Given the rapidly evolving nature of customer demands and expectations, it’s no wonder that the drive to adopt digital solutions is only accelerating, and many enterprises are eager to get in on the action.
Around the globe, enterprises in every industry have seen the proverbial light: digital tools can save costs, increase efficiency, fuel growth, and create a more competitive position. When used to improve the customer experience, digital tools can increase customer satisfaction rates by 20-30% and revenue by as much as 50%.
Digital tools can increase customer satisfaction rates by 20-30% and revenue by as much as 50%.
But there’s an unfortunate downside to digital transformation that isn’t always well understood. When enterprises embark on digital initiatives, enthusiasm for the end result can often cloud the reality of the process itself. And when an initiative fails to deliver, it’s largely due to poor planning.
So how do you commit to improving the digital customer experience without crashing and burning along the way? To begin with, start by rethinking how to conduct the initiative. By taking a phased approach, you can make incremental changes that respond to business needs without overwhelming your internal teams or customers.
Read on to learn about the importance of planning for your digital initiative and some simple steps you can take.
The importance of smart, achievable planning
Enterprises are already well-schooled in planning. From setting yearly revenue goals to hiring talent to adjusting for periods of slower growth, you know the value of methodically planning for every need, variable, and contingency.
In theory, digital initiatives shouldn’t be any different. Yet as many as 70% of companies are unable to complete a large-scale digital transformation program, mainly because they bite off more than they can chew — and end up choking.
The assumption is that a full-scale initiative is the only way to achieve expected results. But going from zero to 100 with high-powered tools like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning can unduly disrupt everyday processes and overburden internal teams tasked with managing the new tools. Even worse, if there are any deviations, however minor, in customer expectations, it can actually drive customers away and defeat the whole purpose.
There’s a smarter, simpler way to take on a digital initiative that allows you to improve customer experiences and build upon your successes — without hurting your staff or customers in the process. Here’s how you can plan your digital transformation effectively:
1. Take it one problem at a time
Survey your business to find out what needs to change to improve the customer experience. You can start by asking these types of questions:
- Is your business performing well enough for customers?
- Are you able to respond effectively to customer needs?
- What’s the quality of your customer interactions?
- Do you have a consistent message you’re delivering to customers?
- How is your business faring compared to your competitors?
If any of the answers reveal gaps, challenges, or areas where your organization isn’t measuring up, then you know what to solve first and can adopt specific technologies designed to help.
2. Choose technologies that put the customer at the center
Based on the answers you gain, implement customer engagement tools that will enhance the customer experience right away, whether it’s speeding up response times, providing higher-quality interactions, or any other goal.
For example, automated, customizable smart bots that integrate with existing live chat platforms and require little to no special skills to manage can increase the quality and volume of initial customer triage by:
- Answering common questions or giving simple instructions
- Helping customers navigate a website
- Determining if a customer is ready to buy and sending them over to a sales agent
- Deciphering customer needs before advancing to a human support agent who can provide more in-depth information or help
Whatever your business problem(s), easily configurable chatbot technology can enable a way forward and achieve measurable outcomes, without majorly disrupting your current systems, teams, and processes.
3. Refine your strategy over time
Using the same automation and chat technologies, you can continue to refine your strategy over time. For example, you may want to conduct advanced data analysis to help you make further process or operational improvements. Your bots can gather data from every customer interaction that can be used to understand use cases, discover unmet customer needs, or reveal opportunities for innovation, to name a few.
Automation and chat technology gives you much-needed insight as you go so that you can respond quickly when necessary or with longer-term goals in mind. With each new insight, you can layer in and customize additional bots or automated workflows as needed.
Create greater digital sustainability
Planning your digital initiative is a smart way to achieve greater digital sustainability. Instead of burning your budget and burning out your team on a large-scale project, your organization can achieve transformation sensibly, in phases, rather than all at once — steadily moving your company closer to full digital transformation over time.
Proper planning allows you to:
- Start with simple-but-smart, targeted technology to solve a host of problems
- Avoid lengthy, complicated deployments and the need for advanced technical skills — and the enormous costs that come with these
- Learn as you go and replicate successes incrementally across business units
- Stay competitive in an ever-changing world
Instead of worrying about how you’ll roll out AI and other potent technologies across your organization, you can implement customizable, chat and automation solutions to meet immediate customer demands and improve the customer experience one step at a time, setting up your organization for a more realistic — and intelligent — approach to digital transformation.
To learn how your enterprise can rethink digital transformation and improve the customer experience, download the eBook.