Quick review– digital transformation spending last year was $1.2 trillion, and is projected to be $2.4 trillion next year. Not million, not billion, 2.4 TRILLION with a T. In case you're wondering, a trillion has 12 zeros...or to put it into perspective, one trillion is equal to a million millions….if that helps at all.
The point is...those are a lot of eggs to put into one basket, and for good reason.
Why? Because the companies that don’t invest and transform into a new digital version of themselves have an expiration date on their door. More than half of the Fortune 500 companies of 2000 are already gone, and the death toll is rising. Consumers, employees, and the market itself demand quicker, faster, better, and this requires moving into the digital age. Those who don’t keep up are simply left behind. (read Part 1 for more on this)
So what's driving this digital revolution?There are 3 primary drivers:
- Customer Experience
- Workforce Empowerment
- Operational Efficiency
Customers want you to be easily reached, through a variety of channels, and they want quick resolution. This means businesses need to invest in their communication system to make themselves highly accessible, as well as having systems in place to quickly route calls to the right person. It is also becoming crucial to tie communication to account information or customer history. If you are making your consumers or clients wait, hold, call back, or repeat themselves to several different people, you just lost a customer along with their several hundred Facebook friends. Remember– no matter your industry, you are rated on the ease of doing business scale above all else.
In addition to customer experience, incorporating technology into business models and daily operations is streamlining and improving accuracy, reducing overhead, and freeing employees to tackle more strategic issues while the machines take care of the mundane. Case in point below…
IoT: the Internet of...TRAPS?!
Think your company isn’t a good fit for this digital discussion? You’re wrong. Consider this true example: A pest control company blew their competition out of the water when they installed sensors in their rat traps. That’s right– I said rat traps.
This transformed them in all three of the above areas. When a trap caught a rat, the sensor sent a message to HQ, who then alerted a technician to go to the trap and remove Mr. Pest. HQ then called Ms. Happy Customer, telling her that her trap had done its job and a technician was on his way to handle it. Voila. Delighted customers and amazing reviews are now sending this company to the top of the most recommended list.
In addition to repeat business and lots of referrals, now overhead is drastically reduced and the workforce is optimized by this digital addition. No longer does an army of technicians have waste time and money driving around checking empty traps, when meanwhile a trap on the end of the route is stinking up someone’s attic and prompting angry phone calls. Now they only need technicians for active traps, and can send them straight to the problem areas. They took the internet of things (IoT) and turned it into a profit bearing internet of traps. Now that's leveraging technology and riding the wave of digital disruption.
Let's set one thing straight: enterprise size and industry vertical are inconsequential in this discussion– small businesses can function as large corporations with the inclusion of the right technology, and large international corporations can fine tune and streamline their operations to a superlative degree. Technology is both leveling the playing field, and eliminating the competition. So the question is, where should YOU leverage this technology to keep YOUR competitive edge?
Here are 3 areas that are going digital for you to consider:
- People to Machine (Hey Alexa!)
- Machine to People (you have a problem you don’t even know about yet!)
- Machine to Machine (an issue has been sensed and protocol is initiated)
Analyze your business and look for ways to improve the three Es: enhance customer experience, empower your workforce, and make your operations effortlessly efficient.
Questions for consideration:
- What would make doing business with you easier?
- Could there be a way to resolve issues faster with sensors, automation, or analytics?
- What if communication threads lived with customer records, so that anyone in your organization knew the whole story when receiving a call or email?
- Could response time be improved by incorporating more ways to reach your company, such as: web chat, social media, que call back?
- How could you empower your staff to do their jobs more effectively?
- Could they work remotely?
- Perhaps reduce repetitive tasks by implementing technological applications?
- Where are the inefficiencies in your workflow?
Hopefully the wheels are turning, and you are starting to think of ways that you could use tech to to your advantage. But if the ideas aren’t exactly flowing yet, or if you’re not sure what’s really possible...don’t despair. Ask your trusted technology adviser to take a look at the areas that need improving, and they will let you know what’s available in the market, and what it would take to start your transformation.
Not ready to talk? No problem. Here are some more informational resources: