We’ve all been there, running from store to store like our lives depend on it. The holidays just around the corner, and nothing stopping us from getting what we need to enjoy the season with friends and family. Except, maybe, those pesky checkout lines. You know the ones I mean. The kinds that wrap around the aisles of “impulse buys” like book lamps no one is ever going to use and novelty magnets with someone’s name printed across it in fancy script to make it feel “special”. And who has time to wait in that line when you need to buy things for mom and dad and your sister and your nephew and …
Long story short, life and all its ups and downs can be overwhelming, and we’re all looking to the businesses we frequent to help make it as easy as possible to get at least some things done.
This is where Digital Transformation comes in. Instead of leaving customers to those days sitting in lines that stretch across the store, many businesses are hard at work trying to make the customer experience as seamless as possible, through the use of digital technology.
If you’re still wondering what exactly digital transformation is, it’s the integration of technology into aspects of a business for the betterment of the customer experience. And it’s no joke! Studies have shown that businesses which put their customers first and transform digitally perform better overall,with higher chances for customers to try new products or services, recommend the brand to others, and even be return customer s even if prices might be a bit higher.
Digital transformation is key to achieving a loyal customer base. It is this idea that leads me to my next point: You need to know what your customers want to have success with digital transformation. And what better way to find out what your customers want than to digitally transform your research?
Understanding the customer experience is at the core of MROCs (Market Research Online Communities), and it’s also at the core of successful digital transformation. Customers know what they want and putting them into the driver’s seat and letting them guide business decisions is going to make it far easier to provide them with the best possible experience.
Now, here’s where it’s important to remember that not all people are going to be the same and not all people are going to want the same things. So, when looking into taking those steps to transform digitally, here are some things to consider – which MROCs can help provide:
- Listen to a broad range of voices – MROCs provide diverse communities that make up your representative consumer base, so you’ll never be leaving anyone behind!
- Take your time and map out what your customers need – Some things can’t be answered in a day, a week, or maybe even in a month. It can take time to understand all the facets of what’s going to make your transformation successful. By taking the time to run multiple research topics through an MROC, and look at their results as a larger picture, all with the same group of people, you’re going to have a better understanding of what your consumers are looking for.
- Don’t lose the human element by going digital – It’s tricky! People want fast paced and convenient and that instant gratification, but they also want their experiences to still feel human and personal. MROCs can help keep the human element in the research through the utilization of professional moderators, making that connection and helping keep things natural even through a digital research platform! Not only do they provide a human element, but they can also make sure to get at the emotions of customers, to understand – on an empathetic level – what customers really need and what they are looking for.
At the heart of it, digital transformation is all about putting the consumer first – which is always a worthy goal in any customer service industry. We can all sit down and talk all day about what we think consumers need, but no one is going to know better than consumers themselves! I know this is a point raised earlier, but I’d like to take a moment to also look at it in a different light; one that focuses more on MROCs and how they can help you achieve this knowledge. And this is the concept of proactive research.
Now, I’m sure we’re all familiar with reactive research, as it is far more common. You have an idea for a product or service, you put it in front of some of your consumer base, you get them to react and see how they feel about it, and from there you make a business decision. That’s all well and good, sure! But let’s take a moment to think about how productive this kind of research really is…
In reactive research, your creative team is going to take time, effort, and possibly a decent amount of funds to figure out what they need to make their idea work. Everyone might think it’s a great idea! And it might be a great idea, but then, when you put it in front of your customers – the people who matter most – it might not gain the reaction everyone hoped for, causing the team to go back to the drawing board with a loss.
Proactive research can help you avoid this fate and it’s one of the biggest perks to MROCs! Having an instant sample at your disposal allows you to go to your consumer base early in the creation process. Or even include them in the creation process through online activities such as our CrowdWeaving methodology. This type of research allows your consumers to guide you, and allows you to react to their needs, rather than try to read their minds about what it is they want.
And this is what digital transformation is all about. Providing a customer-centric experience.
Your customers are looking to you for the best customer experience. They’re there and eager and waiting, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to engage with them and make them feel seen!