a study conducted by Microsoft, entitled The 2016 State of Digital Transformation, it was discovered that, “More than half (55%) of those responsible for digital transformation cite ‘evolving customer behaviors and preferences’ as their top driver of digital transformation.” And yet the same study found that “to date only half (52%) of companies currently have a customer research program in place to better understand digital customer behaviors.”

One primary tool for helping businesses gain insight into this essential customer behavior and preference data, as well as to expand into new markets, is a customer relationship management (CRM) system. A CRM can help organizations gain a full 360-degree view of their customers so they can then better market and sell through personalized strategies that target consumers with what they want, when they want it. Pandora, a consumer goods company that sells high-end jewelry at an affordable price is looking to use their CRM to do just that — helping them along their digital journey as they look to improve the shopping experience for customers. As Phillip R. Kennedy, Director of Information Technology at Pandora Jewelry, explained:

“’We’re going to make the shopping experience more personal, so that when a customer walks into any location that sells our jewelry, the retailer will know who she is, what she’s purchased, and what she’s interested in, and will have what she needs. We wanted tools that would enable us to build a closer relationship with customers, both online and in stores, and that’s what we got with Microsoft Dynamics CRM.”

While a CRM is a hugely beneficial tool in any company’s digital transformation, not all CRMs are created equal. Top-tier CRMs will offer the ability to integrate with other essential software, such as ERP software and BI software, and be utilized across departments, so that data can be stored and accessed in one centralized system that benefits all business functions. In addition, a top-tier CRM should be customized to your specific industry vertical so you can get the most utility out of your CRM and begin or continue along your digital journey without hitting any roadblocks.


Let Hitachi be Your Sherpa

Transformation of any kind is a journey and that is certainly true of digital transformation. In order to successfully and efficiently transform your business, it helps to have a guide — a Sherpa if you will — who can lead the way, who has done it before, who can warn of dangers and provide encouragement in the face of obstacles. That’s where Hitachi comes in. As you take the next step on your digital journey and look to technology such as CRM to help you engage customers and personalize your marketing and sales efforts, Hitachi can help guide you. With decades of experience in a wide range of industries, Hitachi is uniquely positioned to provide expert guidance when it comes to implementing and utilizing CRM, ERP and BI software for your vertical. As implementation specialists, Hitachi can help you take your vision from conception to execution and guide you along every step of your digital journey, starting with the first crucial step of engaging customers.

Want to learn more about transforming your business to better engage customers and compete in your market? Microsoft has recently launched a new product called Dynamics 365, which promises to transform the way companies do business from start to finish. If you would like to discuss this new release or just talk about ways to use CRM technology to enhance your business and progress your digital transformation, contact one of the implementation experts at Hitachi Solutions.

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Your Digital Transformation Playbook

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