Corona crisis spurring companies to develop customer experience through digitalization

Corona speeding up the digitalization

The Corona hit and there is virtually no one, who would not have been impacted. Companies needed to react swiftly, the way of working changed at sites and many employees were put to work remotely. The common factor is, that digital tools and solutions made it possible. Many of the new ways of working are here to stay. If changes are taking place on an individual level, how much more on a company level. Meanwhile the crisis poses nightmare scenarios for the economy and individuals of which many have already manifested, there is also the other side of the coin.

Turn the perspective upside down to see the situation as a learning and developing opportunity and as a creative process to find new solutions and business models through digitalization. Is it possible to come through the crisis not merely surviving, but even as creating new solutions to conventional ways of doing things that will leverage for long after the crisis is gone? If there is something quite certain about the current crisis, it will change the status quo for good. What is the current mindset and digitalization action plan in your company?

Digitalization is everywhere, what should we focus on?

Digitalization has and will offer great opportunities for companies due its nature of scalability, effectiveness and reachability. With one service or solution you have the potential of reaching the entire globe. All this has been emerging in the industrial sector as well and it has been widely discussed about Industry 4.0., the fourth industrial revolution. What however is the baseline of any business and should be our primary focus, is the customer.

Can we therefore use the Corona time to have a thorough look to digitalization’s impact on the customer experience we offer and how could we improve it further and even sharpen it to exceed our clients’ expectations. Unconventional times require unconventional approaches, and this may give us an opportunity to come up with something new through which we can better serve our customers and clients in the future.

Towards enhanced customer experience

Digitalization’s impacts on how companies interact and relate to their customers are manifold. We have already seen the change in human behavior; customers and people in general are utterly impatient, everything should happen immediately. Even a half an hour wait time in social media platform may be too long. Customer experience indeed plays a major role. Traditionally, the four cornerstones of building a great customer experience have been real-time service, personalization, user-friendliness and technological environment*. These remain valid and digitalization opens new ways to improve them.

Simultaneously, digitalization has also increased the opportunity to sharpen the internal processes smoother and get rid of many of the inconvenient sections of customer experience such as queuing in a line in a bank or repeating our personal information in different phases of the purchasing process*. The bottom line is that digitalization gives almost limitless opportunities to build an edge to the competitors. As we are now forced to do it anyways, we might as well go all the way and use the Corona time as one intensive customer experience and digitalization development time, the best we can, considering the circumstances and challenges we are facing. Once the crisis is over, we have already built an enticing digital customer experience for our clients. Surely this is already taking place in many companies.


Santeri Halonen

Project Researcher, University of Oulu/MicroENTRE

*Digiajan asiakaskokemus Gerdt & Eskelinen (2018)

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