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Monday, 27 December 2021 11:54

DigiCulTS project

Digital transformation in SMEs: Experience over transaction

Since the outbreak of the pandemic and through 2020 and 2021, it seems that the customer acquired a form of superpowers, where online discovery and choice were the prevailing mode of interaction when purchasing goods and services online. This in turn made virtual relationships with the customer the top priority of the companies. Digitizing a business is clearly not enough for any company, however small or large, to compete in the new economy environment and modes of shopping, which have acquired a strong element of experimentation on behalf of the customer.

Brand loyalty and the ever-growing expectations of customers in online interactions when shopping online, exceed the limitations of just some basic, functional digital touchpoints. Companies should more and more embark on a process which integrates processes, functions and systems supporting them, which will form memorable interactions, corresponding to a customer-centered approach with high levels of personalization and experiences, that “great” products or services can’t offer themselves. Eventually, shopping methods as being established should be perceived firstly through - and in terms of - a digital lens, rather than simply facilitating transactions in a digital world and economy.

Talking about digital transformation in companies, involves then reimagining customer experience and the operations that would facilitate sit. The best way to respond to this challenge is to place customer experience at the heart of a company. This would imply a holistic view of a customer through all operational levels of a company. A recebt survey by HBR has shown that only a fraction of companies at global level have managed to put in place a holistic customer experience organizational model, that would consistently monitor and encourage customer engagement and experience online – meaning by that, the flow of data and customer insights across company departments that would allow for opportunities for further personalization and enrichment of virtual relationships of trust with the customer. 

This trend is prevailing in the approach and intervention of our project DigiCulTS (funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union), where digital transformation is considered as a cultural shift not only in the way that people buy products and services online, but more importantly, as a mode of conceiving relationships in a digital economy. Touching upon the core elements and aspects of digitization and digital transformation and from there on into that demanding task of creating online trust as the cornerstone of customer relationships, our training provision for SMEs offers a wide range of tools, practices – even organizational philosophies – that would successfully place an SME within the new rules of competing in the market.


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