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Digital Transformation in Customer Care: How to Identify Quick-Win Projects

WHAT IS DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION?

Digital transformation is the process of integrating digital technology into existing business processes. Forbes reports that these efforts picked up considerably in the 1990s due to the advent of the Web, and continue today, impacting both how businesses operate and in turn, public perceptions of businesses. As more companies mature in the digital sphere, consumer baseline expectations update against the business operations of digital giants, FAANG, i.e., Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google. With products available quicker – from information to product shipments, consumer expectations have increased and extended towards other company services as well. Consulting giant McKinsey identified four overall expectation trends – 1) immediate (now), 2) valuable (can I), 3) relevant (for me), and 4) easy (simply).

In order to fulfill these expectations, companies must invest in technology that not only are fast, but also give customers what they want – and in order to give the customers what they want, companies must understand them. The need to understand customers have given rise to concepts and business models that focus on customer needs, e.g., customer experience, user experience, customer-centricity, etc. The reason behind the dominating popularity of these ideas are simple – companies that deeply understand their customers and their needs, are going to be the ones who come out on top – in other words – they will be at the front of their customers’ minds, selected by customers, and recommended by customers. It is from these customer expectations and concept movements that companies now must update their own processes to stay competitive, else a faster competitor will capture the now loose market.

However, even with this pressing need, companies must be wise in how they carry out digitalization efforts, lest they waste precious time and resources and fail. Reasons for failure ranges from selecting the wrong areas for digitalization, in-house resistance, and technological implementation gone wrong. Complete digital transformation of a company is a large, complicated effort where the losses could even outweigh the benefits if done incorrectly. It is for this reason that companies without unlimited budget can test-drive small projects for quick wins before expanding out their digital transformation efforts. 

Inevitably, all conversations about company strategies eventually lead to the following three critical areas: time, money, and manpower. These three areas are the most limited – and valuable – resources that companies own.  For every new project that’s started, the total cost extends beyond developing or even purchasing the product itself, but the time spent by internal staff on adjusting to this new venture effort. For this reason, no matter how enlightening a new project may seem, a company is sure to encounter push back from all teams affected by the new project – whether that’s IT managers who need to allocate their members to the project to  managers needing to implement a new KPI into their company reports. As all managers know – the company’s most valuable resources – its time, its money, and its man hours – must be invested carefully into projects. So what factors are involved in selecting projects that are most likely to succeed? What kind of projects will use the least amount of resources and are projected out to not just something that a company needs to implement to survive – but an actual cost-saver…or even a revenue generator?

SELECTING QUICK-WINS WITH A CUSTOMER JOURNEY MAP

Select quick-win projects where you can analyze results in as little as three months. A tool called the “Customer Journey Map” can help you select these projects. A Customer Journey Roadmap is a visual representation of how your customer or a prospect interacts with you at every stage they go through, before completing a goal, e.g., purchasing an item. By deeply understanding your customer and their experiences, you can better identify areas that not only have a big impact on them, but are also quick and easy to implement.

The following image below shows a very simple B2B customer’s journey, with the stages of Awareness, Consideration, and Decision, that encapsulates what a customer goes through before purchasing a product.

buyers_journey

Simple Customer’s Journey from Hubspot
(You can also find sample templates for a customer journey map at this link.)

There are many different templates and perspectives from outlining a customer’s experience with your company. This will depend on the type of company and product you sell. An expanded customer journey roadmap will include additional touchpoints, i.e., when a customer engages or interacts with your company in any way, that may extend beyond the stage of purchasing an item, and include retaining the customer and looking into whether the customer is willing to promote your products to friends and family. With ideally a team to introduce alternative ideas – map out every single touchpoint that a customer has with your company. This may take anywhere between 1 hour to even several sessions over a single week, if your company has multiple touch points. Your customer journey map might look something like this after your session:

b2b-customer-journey

Expanded Customer’s Journey from Verdure
(Unfortunately, this website is in German, but you can find additional information about Customer Journey Maps in English here.)

There are plenty of areas here where you can continue to narrow in on. Ideally, you can identify a simple area that takes a minimum amount of time and affects multiple columns. For example, if you were to identify that your website’s loading time is above 5 seconds – especially on mobile phones – it might be worth segmenting out resources to decrease the loading time, which will in turn, impact the two areas of Awareness and Consideration, as studies show that users are more likely to leave a website if loading times exceed beyond 5 seconds.  Another example may be discovering that customer churn far exceeded customer gain – perhaps focusing on the area of Retention would be worth it then. 

One potential area you could focus on here is your Helpdesk and Customer Support. We find that many customers report overall frustration with wait times or general unavailability of customer help, especially during high season, which contributes towards customer dissatisfaction. And unfortunately, high dissatisfaction makes it more likely for customers to consider alternative resources. If this is one likely scenario that your support centers face, your center has many options: 1) Hire more agents, 2) Develop in-house tools to decrease wait times by predicting call volume peaks and bringing callers back in during optimal calling times, or 3) outsource this problem to a third-party expert. If the first two options are a challenge to implement – especially with a tight budget – the third option is a viable solution. 

There are several third-party experts who can help control high call volumes and provide customer self-help tools, but virtualQ provides its services that are implementable in just under two weeks, as we have built our architecture to be modular and integratable with all systems, including legacy systems. virtualQ offers smart call-back solutions, voice IVR systems, FAQ bots, and more – these solutions are modular, driven by artificial intelligence and predictive algorithms, and can be added on or integrated together for a seamless experience for companies who are interested in test-driving one solution in their digital transformation efforts. 

If you are interested in test-driving digital transformation efforts in your customer service segment in your company, be sure to contact us to see how virtualQ can help support your digital customer service needs.

Download this white paper today

digital transformation

DIGITALIZATION &
CUSTOMER CARE

In this white paper, you learned about digital transformation, and how you can use a tool called, “Customer Journey Mapping” to identify quick-win projects by deeply understanding your customer.

Download this white paper to keep this basic guide one click away on your local computer or phone.

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