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From improving processes to reducing costs and allowing businesses to react quickly to market changes, digital transformation provides many benefits for any company willing to embrace it. Understanding the benefits of a digital transformation is a key step in figuring out whether it’s worth the investment. So, here we’ll provide the main benefits of digital transformation you can expect – provided you plan and execute the project effectively.
Digital transformation is the process of using new technology and processes to improve the way your business operates, increasing the chances of future growth and success. While most focus solely on the technology side of digital transformation benefits, it has much wider implications and can create a better business culture too, one that embraces change and more flexible ways of working.
There’s no denying that digital technology takes a key position in this type of business transformation. But for the benefits of digital transformation to really be seen, it means taking a wider view of how your company works.
Customers don’t just want to pick up the phone and speak to a service rep when they’ve got a problem. Many customers now prefer to self-solve an issue first, if they can. Technology like chatbots and live chat allow customers to find information they need on your website without needing to call, helping them find what they need quickly while freeing your teams up to take on other work.
Cloud technology accounted for the majority of tech spending in the UK in 2022, with investment growing by 29% compared to the previous year. Investing in the cloud has completely transformed how businesses in every sector operate. Teams no longer have to be tied to a desk, accessing files and data on a desktop connected to a local, fixed server. Working in the cloud means teams can work from anywhere on any device with an internet connection, while still being able to access all the systems they would in the office. Whether it’s collaborating on projects simultaneously from multiple locations, or using cloud-based communications to organise video conferences across borders, cloud computing has created a faster, more secure and collaborative platform for companies to operate from.
Data drives everything in modern businesses. From improving customer service to informing business strategies, to developing better products based on real customer usage, big data allows companies to make more informed decisions quicker.
One of the biggest developments in digital transformation in recent years has been the use of ‘predictive analytics’, which involves using AI and machine learning to analyse past data to predict future trends. This is helping companies make even better decisions and adapt to changing market conditions faster – something businesses understand the need for now more than ever.
With so many channels available today and customers having different preferences for which they use, business communication is a complex system that’s a far cry from the days when the phone or a letter was the only thing available. For businesses, these multi-channel communications can become expensive and difficult to manage. In the past, businesses have been left with multiple subscriptions for each communication channel. However, the rise of cloud technology and VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) provides a better alternative with the use of unified communications. By unifying every channel – voice, text, messaging, video and file sharing – into a single platform it means businesses can run everything from one dashboard. This not only means easier management, it can reduce costs by putting all your communications into one monthly bill (usually based on a per-user price).
Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) vastly improves internal communication, allowing teams to make any type of call on any device with an internet connection. It also allows teams to switch between communication channels within the one platform with ease, rather than ending calls in one system and starting new calls in another. For example, teams can easily switch between voice-only calls, to a full video conference with extra participants and enable additional features like whiteboarding or screen sharing, without terminating the original call.
Providing a better customer experience is often the only differentiator between competitors today with most businesses offering many of the same products and services. This means making a sale can come down simply to which business provides the best experience for the customer. This isn’t an opinion. 61% of customers say they’re more likely to buy from a company that offers personalised experiences, according to McKinsey.
These personalised experiences need to be consistent across communication channels, and the customer journey needs to be planned effectively to give customers what they want, where they want it, depending on where they are in the decision-making process. Sometimes this doesn’t just mean making it easier for them to speak to someone to solve a problem. In fact many customers today are more willing to fix their own problems and just want to easily find the information they need. Almost 90% of customers say they expect brands to have some kind of self-service solution on their website.
Digital transformation isn’t just about new technology, it’s embracing a completely new culture that values innovation and challenging legacy thinking ahead of simply financial results. By thinking about business differently and being willing to try new ways of working, businesses can become more innovative and allow employees to provide their own suggestions for improving processes based on their own experiences.
Businesses that can become more innovative and continually look for improvements are the ones that can react quicker to changes in the market or to internal decisions. It can also help when it comes to developing better services or products and can become a valuable asset when it comes to recruiting talent. There’s a reason that research by Deloitte found more digitally mature companies have fared better with the challenges of the last few years compared to companies with lower maturity.
Often businesses will do things (and continue to do them) just because it’s what they’ve always done. The problem is, processes that worked 5-10 years ago might not be as effective as newer ways of working, particularly when it comes to how technology can improve things.
Automation is a prime example of this. Look across any business department and you’ll find teams manually completing repetitive tasks like document management or approvals. Automating these processes not only improves the operation (as well as saving time), it can free up teams to take on more interesting work that has a benefit to customers or the business.
Even simple processes like call forwarding and management can now be largely automated, and done better using new technology. Intelligent call forwarding, for example, can use previous call logs and data to prioritise which callers should be positioned higher in a call waiting queue. For customer service, this means customers who may have a complaint can be dealt with first, rather than making them wait and potentially escalating the situation before you’ve had a chance to solve it. The alternative is to simply prioritise customers based on who called first.
The more money your business can save, the more money can be reinvested back into the business in different ways. Digital transformation technologies offer businesses various ways to cut costs, specifically by replacing outdated or unnecessary systems with a more streamlined, cost-effective solution.
UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) removes the need for countless service subscriptions by bringing together voice, text, video conferencing and messaging capabilities all under one roof. This also removes any confusion around multiple subscription service charges leaving your bank account every month, which can be difficult to keep track of. However, the most obvious cost-saving measure digital transformation can offer is automation, which can reduce staff costs by automating positions that were once carried out by physical workers.
With new digital technologies emerging all the time, it can be difficult for your business to stay on top of new tech. Nevertheless, this is essential if you hope to make the most of your business moving into the future, as well as to stay ahead of the competition. If your business is unable to adapt, while others give a big effort to their digital transformations, it will be your business that is left behind while others reap all the benefits.
For example, if you run a clothing company, you could use machine learning powered by AI systems to keep track of customer activity on your website, as well as purchases, to make tailored recommendations that fit their buyer profile precisely. That’s opposed to companies that offer recommendations based on non-customer-related information, like the clothes they have in stock. The businesses that are better able to meet the needs, or accurately perceived needs, of their audience have a far greater chance of being financially successful and boosting sales. It’s this kind of advantage you need in the overly-saturated business markets of today.
5 million new businesses are started every year, according to the Commerce Institute. Even though most of these businesses won’t be in the same area of interest as yours, many of them will be and they may fall close to the products and services you offer. If you want to stay ahead of the numbers and stand out above the rest, you need to use new technologies in a way that exceeds that of the competition.
In today’s world of instant gratification and exceptional service, customers are more demanding than ever. Two-thirds of customers value speed just as much as price, according to a study by marketing expert, Jay Baer. That means you need to be delivering the best possible service in the shortest time possible, which puts a lot of weight on your shoulders. This is why, through digital transformation, your company will benefit from faster, more efficient systems. But you could also cut your customers’ waiting time by utilising more automated services.
For example, if your customer can only reach you via telephone, they could be on hold for a long time if there are no agents available, which will sour their opinion of you. However, if you offer them intelligent live chat options which can serve the majority of their needs in the same way a human worker could, you could dramatically cut their wait time and keep them happy in the process.
This technology is commonplace in CCaaS (Contact Centre as a Service) systems, which give only the specific technology contact centres and similar businesses need to communicate with their customers quickly and in varied ways. As CCaaS involves using a singular service to offer customers multiple methods of communication, all communications are far more streamlined, allowing customers to solve their queries quicker and for customer service agents to deliver incredible service much more smoothly.
With the sheer amount of technology and processes involved in modern businesses, it’s essential to keep everything running at maximum efficiency. However, even a small glitch can cause catastrophic problems for a business, with downtime and losses as a result. In contrast, companies that onboard intelligent AI systems through digital transformation can stay ahead of issues and even solve them before they become a problem.
For example, if your company has a large production line running constantly, you’ll lose a lot of productivity and potential profits if one of your machines suddenly stops. By using AI-powered systems to continuously analyse your production line, you’ll be able to detect upcoming faults and fix the issue before it causes any damage. Saving you time, effort and cash further down the line.
Better still, the machine learning side of the system can take note of such operational problems and apply the same intelligent analysis to all your systems in the wake of your initial problem, ensuring a similar situation doesn’t happen again. Digital transformation can also help you automate certain areas of your business, reducing the need for expenditure on physical manpower. If you are still using human workers for tasks like data input, you could reduce costs by installing intelligent, automated systems to take note of all the relevant information and input it into your databases far faster than a human worker. This also eliminates the risk of mistakes as a result of human error. All of these advantages will result in faster, more efficient processes and services, meaning you’ll be able to deliver faster and more efficient services and products for your customers.
At Elite Group, we have years of experience helping businesses make the most of new and emerging technology. If your business is in desperate need of a digital transformation to keep up with the competition, get in touch with Elite Group today. Our team of experts are ready to help your business enjoy the advantages of new digital technology, with the information and guidance you need.