COVID-19 Has Accelerated Digitization Of Customer Relations
The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has moved consumers to increasingly adopt on-line channels, and businesses have quickly responded, McKinsey said. The speed of that response has increased dramatically compared to the adoption of digitized customer interactions.
Worldwide, 58 percent of customer interactions were digital as of July 2020, McKinsey found. That compares to only 36 percent of customer interactions as of December 2019, which was before the pandemic impacted business, and only 20 percent in May 2018. For North America, the shift towards digitized customer interactions has been more dramatic, with 65 percent of all customer interactions being digital in July 2020 compared to 41 percent in December 2019 and 25 percent in May 2018.
“Respondents are three times likelier now than before the crisis to say that at least 80 percent of their customer interactions are digital in nature,” McKinsey wrote.
Globally, about 55 percent of products and/or services are fully or partially digitized as of July 2020, compared to 35 percent in December 2019 and 28 percent in May 2018, both before the pandemic. About 60 percent of products and/or services in North America were fully or partially digitized as of July 2020, compared to 41 percent in December 2019 and 34 percent in May 2018.
Rates Of Change Are Uneven
McKinsey found industry variances in the adoption of digitization since the pandemic started. Where manufacturing is an important part of the business, the change in the adoption of digitization was not as significant. However, in industries such as healthcare, pharmaceuticals, financial services, and professional services, the jump in digitization was almost twice that of consumer packaged goods industries.
Within a company, both the consumer-facing parts of the business and the internal operations, including back-office, production, research and development, and supply chains had similar rates of digital transformation.