Customers' Digital Services Journey

Lauren Krause
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Today, digital services are broadening the customer service landscape in ways never imagined even a decade ago. Huge, over-the-top players, such as Amazon, Google and Facebook, are redefining the way consumers interact with providers, challenging smaller businesses to adapt or lose market share. Repositioning your brand in this emerging digital services environment is a challenge that must be met with new skills, new ways of thinking and new work design.

In the digital ecosystem, businesses engage with customers across multiple platforms, including social media, digital apps, email, web-based contact forms and feedback solicited through targeted consumer marketing campaigns. Integrating these channels to provide a seamless customer journey requires a business model that coordinates all of these touch points to deliver the right message to the right customer at exactly the right time. The digital services provider model provides a framework that allows all types of businesses to reach this goal.

In the digital services provider business model, all business entities, or providers of customer service, form a cohesive customer-centric team, managing customer input across all platforms in a unified way. Wholesalers, retail vendors, customer service agents, the sales force and even billing departments work together, providing businesses a 360-degree view of the customer and a unique opportunity to steer the customer towards the desired end point.

For example, imagine an encounter in which a customer contacts your live help desk to solve a problem with a newly purchased business machine. In the digital services model, that encounter becomes an opportunity to assess customer satisfaction, inform the customer about services, engage him in a dialog and drive business success. Other touch points, such as mobile apps, provide customer data that gives your company valuable insight into the customer's experience with your product as well as his current and future needs. Integration of this data forms the backbone of a customer profile, allowing you to build credibility by knowing exactly who your customer is and what he wants.

The greatest challenge in the digital services business model is coordinating business entities into a cohesive and seamless whole. Today’s technologically savvy consumer expects nothing short of perfection; if your company fails to perform as promised, the consumer is going to go somewhere else. Time your entry into digital services carefully, and choose only a few content channels at first. As you become more digitally sophisticated, expand your reach gradually as you determine which channels provide the kind of information your business needs to achieve success.

In the 21st-century marketplace, providing a seamless customer journey through all of your business’s processes is crucial to achieving success, but implementing a cohesive customer-centric business model is not an easy task. Carefully planned and judiciously implemented, a digital services provider business model is an excellent way to achieve that end.


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