Today we sat down with one of the newest members of the SMG team, Chris Bosco, to learn more about the ever-expanding role digital is playing across industries and how brands can optimize their digital transformation efforts to better serve customers and employees.
Welcome to the team. What attracted you to SMG?
There were two major factors that affected my decision to join SMG: the company’s reputation and its culture. It was extremely important I dedicate my next 20 years to a company that aligned with my own ideals and is revered by its peers and clients. As I discussed SMG with my colleagues across industries, I kept hearing how incredible the company was to work with and how well thought of they were by clients and even competitors. Throughout the recruiting process and since joining the team, the feeling that I made the right choice has only been reinforced by the amazing people I have met.
With 20+ years of experience in digital, what remains the same and what are a few of the biggest changes you’ve witnessed?
A couple of the larger changes with digital are the proliferation of data we generate and share (intended or unintended) and the lowering of the bar to access and use digital technologies. What in your home isn’t now connected? Everything is “smart,” from appliances and phones to lights and cars. We’re interacting with the digital world constantly, even if we don’t know it. This creates an amazing wealth of data, but it can overwhelm companies if they don’t know how to effectively listen and act.
The second major change I have seen is the improved access to digital solutions. In the beginning of this evolution, access was limited to the tech-savvy. Think of what it took to set up a computer or for that matter, a VCR! Now anyone can set up a commerce site or a smart home and engage with people across the globe with just a few clicks. This means customers interacting with digital solutions and channels represent an incredible spectrum of the population previously untouched.
But while there have been major advancements in this field, one thing remains the same: the basic principle of customer experience. Even if the way you interact with them has changed, putting the customer first in every facet of your business is still most important.
The pandemic has certainly accelerated digital transformation timelines for many organizations. What are some foundational elements of a successful digital experience program?
Probably not a surprise based on my previous answer, but I would say it all starts with the customer. Understanding customer needs is still core to any successful business. COVID-19 has shown we must be nimble to be successful. The days of creating a single experience and relying on it to sustain you for years to come just won’t do. You need to be constantly evaluating your journey, listening to how customer needs are changing, understanding what is influencing them, and then making the appropriate changes at speed and scale to respond.
As we embark on a new year, which digital trends will you be watching the closest over the course of 2021?
As we emerge from the impacts of the pandemic, I will be watching how customer behavior will change and how rapidly these changes manifest. After a tremendous surge in online shopping, contactless pick-up, and home delivery, the question will be “What is the new norm?” We know there will be some shifts that will be permanent, but to what degree and will pre-pandemic models of engagement return?
Brands that overcome digital challenges and lay a solid foundation in 2021 will set themselves up to transform—instead of falling behind. To jumpstart your digital strategy, check out the best practice guide: Navigate the digital transformation without compromising CX.