Digital disruption is top of mind in today's industries. 87% of companies think that digital advancement will disrupt their industry, but only a mere 44% are prepared.
If you Google "digital transformation", you'll get back hundreds of blogs boasting its importance. However, for many businesses, it's still an abstract concept. The outcome or benefit of a digital transformation project is unique in almost every application, adding to the confusion. There isn't a one-size-fits-all benefits statement, such as: "If you launch a digital transformation project, you'll cut costs by 25%.". Projects vary by objective, some clients aim to cut costs, others to attain new operational efficiencies or improve the customer experience. All of this is to say that, business leaders need a trusted Digital Transformation advisor, more than ever, to help navigate through the maze of SaaS providers. They need a partner that can transform a digital vision into reality.
Helping clients realize their digital vision starts with reviewing existing processes and workflows, identifying opportunities for improvement, then implementing the most appropriate technology. If you're a trusted technology consultant, here are concrete steps to a productive digital transformation dialogue?
Three foundational elements of many digital transformation projects - data, workflows, and customer experience.
The smartest digital companies are hyper-focused on making the most use of their data
We too often see clients with data dispersed between multiple applications, from QuickBooks to spreadsheets or contact management systems. This disorganization severely limits the business's ability to convert that valuable data to revenue and improve the customer experience. When data is scattered, it's impossible to action the data or simply make the data accessible to stakeholders anywhere and on any device. Actionability is perhaps the greatest benefit of digital transformation. Examples of actionable data is sales process automation where sales systems augment sales efforts through automated workflows. Or automated email/text messaging for reminders, reorders or marketing messages.
When helping our clients realize their digital vision we focus on:
- Standardize on a data platform, Salesforce, Microsoft or Zoho.
- Integrate and automate all data input points. Examples of data input points are online webforms, emails, business cards, linkedin etc.
- Democratize the data, providing all key stakeholders with access to the data from any device.
- Action the data. Actionability is the foundation for automating many of the tedious tasks that zap productivity in businesses today.
Optimize Processes and Automate Workflows
25% of the workweek for many knowledge workers is spent on manual and repetitive tasks!
Analog processes and tedious data entry work sap productivity one click at a time. Many business leaders don't fully appreciate how much time can be saved and productivity earned by applying workflow technology to their operational processes.
Optimize Processes from Left to Right. Review a client's operational processes starting from how they market and sell their wares, then moving to product or service fulfillment and lifecycle marketing. Typically, we'll find numerous opportunities to improve efficiency and save employees’ time through:
- Removing redundant data entries
- Automating processes
- Automating customer emails
- Improving project and task management
- Integrating disparate systems through API development
The result of these optimization efforts is perhaps the most valuable asset that a business has: time. We give back time to employees and business leaders
Improve Customer Touchpoints
Today's consumer or business customer takes the path of least resistance. With that in mind, we help our clients create exceptional customer experiences. A stellar experience means meeting and communicating with the customer on their terms. It means removing the friction, from purchasing, billing, reorders, tracking and scheduling services.
We look at all customer touchpoints, at every leg of the customer journey, to improve the convenience of doing business with our clients. Examples of these improvements include:
- Customer self-service portals
- Automated chatbots for sales or service
- Automated SMS and/or email notifications
- Automated reorder reminders via email SMS
- Mobile apps
- Online forms and back-end integration so all the information flows seamlessly into back- end tools.
Here are some questions for your clients to determine if the time is right for a digital transformation discovery meeting. If you clients answer NO to any of the questions below, it's time to start the conversation
- Are you using your technology stack to its fullest?
- Are your processes and workflows optimized?
- Is your customer data consolidated into one data platform?
- Is data automatically moving between systems?
- Do you have a defined and automated sales process
- Are you consistently communicating with your prospects and clients?