PhotoIn a recent report, we detailed how holiday sales increased by 4% year-over-year in 2016. Experts with the National Retail Federation pointed to a growing economy as the main contributor, but they also said that online and non-store sales had a big impact, rising 12.6% from the previous year.

This trend isn’t exactly surprising. Online sales have been growing for some time now as consumers turn to the internet to get needed items instead of visiting brick-and-mortar locations. Many companies have responded appropriately, boosting their online capabilities to keep their customers. However, experts at Syntel – a digital modernization servicer – believe that improving not only online capability, but the online customer experience will be key to future success.

“Retailers are accountable to customers, and their success is measured not just in terms of the quality of the products they offer, but also by the quality and consistency of the customer experience. . . Business leaders need to recognize the impact of digital technologies on their business operations, as well as their ability to help retain and increase market share,” said Rakesh Khanna, CEO and President of Syntel.

Improving customer relationships

Improving customer satisfaction isn’t at all a new idea, but refocusing on it may be vital in a technologically advancing world. In 2015, research company Gartner predicted that over 50% of companies would change their business models to improve the customer experience by 2018, and recent trends seem to indicate that companies are moving in that direction.

But how exactly should companies go about improving customer service? Khanna says that using services like automation, real-time data, and social media can help companies improve efficiency and increase engagement. Integrating new technologies quickly can also help put some companies over the top.

“Those who invest in these technologies first will have an advantage in tomorrow’s marketplace, and the steps they take now will determine their future success. CEOs must be able to see the big picture, especially how integrating digital across the business can increase customer engagement and deliver efficiency that improves customer satisfaction across the entire purchasing experience,” said Khanna.

Additionally, Khanna says that companies and businesses who aren’t up to snuff when it comes to integrating new technologies might be wise to seek outside partners who specialize in the area.

“Businesses cannot start this digital transformation journey alone; they need partners who specialize in implementing and integrating digital systems across the enterprise in order to seamlessly transform their business model.”

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