A popular phrase now buzzing about in the business community may have you asking, just what is Digital Transformation? This could be the beginning of implementing technology in a whole new way that could take your business to the next level.
Digital Transformation, as defined by Divami (a leading UX design agency), “involves utilizing digital technologies to either create new business processes or modify existing ones, adjust organizational culture, and enhance customer experiences, all to meet evolving business and market demands.”
In other words, Digital Transformation is looking at your business as a whole to determine how an overarching application of digital solutions can enhance every aspect of your business to deliver greater value with increased efficiency to your customers. Phew, that’s a lot. So where to begin? Consider these areas to focus on when implementing digital technology solutions.
• Enhance your customer experience
• Optimize operational processes
• Increase efficiencies and communications
Enhance your customer experience:
When considering where to get started, customer experience would typically be at the top of your list as this area is likely to be most impactful. Customer experience is the entire process a customer has when interacting with your organization, from online to in person to email to phone calls. This includes every interaction they have with your product, service, or brand.
Here are some areas to consider when transforming your customer experience:
• Create a sales funnel utilizing digital marketing
• Improve customer communication with a robust CRM
• Increase customer touch points with automated scheduling and remind systems
Optimize Operational Processes:
Streamlining an internal process or two could be easier to implement, yet still have an impact on customer experience. Operational processes are anything to do with your back office, inventory management, and order processing.
Here are some simple ways to transform accounting processes:
• Automate your billing and payment. Make it easy and inexpensive to pay at time of service instead of sending an invoice.
• Integrate your bank accounts with your accounting system.
• Automate your debt payments.
• Set a regular calendar reminder to review your P&L and cash flow monthly and balance sheet quarterly making necessary adjustments throughout the year.
Increase team efficiencies and communications:
Determine the primary way to communicate internally. Email and texting may not be the most efficient. There are now many platforms available to assist with easy, accessible, and efficient communication with team members across different locations or time zones.
Adopt project management tools for your team to efficiently schedule work flows and manage tasks. This helps all know how new business might impact schedule and resources and how to manage both.
You will likely find other areas as you put your business under the microscope to look for all the opportunities in implementing digital transformation into our business.
Some key considerations to be aware of as you expand the use of technology in your business:
• Implement cyber security policies and training for all employees.
• Involve your employees in considering the areas of your business. They are closest to your customers.
• Prioritize what to implement first by cost, impact, and risk.
• Consider how employees or even your own resistance, could derail the successful implementation.
• Create measures of success, for example, measure ROI.
• Good training is a key factor of success. Don’t skimp on this for you and your employees.
• Evaluate your IT resources to ensure you can implement and support the new technology.
Keep in mind that digital transformation is an ongoing journey with many stops along the way. We all know technology isn’t going away, so I invite you to begin to look at your business with new eyes to find those areas which are most beneficial to you, your customers, and your employees.
For additional ideas and support on how to digitally transform your business to meet your customer’s needs, contact the North Idaho Small Business Development Center at North Idaho College. Visit nisbdc.com or call us at 208-665-5085.
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Deborah Dickerson, PMP, MBA, is a senior business coach at North Idaho SBDC.