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Is Digital Transformation in your Organization’s Future?

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Digital transformation has become an overused phrase in the workplace. According to Forbes, digital transformation is the use of technologies to radically improve the performance or reach of an enterprise. 78% of respondents across a wide range of industries said that achieving digital transformation is a priority for them within the next 2 years (MIT Center for Digital Business). But, what does this mean and how can you leverage digital transformation to your organization’s advantage?

In business, digital transformation can involve changes to the foundational components of an organization; from its operating model to its digital infrastructure. A transformation program touches every function of a business; from marketing and sales to operations. The process of digital transformation can be expensive and risky. Generally speaking, businesses that go through this transformation are the ones that have failed to evolve and keep up with their industry, and as a result, are playing catch up.

For large organizations, digital transformation takes a significant amount of resources and time, a cross-functional set of business skills, and a strong understanding of customer and employee needs in regards to their digital experiences with your organization. Putting your organization through digital transformation can be a risky process, although, if done right, it can produce great benefits for your employees, clients, and organization.

Keep in mind that digital transformation is not for every organization. Organizations that continue to foster a culture of constant evolution and cross-functional collaboration are always transforming. Organizations that aren’t constantly evolving and adapting are generally the ones that need digital transformation to be able to compete with competitors in their industry.

Employee productivity

In recent years, there has been a heavier focus on digital initiatives in most (if not all) industries. Businesses are starting to see digital initiatives as a means to help better engage customers externally and employees internally. 58% of businesses surveyed now look to digital to help sell profitably and 56% of businesses assess the impact of digital in relation to customer experience (Accenture).

On an internal level, digital transformation has the potential to empower your workforce. Implementing the right digital tools can help ease the collaboration process across departments and geography within your organization. Done right, digital transformation can help integrate and streamline entire business processes. A streamlined process means fewer unnecessary emails, errors and delays since workflows are being assigned to the correct employees. Through features like role-based workflows, you are able to assign tasks to specific individuals, which in turn will reduce the amount of work that falls through the cracks. With the ability to add, edit, share and collaborate on essential data, your teams can resolve problems more quickly and in real-time, which in turn can help your organization not only meet, but exceed client needs.

For more information on elevating employee engagement by going digital, click here.

Customer experience

Being productive, and efficient internally is important for an organization because a good customer experience starts with your internal team. With well-functioning internal processes, your customer experience has a significantly better chance of being successful.

A study done by Forrester Consulting concluded that 63% of organizations planned to improve their online customer experiences this year. Digital transformation is a customer-driven business transformation initiative rather than a strictly technical challenge. Throughout the customer journey, customers will interact with your organization across more than one channel within their journey. It’s important to ensure that the customer experience across all of your channels is consistent and positive, especially on the digital front.

Increase in sales

Companies that have embraced digital transformation are 26% more profitable than their average industry competitors and enjoy a 12% higher market valuation (MIT Center for Digital Business). While sales are important, what is more important is gaining the knowledge of how those sales are made. In today’s digital age, most consumers will almost exclusively interact with and learn about organizations through digital channels. With a better understanding of your customers, an increase in productivity and an improved overall customer experience, your organization will not only become more profitable but will have also build a stronger brand. By having a positive, well rounded brand reputation, your organization is more likely to succeed in retaining clients and converting prospects, especially when they are deciding between you and a competitor.

Promotes a positive and forward-thinking company culture

According to PA Consulting, only 26% of people think their firm has the right mindset to survive and thrive in the digital age. Across the three dimensions of digital transformation – organization, operational process, and technology – businesses are making strides, but they are still struggling with traditional silos and lack of alignment (Accenture). Many firms are stuck offering an “average” digital experience, meaning that they have a limited understanding of what to do next, how to do it, and how to measure the success of each digital experience. Embracing technology and using it to improve your organization’s business processes and engagement rates can create a company culture that encourages creativity and innovation.

Through the process of digital transformation (although it is different for every organization), you are working towards improving the way you run your business, how your employees interact within the organization, and how your external communication channels can improve. The process of planning how your organization will go through digital transformation and enhance business processes can promote out-of-the-box and creative thinking. By taking the initiative to innovate and change big things within your company, you are cultivating an environment that is open to change and improvement. Creating a company culture where development and creativity is encouraged can promote a positive, innovative, and forward-thinking company culture that you can be proud of.

Not one person alone can make digital transformation happen. It requires a company-wide buy in, strong collaboration, and executive advocacy. The motivation can’t come solely from the C-suite. The brainstorming and input on the transformation process must come from all levels of an organization. Take a look at the image below, courtesy of Bobby Albert. 96% of problems are not known to top managers. This statistic speaks to the importance of ensuring every individual in your organization has a say in regards to modifying processes, making improvements, and how to go about your organizations’ digital transformation.

Digital Transformation Iceberg
Now is the time for organizations to re-examine their businesses processes before they are left too far behind in the digital age. In a time where digital is transforming how we do things, it is more important than ever to ensure that your organization is evolving and reacting to the changing digital times.

 

The Business Case for Liferay DXP

Improving Customer Experience: Mobile, Online Self-Service, Content Targeting

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Did you know that 88% of buyers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience? In fact, it is predicted that by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key differentiator (Walker). Take a moment to think, how does your customer experience (CX) stack up to your biggest competitors?

What is customer experience (CX)?

CX is the product and perception of an interaction between a customer and an organization. These perceptions affect how customers interact with a company, from their buying behaviours to what they say about you. A good CX can lead to higher customer loyalty. In other words, if their experience with you is positive, they’re more likely to continue doing business with you and recommend you to others.

In order to give your customers a positive experience, you’ll have to put in the work. You should know who they are, what they like, and how they interact with you, and use that knowledge to create and deliver personalized experiences that will enhance their experience. Gaining this in-depth knowledge isn’t something that happens overnight – it takes both time and effort. You’ll need to collect and sort through a lot of customer data and gain valuable insights from it. But, at the end of the day, a good CX will lead to an increase in sales and customer loyalty.

customer experience chart

 

So, what are some areas that you should focus on to improve your CX?

Self-service help is a must

Have you ever called a company and were immediately put on hold for 15 minutes to upwards 2 hours just to get your questions answered? Gone are the days where people are willing to wait on hold to have their questions answered. The data below demonstrates that 56% of customers either leave or go to a competitor because of website issues, this includes not having a self-service option on your website.self-service-matters statistics

Self-service is a way for customers to find answers to their questions using an assortment of options. This is important considering that 50% of customers think that it’s important to solve product or service issues themselves (zendesk), and 70% expect a company’s website to include a self-service application.

Different forms of self-service include:

  • E-Support: This is a web-based version of customer service. The customer can access information and perform routine tasks over the internet by searching a knowledge-base or reading a company FAQ.
  • Apps: A software program on mobile devices that is used for carrying out specific tasks. This could be like your mobile bank application to transfer funds or check your balance.
  • Interactive voice response: The customer can interact with an automated telephone system to perform specific tasks
  • Chatbots: This is a program that serves as an online customer service representative for a company. They have the ability to combine artificial intelligence (AI) with a graphical representation.

Is mobile in the picture?

When it comes to providing experience across different channels, ensuring that you have a good mobile customer experience should be at the top of your list. A bad mobile experience can do serious damage to your brand and could result in loss of business as 52% of customers are less likely to engage with a company because of poor mobile experience (Think with Google). If you want to improve your customer loyalty, retention, and overall CX, ensuring that you have a good mobile experience should be a focus for your organization.

Having a good mobile experience goes far beyond just being responsive. Companies have been a bit slow to adapt, with 90% of customers saying that they have had a poor experience seeking customer support on mobile (Software Advice).

 

Mobile experience issues graph

With a higher number of consumers looking for online self-service, it’s important that they are available to the consumer through several different channels, including mobile. Whether it’s a mobile-friendly FAQ, a phone application, or interactive voice response through calls, it’s important to ensure that you are keeping your target customers in mind, and how they would want to interact with your business.

Content Targeting

It is important for marketers to capture insights and information about their customers in order to provide effective customer experiences. With technologies such as Liferay, you’re able to create and track highly targeted marketing campaigns that present the right message to your visitors at the right time, based on social profile, behaviour and browsing history. Having a single-dashboard to view each customer’s behaviours, interests, and patterns can help you push out the right content to each customer. This can improve your customer experience and further build trust, loyalty, and engagement.

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By forming a better understanding of your customers, you’ll be able to build a customer experience that resonates with your audience. Tailor your website to the needs and preferences of each individual with targeted information and segment identification, giving your visitors exactly what they’re looking for. By creating user-friendly self-service options, having a consistent mobile experience and targeting your content – you will be able to improve your overall customer experience. If you ensure that your customer interactions with your organization are consistent, convenient, and evolving, you will continue to drive brand loyalty.

he Business Case for the Liferay Digital Experience Platform

Omnichannel is the Key to Optimizing Customer Experiences

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What does Omni-channel mean?

Historically, companies were focused on providing customers with the ability to transact in the channel of their choice.  Organizations were organized around channels, and each channel’s department had their own reporting structure and goals.  The departments often encouraged channel competition, but the end result was confused customers who experienced different offers, pricing and processes in each channel.

Omni-channel is a multi-channel approach that provides the customer with aseamless experience, whether they are transacting online, from a desktop or mobile device.

Today, companies are focusing on creating omni-channel experiences to ensure that no matter where the customer is located, or on what device they are interacting with, the experience is the same.

Online, mobile, and social media platforms have enabled customers to not only switch between channels quickly but to also use them simultaneously. It is a regular occurrence to see people in store aisles looking at product reviews and pricing on their mobile while deciding between products on a physical retail store shelf. They are using mobile, in-store advertising, and in-store sales representatives combined to help with their decision making process.

Why Omni-channel?

Unfortunately, there are way too many examples of companies that fail to deliver good omni-channel customer experiences. A few years ago, I called my bank’s 1-800 number to secure a car loan. Everything (or so I thought) was confirmed over the phone.  I faxed in my signed documents, and was told I could go and pick up my cheque at my local branch. I waited in line at the branch only to get to the counter and be told, “Oh no, you cannot just pick up the cheque”. I asked how they could be so disconnected and their response was, “Well, we are not the same as the call centre. We have different rules”.

The result was a very negative experience. I walked away thinking that the bank does not understand me as a customer, and clearly does not realize I have a mortgage, GICs, RRSPs, RESPs, etc… Not only were they at risk of losing my car loan, they now faced the risk of losing my business to one of their competitors.

Having been in digital since the days of Netscape, I am definitely a digital advocate, interacting digitally is my preference. But, there are certainly times when I prefer face-to-face interaction. Human interaction is a vital factor in a positive customer experience even in the digital age.

In fact, a study done by Accenture found that only 36% of customers believe digital channels are better than non-digital forms of interaction. Additionally, 58-73% prefer dealing with humans to get quicker answers, resolution on issues, and to get advice[1].

Omni-channel is the key to optimizing customer experiences statistic

Many studies have found that customers who engage across multiple channels are  more valuable customers. In fact, multi-channel banking customers purchase 1.4 times the products and are 15% more likely than digital-only customers to serve as advocates for their providers.[2]

Digital does not always offer marketers the ability to up-sell or cross-sell based on the customer’s needs. Digital can ‘recommend’ based products you are looking at in real-time. Sometimes, we see up-sells based on our previous buying behavior – but I still get irrelevant Minecraft recommendations because my son and I surf on the same computer. And rarely do I see up-sells and cross-sells based on my ‘stage of life’ or my ‘in the moment’ needs.
The ability to truly understand the customer is lost if their only interaction is online.

Ironically, many companies are also finding that the selling expense associated with digital exceeds the value of their digital investments. The savings from the efficiencies of customers transacting online are often offset by the necessity to offer lower prices through promotions and discounts – to compete in the one click away environment. Rate comparisons or insurance quotes are always 5 seconds away. Digital is further commoditizing financial products; foreign currency exchange, insurance quotes, and loans are available online.

Omni-channel is the key to optimizing customer experiences Statistic

In fact, an Accenture survey found that more than ½ of customers want their bank to proactively recommend products or services that would help them financially. And 55% said it would strongly increase their loyalty to the bank. Many would even pay for budgetary advice.

A simple idea such as the Investment Advisor making notes on a client’s life changes into an omni-channel CRM, could positively impact revenues. The in-branch bank manager would better understand the client and be able to make recommendations and offers of true value to the client.
Barriers to Omni-channel.

Offering proactive digital financial advice and counselling to help clients better manage their financial needs can provide valuable insight and offer huge incremental revenues and increased loyalty.

Barriers to Omni-channel

In order to embrace omni-channel strategies across the organization, companies must first understand the economic benefits of providing customers with the ability to interact seamlessly across channels. The silos need to begin to blend and they must agree that a one-size-fits-all approach to customer experiences will not work.

The story about how my telebanking institution did not communicate with my branch nor have the same rules for picking up my car loan cheque, was probably due to technology and/or the lack of desire to improve their processes. Omni-channel requires a focused customer-first agenda – a strong understanding of customer data and a willingness to change. Barriers include:

  • Inability to provide all divisions with a single view of the customer across channels
  • Inability to understand the customer beyond their buying history
  • Lack of system integration
  • Lack of training, education, processes, and inadequate change management

How to get started

The core of an omni-channel strategy is the ability to understand the customer.  Omni-channel warrants an outside-in view and a mapping of the customer experience from the customer’s perspective. The omni-channel approach puts the customer, not the business units, at the centre.

For financial institutions, a front-end portal or “window” into the back-office, can help bridge the silos. Starting with a single view of the customer, you can direct the client standing in the branch, help the bank manager understand the value of the client, the call centre to appropriately service the client, and give the Financial Advisor a better indication on which products to recommend. A portal is not as big of an undertaking as re-building the back office and it can create and connect personalized digital experiences across the omni-channels.

Considering the customer journey from an omni-channel experience instead of just one department or a branch’s interactions is a start. Understanding customers beyond the personas is the next step to creating fantastic omni-channel customer experiences.

Valerie Jones will be at the Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit on the Power PanelOmni-channel Surmount Barriers to Transform your Omni-Channel into a Customer Centric, High Performance Digital Ecosystem.   June 2, 2016 at 9:15 AM.

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[1]  https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insight-digital-disconnect-customer-engagement.aspx

[2] https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insight-digital-disruption-banking-north-america-consumer-survey