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2021's top digital trends for customer operations

How to incorporate 2021's top digital trends into your customer experience workflows 

In 2020, businesses were operating in crisis and survival mode, and most customers adapted to new digital operations with patience and understanding during unprecedented times. Now in the new year, the expectations are a bit higher. Customers expect the operational kinks, so to speak, to be worked out and more of the experience and service they’re used to. 

Customers are paying close attention to how all businesses are reacting and pivoting amid our ever-changing economic climate. More still, prospective customers will be watching to see which companies rise to the occasion and find ways to stand out. The stakes are high in 2021, and it will be critical to create seamless digital experiences that give your customers confidence in your relationship.

The business trends driving the digital transformation in customer operations in 2021

Catalytic’s recent guide, “10 Digital Trends Driving Your Operations Strategy in 2021,” details all the ways digital will impact operations across your organization. For customer operations, a few trends in particular will have a big impact on your business in the new year.

Digital fitness is key to business survival

The global pandemic completely upended the business world, and today digital channels are the primary - and sometimes only - way that companies engage with customers and prospects. Quite simply, if you haven’t invested in new operations technology and created new, digital ways to build and nurture relationships, you won’t survive in this COVID business era of uncertainty.  

The use of digital technology also gives you visibility into customer data so you can make more strategic business decisions. This access allows you to see customer activity in real time to better predict behavior, anticipate trends, and shift your operations quickly to meet changing customer behavior.

Cross-functional visibility equals more agility

For a truly differentiating customer experience, your entire organization needs to be in lock step, operationally speaking. This starts with enabling the flow of data, especially between your product, service, and customer-facing teams, so they all can work together efficiently and effectively.

It’s important for your customers to have a seamless, consistent experience with your company throughout their entire lifecycle. How does digital technology enable this? Digital processes increase visibility across your teams and systems. Tactically, this makes it easier to provide real-time, cross-team status updates and react quickly to remove bottlenecks.

AI can increase the performance of your customer teams

Today, companies must strike a balance between delivering real-time communication and support with ensuring that it is targeted and personalized to exact customer needs. Practical uses of AI-enabled technology can help accomplish this. 

For example, at the point of onboarding new customers, AI can weave into your processes to complete rules-based tasks and processes like collecting signatures and ensuring data is complete. This lowers the risk of error and saves time, gets your customers up and running faster, and frees up employees for more valuable, personalized customer interactions.

Top customer operations processes to digitize

Your customer-facing teams need to be diligent about actively managing the customer relationship in the year ahead. Digital technology can take on some of this extra burden, by tracking customer progress, generating deliverables such as reports and presentations, and creating customer-facing calculator tools. 

What does success look like? Investment firm Hyde Park Angels used Catalytic to improve the customer experience of 100+ investors. In one month, HPA built a workflow to save over 300 hours of manual work per year in its process for investor account setup and notifications. Ultimately, Hyde Park Angels decreased this process’ manual effort by 80% while enabling a better customer experience.

For more more specific ways that digital technology can enhance and optimize your customer operations in 2021, continue reading the guide below.


3 ways to take action on digitizing your customer operations in 2021

For a complete list of the 10 digital trends driving operations strategies in the year ahead and a breakdown of what this means for customer experience teams, read our guide complete with more examples of specific processes you should target to make business impact in 2021.

Read the guide

Written by Catalytic