The COVID-19 pandemic is turning remote working into a new normal and making it a necessity for companies to serve customers digitally. This is adding a renewed sense of urgency for businesses to implement digital transformation initiatives.
The ability to fast-track digital transformation will impact your cost-efficiency and competitiveness. In fact, it may make or break your business during this critical time. However, with so many moving parts involved in such an effort, where should you begin and how should you focus your resources?
Here are 4 key areas and immediate actions that will help you achieve quick wins from your digital transformation efforts:
1. Customer Experience
Your technology decisions should be driven by the customer experience, which is the key to acquiring and retaining more buyers. To meet consumer expectations and improve customer satisfaction, you can:
- Use a centralized CDM (customer data management) platform to deliver a seamless omnichannel customer experience.
- Implement marketing personalization strategies and use a CRM (customer relationships management) system to deliver highly-targeted content at scale.
- Improve your website’s user experience with CRO (conversion rate optimization) tactics to reduce friction along the purchasing path and increase conversion rates.
- Implement customer service software and set up self-service features (e.g., knowledge base, FAQs) to facilitate customer communications and provide support in a timely manner.
2. System Integration
To improve operational efficiency, reduce costly errors, and minimize delays, you should ensure that all the data systems are working together seamlessly and integrated into the company’s internal processes.
- Use BPA (business process automation) software to streamline workflows across multiple systems so you can eliminate bottlenecks and minimize labor-intensive, error-prone data entry tasks.
- Consolidate all business processes and applications into an integrated infrastructure, which allows you to increase efficiency by controlling everything from one centralized dashboard.
- Choose cloud-computing platforms that integrate with each other (e.g., eCommerce and CRM) to streamline workflows, minimize manual data transfer, and ensure all the information is synced up in real-time.
- Implement a reporting system that shows key metrics in real-time to facilitate data-driven decision-making. The system should also send the right reports to the appropriate stakeholders automatically to avoid unnecessary delays.
The use of new software and remote workforce is opening up new data security concerns. Meanwhile, the number of cyberattacks has increased during the pandemic. Gain your customers’ trust and protect their information by:
- Investing in IT resources, implementing the proper security protocols, and staying compliant with industry regulations (e.g., PCI-DSS, HIPAA, HITRUST, etc.)
- Using a VPN service, implementing multi-factor authentication, and reinforcing endpoint security (e.g. firewall, anti-virus software) to protect your systems and ensure secure access by remote workers.
- Training employees to prevent phishing scams or malware attacks that can compromise sensitive data.
- Migrating to trusted cloud platforms that have dedicated IT experts to perform frequent security updates, as well as a backup and recovery plan to minimize costly downtime.
4. Employee Satisfaction
Improving employee satisfaction helps you increase productivity and reduce the cost associated with employee turnover. You can enhance employee engagement by using the right technologies to:
- Use a unified communication platform to facilitate collaboration among team members and improve communications with customers with features such as video conferencing, messaging, screen sharing, and file sharing.
- Digitalize internal processes and automate workflows to minimize cumbersome administrative paperwork that can lead to frustrating employee experience.
- Use HR software to streamline hiring, onboarding, payroll, and benefits administration to reduce delays and human errors that can impact productivity.
- Support employees’ career development with learning networks, knowledge-sharing systems, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs.)
Implement Your Digital Transformation Quickly and Cost-Effectively
Time is of the essence when it comes to executing the right digital transformation strategy during the COVID-19 crisis. However, managing all the moving pieces means you need the assistance of different experts.
Instead of assembling an in-house team, which can be time-consuming and cost-prohibitive, hire the right talents exactly when you need them. You can automate email marketing campaigns, get advice on cybersecurity, or integrate existing systems by hiring freelance experts who can hit the ground running right away without the added overhead so you can stay nimble and have better control over your budget.