Inside-out digital transformation
- In the age of the customer, don’t forget to look inward to innovate, says Salesforce's Tony Colon
The digital revolution has overhauled the way businesses deliver their products and services, at last putting the customer front and centre. Today’s customers have evolving expectations and increasingly demand more of the companies they spend their money with. If businesses can’t keep up with, or exceed, those expectations, people will simply go elsewhere.
While it’s vital to deliver customer experiences that continually delight, digitisation isn’t just an outward-facing phenomenon. So many of the innovations that are transforming the customer experience can be turned inward and improve organisations from within.
Businesses must make sure they strike the right balance between delivering customer experiences that delight and innovating inwardly to enhance efficiency. There doesn’t have to be a trade-off between the two — equal emphasis should be placed on both within a digital strategy. After all, digitally mature organizations are 26% more profitable than their peers.
Sweat the small stuff
It’s easy to focus on the big picture as part of any transformation, but it’s worth looking at how to streamline even the smallest of processes. Often overlooked, these can be the pain points within a business, and because they may be small, they don’t always get the necessary attention during a period of transformation.
It's important to make sure all employee time is being used as efficiently as possible to help them focus on the things that really matter and drive customer satisfaction. But this “always-on’” mentality of today’s working world can have a countereffect.
Imagine you are deep into an important task and your phone rings, or you receive a new message. Chances are, you won’t ignore it — it could be a potential client. Yet it can take us more than 20 minutes to regain our concentration after being interrupted in this way. Add up those lost minutes over the course of a working week and the potential loss in employee productivity can be huge for a business.
An automated secretary system can help route, intercept, and take messages from incoming calls. Not only can it recognise numbers and know if it’s an existing customer or a potential prospect, it can also transcribe voicemails, provide AI assistance to help you manage your calendar, and more. Internal collaboration tools built on automated systems work in a similar way.
Automate to innovate
Automation also helps the IT function serve the wider business and ultimately operate with far greater efficiency. Cloud-based workflow automation tools can be quickly scaled up or down without the need for clunky back-end systems.
These tools empower administrators to automate almost any kind of business process and respond faster to changes. Once processes become automated, it also means that IT teams are free to focus on more complex tasks and devote more of their time to innovation and digital transformation.
Deliver digital employee experiences.
Looking inward for digital transformation is also a great way to boost employee engagement. With 71% of employees wanting companies to provide them with the same level of technology they use in their personal lives, businesses have a real opportunity to deliver employee experiences in the same way they do for their customers. An easy way to do this is to reduce technology restrictions for employees and allow them to access productivity software and hardware that they choose.
Staff training is a great place to bring this in. Salesforce’s Trailhead empowers employees to learn digital skills at their convenience. They no longer have to sit through static, lengthy training programs — instead they can engage at any time, from any device, without interruption to their working day. They can even learn to code on their commute, and earn points and badges while doing it.
The most successful transformation strategies look at ways to innovate across the entire business, both externally and internally. With digital processes boosting your team members’ efficiency, you’ll be able to respond faster and more nimbly to meet and exceed evolving customer expectations.