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Tech adoption is linked to customer happiness

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By Dhiren Savla, Chief Information Officer, VFS Global

Technology adoption is increasingly getting influenced by changing customer preferences.
This industry-wide trend has prompted businesses to focus on performance-oriented,
integrated, and innovative solutions from customers. Customers are rapidly adopting new
behaviors, becoming more agile and technology-savvy. As a result, businesses are catering
to a new kind of dynamic buyer. According to research by Finances Online, 35% of business
executives feel that digital transformation helps them satisfy customer expectations more
effectively.

But it is important to remember that digital transformation journeys go way beyond
customer support. It must incorporate all the touchpoints, including the back end of the business process. For best results, IT leaders must equip every department of the organisation with customised tech advancements. Furthermore, leaping digital transformation is the growing demand for personalised services and experiences through which physical spaces will be reconceived and consumer journeys will be supported far beyond a brands front door. A recent McKinsey & Company study found that 71% of customers want businesses to provide personalised experiences and 76% get frustrated when they don’t receive the same. This indicates that consumers today demand personalisation. Thus, to truly achieve customer happiness with digital innovations, below are some factors to consider.

– Understand customer needs to innovate
The key question for brands in terms of getting closer to their customers is straightforward: how granular can your business be when it comes to knowing specific customer needs? The ideal way to respond to this question boils down to a simple answer; companies must thoroughly comprehend their customers, and needs, and then examine where their business, competitors, and the entire industry are lacking. This will help them recognise and solve what they’re doing wrong, address gaps and work towards creating customer-friendly technology.

– Optimise data and customer feedback
According to the 2020 ACA Survey, 96% of customers will leave a brand for abysmal customer service, which means less than 4%—are willing to stick around if a brand does not provide the service they expect. Feedback forms and surveys help brands introspect and invest in technology that could uplift customers & experience.

– Encourage cross-departmental collaboration

Given the emergence of technology as a key business driver, cross-departmental collaboration is imperative to understand customer needs better. Therefore companies must encourage greater collaboration between tech teams and key business units to enhance end-to-end customer experience.

In addition to the above point, organisations must always keep in mind the dynamic nature
of customer wants and must be mindful of what’s happening around the world to stay
ahead of the emerging tech trends and get an early head start to address any unforeseen
circumstances. For example, during the pandemic, where heightened expectations of
customers confronted corporates, we at VFS Global accelerated our digital initiatives to
make the visa application process faster, contactless, and ever more convenient. To reduce
customer anxiety, we rolled out a Digital Document Check (DDC) for applications for certain client governments, allowing customers to upload documents before visiting a visa
application center.

In addition, personalised services such as visa at your doorstep were expanded to enable customers with an option to complete the entire visa application experience from the comfort of their homes, offices, or any location of their choice.

Today, the world is at a tipping point in its transition to a complete digital ecosystem. Customers now want highly efficient user journeys from all businesses, requiring little to no
data entry and no intervention or assistance. They anticipate businesses to respond quickly
to all their demands and find smart solutions. In such a situation, the way a company
enhances its technological prowess will truly determine the growth trajectory of the
organisation in the long run.

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