In a previous blog, 5 Technology Pillars For Successful Digital Transformation, we covered the primary solutions and technologies that organizations need to implement so that they are equipped for the full digital transformation journey.
Here, we’ll take that a step further by breaking down how those solutions apply to future efficiency gains and outlining the specific steps—and projects—that you can centralize your digital strategy around to maximize the return on your transformation efforts.
To get the most out of these projects though—you’ll need a detailed understanding of your customer’s desires and needs. If you have questions or you have knowledge gaps related to your understanding of your customer’s goals, desires, and fears—you’ll likely need to refer to your customer journey map.
So, where should your organization start?
The answer is with the highest-value foundational pieces—and with a project that focuses on delivering value to your customers.
Getting Started: Choosing The Highest Value Transformation Projects
Early, high-value digital transformation efforts should focus on core technology competencies and delivering customer value. These are highly-visible and easy to weave into marketing and service campaigns that differentiate your brand—while paving the way for future efficiency gains.
Beyond early foundations though, the steps for your transformation journey will depend largely on your organization’s goals, business model, current workforce and operations, as well as other factors. These next steps—or projects—will be central to the ongoing success of your transformations and strategy.
Early transformation projects help provide your organization with the "fundamentals" and important functionality that enable teams to begin working more effectively and accelerate the development and adoption of new tools and strategies (and more projects, and so on).
The best projects to begin with for transformation tend to be:
Responsive, Inbound-ready Website
Is your website easy to use and update? Is it helping spread your message? OR, is your website just a digital business card sitting out there on the internet?
Your website is your digital storefront and has the ability to work for you 24/7. It serves as the hub for all of your connected channels and is the backbone to executing your marketing campaigns and awareness strategies.
Your website should be supporting your inbound marketing efforts, generating leads, measuring engagement, and helping you spread your campaigns and messaging at scale. It should be easy to update and manage so that your team can focus on customer value rather than technical updates and issues. With a well-designed website that's been properly optimized for search engines—every piece of content, image, and message you put on your website is building "brand equity" and driving up your search engine relevance. When you get links back to your website from elsewhere on the internet—you're building equity.
If your website is not finely-tuned and driving leads back into your business–you’re missing a key component to your engine and you're missing out on the dividends it will continue paying in the future.
Which brings us to your CRM...
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
CRMs enable lead nurturing, sales funnel management, and sales automation—as well as automation benefits to your service and marketing teams to continuously deliver value beyond any initial sale.
CRM is a central component to any successful digital strategy and cultivates data to provide your organization with deep insights into customer behavior, needs, and desires.
For more on how successful CRM drives business growth, see Is Your CRM Restricting Business Growth?
Knowledge Bases & Learning Platforms
Knowledge repositories and virtual training platforms are vastly undervalued. These systems provide a long list of benefits, including:
- Streamlining content creation efforts
- Automating review and approvals
- Centralizing problem-solving tools and knowledge
- Improving HR and onboarding operations
- Improving customer training capabilities
- Providing analytics on engagement
- Improving tracking and compliance
- Enabling customers to self serve
- And the list goes on...
Knowledge and training systems encourage the generation and curation of critical business intelligence into a centralized location. This provides efficiencies and increased consistency in operations. It also prevents loss of “tribal knowledge” during turnover.
Did you know it takes the average new hire eight months to reach full productivity? ( source)
Did you also know that 40% of consumers prefer self-service over human-contact or that 70% expect companies to offer self-service options? ( source)
Since these systems are often closely tied to an organization’s CRM and other automation tools—their upfront cost quickly gives way to extreme value and lowering of cost to serve.
IT Service Desk & Ticketing
When customers, distributors, partners, or employees need support—are your operations streamlined to solve the problem and deliver value in short order?
Service Desks and ticketing systems help organizations automate routine activities and leverage skills-based routing to ensure that incidents and problems are rapidly identified, qualified, and passed to the right support representative for resolution.
Turn your IT and service responses into catalog options and remove laborious time-sinks to deliver better service.
When paired with other projects like Knowledge Bases, your corporate website, and CRMs or analytics engines—you capitalize on big efficiency gains while differentiating your brand with blazing-fast service and speed.
Any one of these projects alone will likely not catapult your business efficiency into the upper canopy. However, they each offer highly-visible benefits and value. Choosing which project to start your journey will depend on your current and unique set of business challenges.
Also remember that the full value of these projects isn’t even realized until you begin to string multiple projects and interdepartmental efforts together. A high-functioning website can fuel a CRM which empowers your sales team to be more effective—along with providing your marketing and support team members with insights to execute campaigns and provide customized service through self-service help desk and outreach. Organizations that reach higher levels of digital maturity and personalized, effortless customer experiences wow their customers and drive further success.