The stats don't lie

9 Forrester Digital Transformation Statistics You Must Know to Give Your Customers the Digital Customer Experience they Demand

Digital transformation isn’t about bolting new tech on to your old problems. At its core, digital transformation is about ditching tired tactics and making a wake where true innovation and creativity can ride.

But companies struggle to abandon their decades-old tactics that were once successful. The vast majority of companies haven’t moved the needle in customer experience for nearly 25 years. And only 36 percent of contact centers use any form of cloud technology.

Contact centers struggle to make their wake when it comes to digital improvements. Companies might invest in new tools and technology, but they seek quick fixes and a tech stack that can make things better, for now.

In reality, though, digital transformation requires a mind-shift. Contact center and company leaders alike have to throw their once successful models out the window to adapt to the changing demands of customers. And it’s hard. No one wants to give up on something that once proved value.

But your customers demand more. And the era of digital transformation is here to support consumers on their quest for better. And we’re here to help you navigate it all.

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To start, we combed through Forrester Digital Transformation research and plucked out nine must-know facts about companies shifting to the digital era and transforming their CX in-full.

9 must-know Forrester digital transformation statistics.

1. Forrester says 20% of brands will abandon their customer experience in 2019. Instead, they’ll opt for more traditional methods like price cutting. (Forrester)

Why it matters? Companies have been so unsuccessful in overhauling their CX, that they’re abandoning the idea of improvement entirely. But hacking prices isn’t a lasting strategy. Dishing out coupons might get you a few sales in the short-term, but you can’t buy customer loyalty. You build it. According to Forrester, many companies won’t embrace transformative, disruptive changes, and that’s why they’re failing customers. Moving the needle on customer experience takes an entirely different outlook than most companies are hanging on to – and ~25 years of stalled CSAT scores prove it.

 

2. Up to 93% of companies agree that innovation technologies are necessary to reach their digital transformation goals. (Forrester, commissioned by SAP)

Why it matters: Digital transformation can’t happen without the right tech. (Side bar: It can’t happen without the right people, either). Choosing the right technology is crucial to reaching your goals and inching your company forward on the digital front. Legacy tools and outdated platforms might be new to you, but they’re old solutions that aren’t built for the problems your modern customers (and modern agents) face. Growth-minded companies and leaders choose tools that won’t just work for your company today, but they’ll work 10 years from now, too.

 

3. In 2018, more than 50% of digital transformation efforts stalled out completely, and customer experience fell flat. (Forrester)

Why it matters: There’s a lot of talk around digital transformation, and companies want to make a change. But a few problems come up along the way. Problem 1: Companies don’t know how to transform their business. Problem 2: Companies want a quick fix and won’t overhaul the way they work. Even when they need to. Even when what they’ve been doing for 20 years is broken. Technology vendors need to do more to take the reins and guide companies towards a successful transformation. With enough strategy, support, and action, companies can take the steps they need to succeed.

 

4. Some 25% of CIOs will take more authority over digital transformation efforts this year. (Forrester)

Why it matters: Top-level buy-in for your most important CX initiatives matters now more than ever. Digital transformation can’t happen in a vacuum. And the involvement of so many departments across a company puts the weight of transformation on the C-suite’s shoulders. Forrester predicts that this year, more C-level execs will realize how critical digital transformation is to their success. They’ll step in and take initiative to get the full company on board, so they can boost revenue and customer outcomes.

“Arguably the most important outcome of 2019 is that leading CIOs will build a model that translates tech-led innovation into customer value.”

 

5. Almost 60% of enterprises in North America rely on public cloud platforms. That’s five times the percentage that did only 5 years ago. (Forrester)

Why it matters: Investments point to the cloud. Legacy technology is being phased out of businesses as the flexibility and scalability of cloud platforms steps into the limelight. With the majority of systems living in the cloud, getting a premises-based contact center to integrate to your other cloud tools will only get more painful.

 

Read up on how HotSchedules moved to a cloud contact center to connect their business systems seamlessly. And watch the recorded webinar, too.

 

6. 21% of companies believe they’ve completed digital transformation. (Forrester)

Why it matters: If your contact center and your company stop innovating and transforming your business, you’ll fail your customers. Companies who think they’re done with digital transformation don’t understand what it really means. To stay a top player in a world that’s constantly evolving, you have to keep innovating and stay up-to-date with the changing expectations of the customers you serve and the agents you support.

 

7. Intelligent systems will drive 70% of your customer engagements by 2022. (Forrester)

Why it matters: The bots are here. Automation tools and systems that share customer data will be mainstays by 2022. Your agents will bear less of the brunt of admin tasks and shift their focus to top-tier support tasks. And intelligent systems integrate seamlessly and share customer information, so your bots and your agents can deliver personalized service during every interaction.

With 70% of companies making the shift to automation, customer experiences will be streamlined and require much less effort. That means if you’re behind the curve, your customers will feel the pains. Customers will expect service equivalent to companies who drop-ship packages to your front door in two hours, from every brand they interact with.

 

8. Some 63% of customers are satisfied getting customer service from a bot, as long as they can re-route to a live agent if needed. (Forrester)

Why it matters: Bots are your agents’ virtual assistants, not your customers’. Automation tools work for your agents and serve up relevant help to your customers when they can. But customers aren’t satisfied with bots as the only option. Having your agents as their security net, customers are happy to work with a bot and your self-service tools to take care of the easy issues that pop up. But customers still rely on your agents’ expertise and the empathy that bots just can’t provide. Bots are here to stay, but only to work in tandem with your agents (and you!) on crucial tasks that are easy to automate.

 

9. Email overtook voice as the most commonly used customer service channel with 54% of consumers using email to reach out to customers in 2018. (Forrester)

Why it matters: Voice remains a key channel for customers to reach out for help, but email knocking it off its top pedestal gives way to a much larger digital shift. Channels that have existed for decades lose popularity as new, more convenient methods rise. This is what digital transformation is all about. I can email or chat customer support while at my desk at work. I can’t make a call and wait on hold for 30 minutes without putting my priorities on the backburner. Or at least without relinquishing my lunch break to an IVR labyrinth, followed by elevator music and a disgruntled agent. Your customers demand transformation.