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How digital transformation, technology are redefining the game

Customer service is undergoing a rapid metamorphosis!

This is driven by the ever-increasing influence of technology and digital transformation. Gone are the days of limited client support over landline telephones. Customers, in this day and age, demand a multi-faceted experience tailored to their needs.

They expect a seamless, frictionless and hyper-personalized service across every customer channel or touchpoint. This is where technology and digital transformation come in to play a huge transformative role in reshaping customer service!

As such, businesses are embracing an agile, multi-channel approach – offering options like Social Media engagements on platforms like WhatsApp, X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, and the latest kid on the block: TikTok. This is in addition to WebChats, Chatbots and video chats in some more advanced parts of the world.

This massively empowers customers with a variety of options to choose their preferred mode of engagement – with most, especially the tech-savvy preferring chat – leading to enhances convenience and customer experience.This was underscored by Marc Benioff – a renowned American entrepreneur and philanthropist who once said that “Every digital transformation is going to begin and end with the customer, and I can see that in the minds of every CEO I talk to.” Powerful!

With the rise of self-service and rapid automation, technology has brought in options that empower customers  to seek for solutions on their own terms. Websites, knowledge bases, FAQs, and Chatbots equipped with Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) can ably address common, repetitive inquiries in a matter of seconds. Astonishing!

This, therefore, frees up people to focus on more complex matters like strategy, product development, business development, stakeholder engagement, more nuanced market research rooted in the local context, etc. This not only improves an organization’s efficiency, but also allows for the resolution of customer queries faster and easily.

With the ever-advancing technology and use of tools like the CRM systems (Customer Relationship Management), companies are able to gather huge amounts of client data. By deploying analytics and dashboards, organizations are able to hyper-personalize their customer service experience.

In a single interface, an intelligent system like the CRM can pop-up past customer interactions across different channels, transaction history in terms of frequency, spend, volume, product/ service line, etc. in just seconds. This meticulous level of attention to detail helps to make a customer feel truly cared about.

It fosters a deeper attachment to the company and builds stronger customer loyalty – creating Brand Ambassadors. At Old Mutual Life Assurance (U) Ltd., we have since embarked on that journey – in line with one of our Core Values of ‘Champion the customer’. At the beginning of this year, 2024, we launched the Old Mutual Life Yo – our web-based ePortal for our retail clients to self-serve in many ways.

These include but are not limited to viewing Premium Statements, beneficiaries, policy benefits payable, premium payment options and transaction history, among others. Our clients can access the portal on lifeug.uapoldmutual.co.ug. Further automations are lined up in a phased, agile manner to enable us continuously meet and exceed our esteemed clients’ expectations – all in line with our vision of ‘Transforming Lives and Enabling Financial Goals’.

Whereas automation offers immense value to both companies and customers, it is very important to note that human interaction remains a key part of customer service. Technology and digital transformation should not replace the human touch, but rather enhance it. By freeing people from repetitive tasks, it allows them to focus on more complex issues and provide a more empathetic and hyper-personalized service.

In conclusion, therefore, the digital landscape is continuously evolving. This implies that customer expectations will continue to shift with the different generations. As such, companies that pro-actively embrace digital transformation and leverage technology effectively and efficiently will definitely thrive!

The writer is the customer experience manager at OldMutual Life Assurance (U) Ltd. He is also a Senior Financial Advisor and Certified financial literacy coach.

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