Thanks to COVID-19, digital transformation is no longer something for long-term planning. From remote working to online support – transformation initiatives have gone from ‘nice to have’ to essential.
A barrier for SMEs is that ‘digital transformation’ seems complicated and expensive – like it involves technology overhauls requiring specialist teams and costing hundreds of thousands of pounds.
That is a misconception. Digital transformation isn’t just about flashy projects and massive technological restructures. It’s about using technology effectively to make your business more efficient and help you better serve customers.
In this blog, I’ll explore how SMEs can drive digital transformation in a way that minimises stress and maximises profits.
There’s an opportunity cost associated with delaying digital transformation
Strategic technology investment can save your business money in the long run, boost profits and help you grow – even during difficult times. Dither, and you can find your business lagging behind in terms of customer acquisition and retention.
Customer experience solutions – which help you create seamless, joined-up customer journeys – can help keep your existing customers satisfied and loyal. Happy customers mean lower churn rates, which in turn means increased profits. Indeed, 73% of businesses with above-average customer experience financially outperform their competitors, while 84% of companies that invest in customer experience report an increase in revenue.
Technology deployments don’t have to be massive, expensive undertakings
Often, simple changes are the most effective.
Chatbots, for instance, are an easy-to-implement solution you can deploy across your website, voice, messaging and social media. They improve customer satisfaction by allowing people to get help on their channel of choice, 24/7. They also boost operational efficiency by reducing call centre demand and freeing up resource to deal with more complicated queries.
Tools like Customer Journey Tracker give you an end-to-end and real-time picture of how people interact with your company across all offline and online touchpoints and communication channels. This helps you identify duplicated work and other inefficiencies, while also helping you pre-empt issues that could lead to customer dissatisfaction. That way, you can easily spot opportunities for improvement – from marketing and sales to support and billing. With this holistic view, you can gather valuable data to help you offer proactive support and personalisation – which helps drive loyalty and increase revenue opportunities.
It’s not about ‘digital transformation’ – it’s about progressive steps that boost operational efficiency and profitability
Don’t let the buzzword put you off. Instead, look at specific bottlenecks for staff and customers – and cost-effective ways to alleviate them.
Are your different systems – like CRM, ERP and email marketing software – not ‘talking’ to each other? Get a customer experience solution that sits on top of those systems and brings data together in a GDPR-compliant way.
Do you need more insight into which touchpoints and campaigns are actually driving customer satisfaction and revenue? Customer Journey Tracker lets you track how people engage with you in real-time, so you can identify what works best and home in on drop-off points.
And remember – even if you’re not on the front foot in using technology to deliver a better customer experience, your competitors are. So why not take easy, cost-effective steps to hone your competitive advantage?
Learn more about digital transformation and how SMEs can boost their competitiveness in the current market. Download our latest whitepaper – What Digital Transformation Looks Like in a Post-Pandemic World.