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The reality of digital transformation

27th May 2019
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If we were playing a game of buzzword bingo, ‘digital transformation’ would undoubtedly be one of the top scorers for 2019. The term may be bounded about effortlessly, however, there remains confusion about what digital transformation means for businesses today.

Common misconceptions
Over time, we’ve seen all kinds of misunderstandings of the term ‘digital transformation’, including:

  • Digital transformation means implementing new technology. False, a digital transformation isn’t just about software or tools.

  • Digital transformation just means using your software more effectively. Untrue, digital transformation is about evolving your business – and whilst small changes such as this may play a part, alone they do not constitute an effective transformation.

  • Digital transformation is a short-term project. Again, this is not the case - a true digital transformation is an ongoing programme of change. It’s about constantly innovating and finding smarter ways to do business.

What is a digital transformation?

Digital transformation is about more than technology. It’s about synergistically using multiple technologies to maximise the potential of delivering a business outcome, and delivering that outcome in the most effective way possible. It’s also about changing a company’s culture so that innovation is prioritised, change is welcomed, and mistakes are embraced as an integral part of a closed loop learning process.

Digital transformation is about leaving the past behind, walking away from inefficient and wasteful analogue processes and keeping up with nimble competitors. That can be done through a combination of technology, process changes, and culture shifts.

The process of digital transformation

A digital transformation is inevitably different for every contact centre. Your digital transformation depends on several factors, including:

Digital maturity. How advanced is your digital journey? Are you already half-way there – or are you relying on legacy systems that are well overdue for retirement? Be honest with yourself.
Leadership. Are your leaders on board? Or is there some reluctance – or scepticism – around digital transformation? Why?
Culture. Is your company ready for a revolution? Do your colleagues embrace change? Or are people worried about the impact of digital approaches on their work? How do you change a culture, shift a culture or nudge a culture for that matter?
Solutions. What solutions does your business rely on? Are they fit for the future? (That’s a really important question.) What are the risks of moving to new solutions – or of staying put? Moving too slow?
Processes. A common driver of digital transformation is the opportunity to revise the way things are done. If processes can be digitised, automated or synchronised, then employees can spend more time on valuable work – “I make a difference work” - rather than doing admin and data entry.
Opportunities. What opportunities does a digital transformation present? What can you do better? And what new services or products could you offer? How could you improve customer experience? Connect those dots!
Threats. Who are your competitors? And how advanced is their own digital transformation? Are you competing with established players – or new challengers? Why exactly are they the new challenger?

What can digital transformation deliver?
There is no one answer here. Quite simply it depends on how much you put into the process and how much you ‘transform’.  The overall benefits that can be realised are plentiful and include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Improved staff morale – better processes and better technology help employees to do their job more easily and effectively, leading to a happier workforce.

  • Enhanced customer service – in turn a happier workforce, results in a greater willingness to deliver a better service to customers.  With more efficient processes, agents have more time to dedicate to helping customers resolve their enquiries first time round.

  • Increased customer loyalty – the happier customers are, the more likely they are to return to your brand time and time again, which in this volatile market, is a significant win.

  • Boosted revenue – more dedicated staff means less staff turnover (and reduced recruitment fees), more loyal customers means more return custom, and better brand ratings are likely to increase numbers of new customers – all helping to bolster that all-important bottom line.

​Digital transformation may the hot topic of the moment, but it so much more than a fad and a quick fix.  It is the catalyst for the evolution of the contact centre. Digital transformation offers companies opportunities in abundance to revolutionise their businesses – provided it evolves to digital enablement to enable the results you envisage.

As with most things, how much you get out of the process, depends on how much you put in in the first place. How wide you think about it and how deep you action that thinking is directly correlated to how successful your digital transformation will be.  Finally begging the question, exactly what is your measure of success - the happiness of customers perhaps? Or even how well your company is flourishing? One thing, however, is certain, those who engage with the concept fully have a bright future ahead.


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