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FUTURE-PROOFING

Plan for the unexpected and get your digital experiences future-ready

By our News Team | 2022

The dramatic and rapid move to digital experiences during Covid gives insights as to how to plan for the next black swan event.

While the world has largely reopened and Covid-19 restrictions have eased or fallen away, many customers have stuck with the digital experiences implemented during lockdowns, preferring them to their more traditional ‘in-person’ equivalents.

However, even as the businesses that successfully built great digital experiences take pride in their achievements, it’s easy to forget that they may, at some point. find themselves on the wrong end of the next black swan event.

Future-Proofing

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

So it is critical that organisations do everything in their power to future-proof their digital experiences, emphasises Greg Gatherer, Account Manager at international software development company Liferay Africa. He offers three strategies that will help with this future-proofing process:

1.Be adaptable outside the hype
There is a big difference between future-proofing your digital experiences and jumping on the next hype train. For example, if you’re a manufacturer, you probably don’t need to claim space in the Metaverse just yet. Nor do you need to be integrating NFTs into your sales processes.

Of course, there will always be new technologies that become more useful down the line than they initially appear. Take virtual reality (VR) for example. Manufacturers can demonstrate new pieces of equipment to customers around the globe as long as they have a VR headset and a stable Internet connection. They can also easily train those customers’ employees on the equipment at a fraction of the cost.

However, it’s important to remember that those kinds of features are supplements to the overall digital experience. Digital journeys and experiences only work when you achieve a high level of user engagement. Equally critical, your digital experiences should form a seamless journey that makes it as easy as possible for someone to go from being a potential customer to being a loyal repeat buyer.

2. Use self-service to benefit digital experience platforms
Getting to that point requires the ability to pull in data from a number of disparate sources. That, in turn, makes digital experience platforms (DXPs) critical. DXPs connect disparate data sources into one user experience — for example, a web portal or mobile app.

Digital self-service tools can also be helpful. By streamlining ordering through a self-service portal, you eliminate the need for customers to take time to speak with a customer service representative.

Remember, the foremost goal of digital experiences is to reduce friction throughout the customer journey. That not only means meeting customers where they are, but doing so in a way which makes it as easy as possible for them to take the customer journey they want on those channels.

No matter what new customer-facing technologies become available, connecting data from across the organisation and self-service tools will always be important.

3. Always be adaptable
Over the last two or so years, organisations have learned just how vital good digital experiences are. But the last thing they should do is assume that they’ve now cracked the code and can once again leave things as they are. Taking that route once again leaves them open to shocks.

Instead, they need to constantly adapt to the changing customer environment. Digital experience, like digital transformation, isn’t a static concept. It’s evolving all the time and organisations need to understand that to remain competitive. The right tools can make doing so a lot simpler.

The only thing we know for certain about the future is that it’s uncertain.But that doesn’t mean organisations are powerless to plan ahead.

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