How Digital Transformation Upgrades Customer Experience in Different Industries

Building your business around the customer is not new. We all know the saying: The customer is always right. But in today's market, customer service is not just about making sales. New digital technology offers businesses in all industries the chance to create lasting customer experiences.
19 min read
9/02/21
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How Digital Transformation Upgrades Customer Experience in Different Industries

With roughly 60% of the world's population using the Internet, the digital landscape is changing quickly. To stay ahead of the curve, companies in a variety of industries need to transform and implement new technologies in their day-to-day operations.

Let's look at how digital transformation can help companies in the healthcare, finance, banking, payments, insurance, and retail sectors outperform competitors.

Digital Transformation in Healthcare

As the number of healthcare records skyrockets and customers begin to demand new services, healthcare companies must turn toward digitization to stay afloat.

Let's discuss which segments will see the greatest benefits from this digital revolution.

On-Demand Services

In 2017, it took a new patient an average of 24 days to see a physician face to face, according to a survey examining patient experiences in 15 major U.S. cities. But new products like Doctor on Demand offer no wait times and 24/7 telehealth services.

In response, hospitals have started offering on-demand services. This was aided by a 2020 decision by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to allow for 80 more services to be offered via telehealth.

The problem here is incorporating these new services into existing software solutions, which is essential for hospitals to track the efficiency of virtual healthcare and monitor patient's health.

Collection and Processing of IoT Data

Today there are more IoT devices than humans on the planet, which totally changes the way healthcare providers organize their monitoring process. They must safely store and efficiently process the data IoT devices provide. Asthmapolis, a digital health startup, is using big data to spot asthma trends in the population. They use GPS to track how often inhalers are needed, including where and when they are used. This allows for more professional client services and prevents shortages.

Old-fashioned healthcare players are adopting new trends, which has led to new concepts like "smart hospitals." The new approach to using IoT data together with artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics allows for more efficient collaboration between hospital departments, patients, pharmacy suppliers, and other participants in the healthcare ecosystem.

Analysis of Factors Affecting IoT-based Smart Hospital Design, Banu Çalış Uslu, Ertuğ Okay & Erkan Dursun (2020)

Source: Analysis of Factors Affecting IoT-based Smart Hospital Design, Banu Çalış Uslu, Ertuğ Okay & Erkan Dursun (2020)

Before planning how to adopt IoT data, consider all the data sources you'd like to combine in one solution and how you might store and process this data. Otherwise, there is a high risk that your data platform will not be scalable enough to guarantee fast ETL (extract-transform-load), analysis, reporting, and data mining processes.

AI-Driven Predictions

AI is already used by healthcare providers. AI-driven virtual assistants support patients while prediction solutions help doctors with diagnosis and assessment. This market is expected to grow by 32% over the next six years.

Grand View Research, 2020

Source: Grand View Research, 2020

This trend opens a wide range of opportunities for new products. For instance, Sensely's virtual health assistant Molly helps patients monitor their health in between visits. Using AI and ML, the app provides active monitoring and follow-up care. Like Sensely, AiCure's Patient Connect App uses AI and a smartphone camera to support patients with severe conditions and those undergoing medical trials.

When implementing AI software, it is important to pay attention to the quality of predictions it provides and the scalability of its opportunities. Doing this will ensure fast and reliable predictions. Dedicated specialists can help your company find and address these challenges.

Digital Transformation in Financial Services

Today, 68% of financial service companies have a strategy for digital transformation. However, just 14% are implementing that strategy, largely because the industry has been slow to adopt new technologies. Yet, digitization has many proven benefits, including enhanced customer experiences.

On the customer-facing side, there are mobile apps, eWallets, AI bots, and online banking, all of which can increase customer satisfaction. But companies must also focus their attention behind the scenes and enhance their fraud prevention, cybersecurity, as well as optimize their legacy systems. Let's take a closer look at the digital transformation trends in financial services this year.

AI-Driven Infrastructure

Almost every financial institution uses AI for risk analysis. However, there is still room for improvement. Firstly, not all the operational directions are equipped with AI-driven helpers. Secondly, a lot of providers use inefficient workflows, which results in high costs and lost deals. The major reason for this is a lack of in-house data expertise and insufficient experience orchestrating large datasets.

According to Amazon Web Services, financial institutions implementing AI/ML are similar in the following ways:

  • They use a secure infrastructure.
  • Self-service capabilities allow for training and deployment models.
  • While deploying, they use CI/CD pipeline and change control systems.
AWS Reference Architecture for an AI/ML Pipeline

Source: AWS Reference Architecture for an AI/ML Pipeline.

As a result, AI-driven infrastructure offers more exact predictions, higher security, and faster services.

Blockchain

For fintech companies, blockchain can have a substantial impact on security, privacy and speed. It can also improve the customer experience up to 25%, based on a 95% reduction in errors and a 40% increase in efficiency.

Players in the financial ecosystem use blockchain to create standalone services and improve existing features. For instance, Bluezelle, a Brazilian startup, has worked with a consortium of Singaporean banks, including HSBC, to develop a know-your-customer platform. As a result, the company has seen costs drop by 25-50%.

If you plan to introduce blockchain into your organization, there are several places that are best to investigate:

  • Legacy paper-based services
  • P2P payments
  • Shareholder voting
  • Cross-border payments
  • Trade settlements in capital markets
  • Regulatory compliance

What does this mean for financial institution customers? A blockchain-led digital transformation allows for safer records, faster payments and transactions, and confidence in triggered processes.

Cybersecurity and Data Privacy

Five billion records from financial companies were compromised in 2018. During the first six months of 2019 alone, the number of stolen records exceeded four billion. How does it affect the companies? In 2018, credit firm Equifax saw customer trust evaporate overnight when it reported that 143 million accounts in the United States and 400,000 accounts in the U.K. were breached. On the other hand, companies like Biocatch have built customer trust by using biometrics with AI and ML to discover online behavior patterns. Providing digital intelligence to organizations prevents cybersecurity threats and creates secure customer journeys.

Leveraging technology must be done carefully and intentionally to ensure the maximum benefit for your business. To reduce the risk of a data breach, ensure that you regularly perform the following services:

  • Penetration testing
  • Vulnerability assessment
  • Compliance management (PCI DSS, HIPAA, CCHIT)
  • Security code review
  • Data risk identification and evaluation management

Digital Transformation in Banking

Accenture estimates that the financial services industry could see a $140 billion increase in productivity improvements and savings by modernizing workforce technologies. BNY, for example, uses robotic process automation (RPA) and AI to improve operations at the company. The bots responsible for fund transfers, for instance, have saved the bank an estimated $300,000 annually by eliminating mistakes and accelerating data processing.

Online banks offering these kinds of services create better customer experiences through convenience and personalized solutions.

Data-Driven Personalized Services

Only 37% of CEOs feel that they have some understanding of their customers. USAA Bank, for example, prides itself on offering a personalized user experience by providing customized landing pages based on what their customers use most.

Your company can use its data to create personalized experiences for your customers. To accomplish this, you could try to do this in-house or outsource the project to an experienced company that is well versed in technology for banks and financial institutions.

Automation

If just 7-10% of the current routine tasks were automated, banks could save an estimated $12 billion. Capital One, for example, is improving compliance and efficiency with process automation and AI. Wells Fargo provides an AI-powered chatbot experience on Facebook Messenger. Axis Bank uses RPA with their "Axis Aha" bot to save time during customer-facing processes like opening a bank account.

The success of automation in your business depends on many things, but having a robust data strategy, understanding your process architecture, and hiring an experienced technology company can give your company a competitive advantage.

Virtual Assistants to Serve Clients

Virtual assistant tools offer convenience, speed, and improved accessibility for customers. Bank of America uses an AI virtual assistant called Erica. In the first three months after the tool launched, it helped more than 1 million users.

When taking steps to integrate virtual assistants into public-facing products, it is important to consider how these assistants will blend with your organization. Employees' expectations must be closely managed in order to smoothly integrate the tool. Tech specialists can assess how AI will impact your organization and help you implement the technology.

Mobile and Online Banking

More than 75% of Americans used a mobile device to check their bank account balance in 2019.

Online banks, like N26 (Germany), Chime (US), and Starling (UK), are challenging traditional banks by creating seamless, mobile-first customer experiences. N26 lets you validate your identity with your mobile phone camera and allows you to hold multiple currencies in the same account. Chime offers an improved customer experience with a no-fee account, fast payments, and an expedited sign-up process.

As your company considers enhancing its mobile and online banking platforms, it should consider:

  • The scalability of your solution
  • The level of tool customization and the ability to add new functionalities
  • Access for third-party systems, which are a growing part of the mobile banking ecosystem
>DataArt Case Study, the Model of the Online Banking Platform

Source: DataArt Case Study, the Model of the Online Banking Platform

Digital Transformation in Insurance

Digital technology in the insurance industry leads to lower costs through streamlined operations, increased customer loyalty with personalized customer experiences, and improved competitiveness in the market. Below are good examples of technologies that have been implemented in the insurance industry.

IoT Applications for User-Based Services

IoT has many interesting applications in insurance, including smartwatches that track fitness activity, telematics in cars that determine driving patterns, and home security systems that can analyze whether your wife came home in time. Customers are demanding more personal experiences, and up to 77% are willing to share their private data in exchange for a better experience and cost savings.

For example, Liberty Mutual offered an exclusive discount on customers' policies that installed a Google Nest smoke alarm in their homes. Beam Dental, a dental insurer, uses smart toothbrushes to track how well customers take care of their teeth. In exchange for sharing their data, customers get personalized policies that offer increased savings.

Data-Driven Personalization

Data-driven personalization uses big data to shape and deliver enhanced customer experiences. Insurers who get to know their customers can deliver relevant products and communications and add value through meaningful interactions. For companies that personalize their services, customer retention can be as high as 81% and customer engagement – as high as 89%.

For example, John Hancock, a U.S. insurer, made the bold move to no longer underwrite traditional life insurance policies. Instead, it only sells interactive life insurance where data is tracked with wearable devices.

Customer-Facing Blockchain

Blockchain can save insurers worldwide up to $5-10 billion in admin, data, and process costs. It also has the potential to improve the client experience by speeding up processes, reducing errors, and creating efficient interactions. Improving the verification process for customer information can dramatically improve their experience. Smart contracts, for example, revolutionize the client experience with transparency, security, and convenience.

Teambrella is P2P insurance that lets users offer premiums to each other and vote on claims and policy prices. It uses blockchain to handle secure payments. 

AI-Based Technologies Improve Client-Facing Processes

In the insurance industry, AI has many client-facing benefits, such as using RPA bots to engage with customers. Chatbots can handle 70-80% of queries that come through to insurers and are so efficient at finding answers for customers that they often have to be slowed down to provide more 'human' responses. Chatbot technology adds real benefit to the customer experience by offering access to help at any time of day or night and on any device.

Maya, the chatbot for Lemonade, an online-based insurance company, has helped grow its company to 70,000+ users in 1 year. They offer no human interaction, and Maya uses plain language to engage customers.

Digital Transformation in Retail

Around 50% of shoppers would prefer to use an unattended checkout for convenience and speed. In today's world, customers are even more demanding, and retailers must take advantage of new technology trends if they hope to stay relevant. Below are some examples of technologies used in the retail industry.

Omnichannel Experience

According to UC, 9 out of 10 customers want an omnichannel experience. A true omnichannel experience means that you can interact with a brand on all of their channels, whether online or offline, using any number of devices, and still have a seamless experience. While in the past, the omnichannel experience was limited to an average of two devices, today an average of six devices are the norm for at least 50% of customers. Well-curated omnichannel experiences are critical for great customer experiences. According to Business Insider, customers shop more when they can engage across multiple channels.

The sports retailer Orvis has an award-winning omnichannel strategy. Its staff use a tablet to help customers check out on the spot, pay for online and in-store products, make orders for out-of-stock items, and give product assistance. Since implementing its omnichannel strategy, Orvis has seen a significant increase in business values and a 10% rise in sales.

Data-Driven Personalization

Customers are inundated with advertisements from companies vying for their attention. Many customers now ignore all but the most exciting ads. However, 83% of shoppers want to have a personalized shopping experience because they want to connect on a deeper, more personal level. Personalization serves to make the buying journey more pleasant and convenient, which positively impacts the customer experience. Creating a relationship between the customer and brand enhances the overall shopping experience.

Orvis preinstalls employee tablets with a CRM, so that, once registered, customers can be recognized when they walk into the store. Employees record spending habits, purchase history, and other data points to help the marketing teams create highly personalized offers. Orvis customer capture has risen from 56% to more than 70%.

New Business Models

The retail rules have changed, and increasing customer demands, changes in the economic climate, and advances in technology mean retailers need to adjust quickly to technological advances. A customer-centric business model offers a key point of differentiation for retailers to create value for their customers. According to research from Forrester, customers who receive a high-quality customized service will feel confident to share their experience and return.

For example, Starbucks offers a highly client-centric service. You get 'rewarded' after ten visits: the baristas remember your order, and you can sit and use the cafe's Wi-Fi for as long as you want.

Re-invention of Physical Stores

Brick and mortar stores have been closing rapidly as consumers turn to online shopping as a preferred way to shop. However, some stores are still doing well despite this downturn. These retailers have understood that customers are looking for unique, personalized experiences. Great customer experiences are focused on stores being more flexible and integrating physical stores with an online experience to enrich the buying journey.

Amazon Go are physical stores that have reinvented the way that we shop by removing the need to pay for anything at the point of sale. Built using a mix of AI, data, and computer vision, the technology ensures that customers are charged only for their pick-ups.

Last-Mile Delivery

Last-mile delivery is typically the final part of the transaction, where goods are delivered to the customer. It makes up around 53% of the overall shipping cost and up to 5% of deliveries fail because of poor last-mile strategies. That can be extremely expensive, so an efficient last-mile process should be implemented to remove friction and create a seamless experience. Great customer experiences come about when the customer has some autonomy to schedule the delivery. Keeping customers updated via an app, website, or another online portal is essential, and managing expectations is essential for ensuring a positive experience.

Walmart launched a pilot of its last-mile delivery service called Spark, which operates on a crowdsourced model. Independent drivers pick parcels up from stores and warehouses and deliver them to the customer.

Conclusion

No matter which industry your business is in, be it healthcare, financial services, insurance, or retail, digital transformation is key. In this fast-paced world, improving customer experience is essential for your company to remain relevant.

AI, blockchain, big data, automation, and other transformative technologies are the essential digital tools that will help your organization transform. They will also lead to a change in the way that you do business.

If you're looking to implement digital transformations at your company, turn to DataArt — we know how to make your vision a reality.

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