How businesses have made digital transformations work

Digital transformation covers a range of aspects and ideas. Ultimately it’s about improving our business by introducing digital tools or approaches to your usual way of doing things. It’s something that should be approached with caution – not everything needs a digital overhaul.

We’ve taken a look at the subject and spoken to some people who have taken on digital transformation themselves.

Changing the Customer Service Landscape

One of the main reasons why a company ends up losing a formerly loyal customer is because of poor customer service. Obviously, customer service is an increasingly broad term – but in this context, we are looking at these building blocks of bad customer service:

  • Lack of live customer service representatives
  • Inexperienced customer service representatives
  • The time it takes to receive proper customer service

In fact, when looking at a study conducted surrounding poor customer service habits, 78% of customers terminated their relationship with a company based solely on poor customer service. Thankfully, by embracing digital transformation, companies can use social media to get the leg up on competitors and keep customers happy for a long time.

One company that has fully embraced handling customer service queries on social media is coffee juggernaut, Starbucks. By using social platforms to directly engage with customers, Starbucks has been able to humanise their brand and put out customer service replies rapidly. Equal parts personable and professional, their social media accounts are welcoming but assert their focus on keeping the customer happy.

Starbucks has even given a strong voice to their customers by introducing a separate platform called, “My Starbucks Idea” that enables users to directly contribute their initiatives to Starbucks. Businesses can look to Starbucks as a great example of how to use digital transformation to benefit the customer and themselves.

There’s also the option of automating social interactions. We’ve looked at the subject previously when we wrote about estate agents and messenger bots.

Deepening the Relationship with the User

With digital transformation focusing on the ultimate goal of keeping current customers happy and growing to obtain new customers, it’s key to make the whole customer journey smooth. Take the reliably forward thinking fast food company McDonald’s for example. In recent years, McDonald’s has struggled to cement themselves as the go-to food option for the whole family they used to be.

Using one of the pillars of digital transformation, which is to embrace new technologies to ease the customer experience, McDonald’s began installing digital kiosks in their stores so customers could more easily customise their orders. They took a pre-existing issue and utilised a digital solution.

Additionally, McDonald’s became one of the first companies to use Apple Pay on a large scale. Proving that they will invest the time and money if they can find a way to digitally further their relationship with their customers.

Re-inventing the Wheel

In the previous cases, we’ve seen companies overhauling single aspects of their business. But what happens when someone wants to overhaul the traditional process their industry employs?

David Ciccarelli, the CEO & Founder of Voices.com – the industry leading website that connects businesses with professional voice talent, found a way to use digital transformation in a positive and tangible way.

“In our earliest days as a company, we spoke and met with talent agents and producers in New York, Los Angeles, and Toronto only to discover a consistent theme: a slow, cumbersome talent hiring process that was heavily paper-based,” says Ciccarelli.

“Many people reported to us that the activity of hiring a professional voice actor took 2-3 weeks and often required studio fees, agent fees, and sometimes the need to hire a casting director to coordinate the process, adding about $1,500 to an already expensive endeavour. Clearly, there was an opportunity to streamline this process by bringing it onto the Web.”

David saw a solution to a common problem in his marketplace and set out to try and fix it through digital solutions. However, taking on a digital transformation from the ground up required an extensive bit of planning.

“The first hurdle was to create a simple system, one that felt intuitive and easy to do. So, once we built a platform we were proud of and were seeing some promising results, our biggest hurdle was that of awareness.

“It’s been said that you can have the greatest solution in the world, but if nobody knows about it, then it’s all in vain. In short, you need a strong marketing and communications plan to attract users and engage customers well after your initial launch,” says Ciccarelli.

Since their transformation, Voices.com have managed to vastly improve on the old ways of doing things and have been reaping the benefits ever since.

While the idea of digital transformation may seem complicated or overwhelming, with proper planning and focus it can clearly offer significant rewards.

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