Running a business in the current digital age can seem like Pandora’s box. I use the term ‘current digital age’ because it will no doubt continue to shift into the future and the need to focus on innovation has never been more prominent. This type of innovation is often referred to as ‘Digital Transformation’ which essentially involves a transformation into a new way of doing business.
Customer expectations are higher than ever, margins are being tightened and it seems that nothing can ever be delivered soon enough. For many, even the weekly grocery shop is too much of an ordeal and we expect it to be delivered to our door. We’re all trying to do more with less time and while technology has enabled that, it’s also had a significant impact towards how we engage with one another and has pushed our level of expectation to what would have once been considered completely unreasonable.
Today, if you want to buy something, you typically search for it online and largely make a purchasing decision before engaging with a supplier. It’s no different for your customers when they’re considering engaging with you. So, what does that mean for your business?
Differentiating your business in the current digital age requires you to provide a customer experience that differs from your competition. And it all starts with your digital presence.
Your digital presence
This is your opportunity to introduce yourself to your prospective customers and even re-introduce yourself to your existing customers. Your digital presence highlights who you are, what you do and why you do it. But most importantly, it demonstrates how easy you are to do business with. New customers will almost always check out your online presence before picking up the phone and calling you, regardless of how they heard about your business. It’s also important to remember that your online presence isn’t just your website; it includes your communication and messaging.
Just think, if a customer struggles to contact you via an online channel, it hardly gives them confidence in your company’s communication if they were to work with you. Focus on reducing friction to engagement by implementing simple communication solutions tailored to your business.
As for your messaging and branding, it can quite quickly demonstrate to external parties how you conduct yourself. Even if you have the best product or service in the world, if someone visits your website and are fronted with dull or non-engaging content, you can almost guarantee they will have disregarded your company before giving you a chance. Again, reduce friction by telling the world that they would be stupid not to work with you. You need to wow them and get them excited about working with you!
Great, so you’ve ticked the digital presence box and the prospect is engaged, now what?
Make the first interaction count
Your prospect has now engaged through one of many entry points that you’ve got setup. Whether that’s your website contact form, email or social media; there are more ways than ever before for a customer to contact you. So how are you supposed to keep track of all this activity? Especially for SMB’s where everyone wears multiple hats and is extremely time poor. It’s easy to let these contact points fall through the cracks and lose business. Remember, we are meant to do more with less now, right?
How do we achieve this state of nirvana you ask? Integration, integration, integration!
Connect your systems; make sure that your website, social, email and every other digital contact point, integrates with your CRM. From there, depending on your CRM, you will generally have the power of automation at your hands.
However, with that said, we can come to rely on these systems and forget about the importance of human touch. So at the very least, your systems should keep you accountable and allow for knowledge sharing between your team to make sure your prospect is looked after. If customers have to wait too long, they will go somewhere else, so make sure they feel the love.
Well done, you’ve won the business! Now what?
Optimise your operations
It’s time to deliver a great customer experience! You’ve just committed to delivering a competitive solution, with a quick turnaround, within budget. Sounds simple, right? Well, it can be with the right workflow in place.
With the introduction of cloud technologies, all businesses have greater access to a multitude of automation technologies that allow you to streamline your service delivery to your customers. For example, packages like Xero and MYOB can import PDF copies of invoices to have them automatically entered into the system, meaning no more manual entry. Suddenly, you’ve reduced your admin time by half and can spend more time delivering to your customers, hearing their needs and providing a great customer experience. And this is only one example where automation can help streamline the operations of your business. Imagine automating all your simple tasks and the positive impact it could have on other areas of your business.
At the end of the day, we are all human and nothing beats a good old fashion rapport with your customers. However, a strong digital transformation strategy and the right systems behind you to share knowledge, execute quickly and focus on the important things, will elevate your business above the competition.
ONGC Systems have been helping businesses for over 13 years develop IT strategies and undergo digital transformations to keep them ahead of the competition. Get in touch with our team today if your business needs help with its digital transformation strategy.