As tempting as the latest technology may be, your company’s most valuable asset should always remain your staff.
Digital Transformation: You can barely scroll through social media or an industry-specific news site without seeing those two seemingly disparate words connected.
This suggests that digital transformation is important, that it’s essential for a company’s success in the 21st century. Indeed, Forrester research found that by 2020, nearly half of all organisations’ revenue would be impacted by digital in some way.
According to a recently-released piece of Managing Digital Marketing research, however, only a third of all businesses are actually undergoing their digital transformation.
What’s even more startling is that of those businesses, only about a third actually succeed.
In recent years, there have been huge leaps in the development of the types of technology that could potentially enhance workflows and improve business processes, including AI, Cloud Computing and Machine Learning.
Organisations can be forgiven, therefore, for rushing ahead and investing in all things digital in a bid to increase efficiency and cut costs. McKinsey, however, warns against any digital transformation that does not factor in the customer, “The goal is not to digitize multiple elements but to deliver a superior customer experience.”
But, before you radically change your customer experience as part of your digital transformation, it’s worth remembering the cautionary tale of the ATM. In the 90s, when the units were first introduced, many feared they would replace bank tellers, as ATMs could perform many of the basic functions that the typical customer required. In fact, in the US – the birthplace of the ATM - the opposite happened; bank teller numbers increased, alongside the number of ATMs. Bank tellers became less involved in banks’ simple transactions, like facilitating the withdrawal of money, and more involved in providing advice, guidance and reassurance. The bank teller became indispensable because of their human capability to foster good relationships with customers.
The benefits of human interactions have prevailed throughout the decades, alongside every stage of technological evolution. A recently-conducted survey of 2,000 US adults found that 83% of respondents said they would trust a human financial adviser to manage their financial plans, compared to just 36% who said they would trust a ‘robot-adviser’.
While, in some cases, it may pay dividends to empower customers to self-serve digitally, this should never be done at the expense of the availability of agent to customer communication; and of that enduringly important human interaction.
Digital transformation, therefore, should begin with an examination of the overall customer experience. This will help establish which journeys are purely ‘transactional’, and which ones require human engagement, in order to both explain complex products or processes, and provide guidance and reassurance.
The best customer experience in the digital world of tomorrow will combine the qualities of a face-to-face interaction, including the ability to speak to an agent, while exchanging and signing documents, with the ever-connected convenience and low cost of digital channels.
Therefore, before you undergo your digital transformation, it’s worth asking a very rudimentary question: just how digital do you want your digital transformation to be?
If you would like to learn more about how Vizolution helps enterprises streamline complex customer journeys into effortless experiences by replicating the qualities of face-to face interactions in their remote channels, contact us.