Digital transformation is about transformation that’s driven by digital technology. In everyday life, this could be the rise of smartphones and apps. Think along the lines of Google Maps, Uber and search engines. For businesses, it’s using digital technology to improve existing processes and systems or change the way the company operates, with the ultimate aim of boosting customer or shareholder value.
In other words, digital transformation can boost your value proposition. Why? Because it can help you:
- Meet growing customer expectations...
- ...and improve internal productivity
- Boost overall cost efficiency
- Challenge the norm (which isn't always a bad thing)
Meet growing customer expectations...
Customer expectations are always changing, fuelled by megatrends, advancements in technology and influence from brands. Today’s customers are looking for convenience and instant gratification. What/who can easily and quickly provide me with the best solutions to my issues and answers to my questions?
Take banks and automated teller machines (ATMs). When ATMs were launched in the ‘60s, they offered limited functionalities because a human cashier was required for most transactions/activities. Fast forward to the 21st century and ATMs can do almost everything a human cashier can.
And it works because the modern-day customer wants convenience. Rather than waiting in a queue and having to explain to a cashier what they need, they can simply press a few buttons on an ATM. Their needs are satisfied quickly and efficiently.
… and improve internal productivity
Digital technology can improve your team’s productivity too. Harking back to the bank example, ATMs that can handle multiple customer requests can filter the customers who don’t need to speak to a cashier from the ones who do.
For instance, if customers only need to deposit cash or withdraw money, they can do that at an ATM. This then frees the cashier up to help customers who actually require human assistance (and these customers are served sooner which contributes to their satisfaction). Cashiers also get more time back to focus on other value-adding tasks.
Here’s another example, one that’s more B2B-focused.
Let’s say you’re a manufacturer. Introducing technology like automation and machine learning can allow you to increase production speed or time without sacrificing overall quality.
In fact, product quality might even increase because, for example, automating manual processes can reduce the likelihood of human errors and machine learning can ensure the same errors don't occur multiple times.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) can help you increase your capabilities even further.
For example, IoT-enabled devices can feed real-time data into your ERP system from multiple sensors, allowing you to review information like machine performance and maintenance records in one place. AI can offer you more in-depth insights, such as market and consumer trends cross-referenced with your real-time data.
Now it's easier for your business to meet consumer demand as you can deliver the right products in the right quantities when and where they're needed most.
Digital transformation can often boost cost efficiency
Without access to the latest digital technology, your business will still be running on the same legacy software and systems. How can you be sure that your operations are as efficient as they can be? How can you be sure that there isn’t a better way of doing things?
Implementing new technology might require some costs and resources (e.g. time and labour) upfront. But in the long run, you can gain time back for your employees, boost internal productivity, process efficiency, output quality and all of the things we discussed earlier.
Can you now see how the addition of digital technology can boost your productivity, help you meet customer expectations and ultimately enhance your value proposition?
Challenging the norm isn’t always a bad thing
When Amazon first launched, it was selling music, videos and books. Today, it’s the world’s biggest e-commerce company and possibly one of the best known. How did Amazon achieve this status? By embracing innovation.
With e-commerce, it’s understandable to be wary of selling things online. Why would customers want to buy things they haven’t seen with their own eyes? B2C customers are more likely to be willing to purchase online but B2Bs can often be more sceptical. After all, the two buying journeys can have their differences, including:
- B2B buying journey being longer and involving more decision-makers
- B2B purchasing decision being process-driven rather than emotionally-driven
But they have their similarities too. For example, the ideal B2B customer experience should now be every bit as convenient as the B2C alternative. They too want fast answers to their questions and they want that process of solution-searching to be simple.
If your business relies on e-commerce, consider using digital technology to improve the customer journey and experience. Think along the lines of:
- Meeting your customers where they already are, rather than waiting for them to find you. But instead of cold calling, opt for social selling e.g. targeted native ads, sharing relevant content on your social media channels etc
- Offering recommendations tailored to specific customer profiles or the individual customer. Use what you already know about your customer base to achieve this
- Treating returning customers like VIPs - even if it’s as simple as addressing them by their first name or offering personalised treats e.g. unique promotional codes, sales, content etc
- Providing omnichannel customer support and ensuring that customer service and experience is consistent across all channels
Digital transformation and value proposition: A match made in heaven
Digital transformation plays a major role in your overall business value proposition. Hopefully, our examples have allowed you to see exactly why. To discover how you can embark on a digital transformation journey, check out our latest resource - a pack to help you succeed in digital transformation.
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