Digital transformation reaches to the foundations of an organisation – for most companies, today’s wave of digital technologies involves a sea of change in the way things are done.
In fact, as much as the Internet Age has changed business forever, one could argue that the technologies that power digital transformation today (AI, machine learning and the proliferation of customer data) have an even deeper impact.
Digital Transformation Has a Positive Impact
At Conn3ct, we’ve seen the benefits of digital transformation in the contact centre – and the wider benefits of digital transformation in a company.
We also know that the road to digital transformation is not necessarily a smooth one – including in the contact centre. However, any business that wants to remain competitive and realise the benefits must embrace digital transformation.
Top Digital Transformation Pitfalls to Avoid
Avoiding the pitfalls makes the road to digital transformation smoother, progress faster and boosts the positive impacts. Yes, change always involves challenges, but the organisations that survive change to become stronger and more competitive are the organisations that know how to avoid the pitfalls of change.
Conn3ct has played a central role in the digital transformation process of thousands of organisations, large and small. Over time, we’ve come to learn where the biggest pitfalls lie. As far as we’re concerned, these are the five pitfalls your company should watch out for.
1. A Lack of Planning
The reach of digital transformation is broad and deep – and carries lasting and sometimes complex consequences. Planning is therefore essential:
– Ensure your existing estate is thoroughly mapped so you are aware of the full picture.
– Maintenance and management processes must continue to be in place to keep the estate stable and functional.
– Maximise what technologies you already have. A ‘rip and replace’ approach is rarely the answer.
– Implement new technologies at a pace that suits you.
– Ensure that the right expertise is deployed throughout the process whether that’s internal or external help.
Digital transformation expertise is a key element in planning because digital transformation is not merely a matter of popping into place shiny new tech.
A digital transformation framework touches on too many layers with tremendous effects on a business: your company must use highly skilled staff or outside expertise that understands the transformational effects of technology as it stands today.
2. Underestimating Security and Compliance
Cutting-edge tech inevitably implies cutting-edge cyber-security threats, while changes in the technology environment can also lead to compliance hazards. Ongoing awareness of security and compliance issues should, therefore, be a key part of the digital transformation process. Think about the proliferation of IoT devices, increased use of digital connectivity and indeed the use of cloud vendors – all with cybersecurity implications.
In the broad, digital transformation entails reliance on more technology and a growing list of vendors that often handle data at remote locations.
3. Limited Stakeholder Engagement
The broad reach of digital transformation touches an equally broad range of stakeholders: employees, vendors, business partners, shareholders and of course – customers. All these stakeholders must be engaged in the process of digital transformation.
Stakeholders are, each in their different way, uniquely positioned to point out potential issues with the changes implied by digital transformation – flagging up problems that might go unnoticed.
Stakeholders can empower digital transformation: contributing their enthusiasm to ensure that a digital transformation project is executed flawlessly and at speed.
4. Poor Communication and Working in Silos
Alongside stakeholder engagement, broadly communicating the goals and impact of digital transformation is an important element in successful transformation. Particularly where a business is large and complex, communication must be consistent, clear and pervasive.
The aims and results of digital transformation should be made as clear and as tangible as possible. Doing so encourages staff at all levels to throw in their weight to make digital transformation a success.
Silos are, of course, to be avoided. Co-operation is crucial – but it is human nature to work in a silo. Digital transformation is too broad and too pervasive – digital transformation success is simply incompatible with silos.
Silos will cause conflicts and create potholes along the road to digital transformation. Instead, organisations should focus on open, cross-functional communication.
5. Losing Sight of The Customer Experience
Digital drives enormous improvements in efficiency – saving costs, which means there’s a bigger budget available for product development and more retained profits too. But digital can impose on the customer experience if digital transformation is undertaken carelessly.
In the contact centre, careless use of IVRs can frustrate customers, but so can digital transformation that involves poorly implemented AI and natural language processing.
When engaging with the benefits of digital transformation, companies must remain aware of the customer experience – testing how transformed customer experiences work and seeking feedback from the customer to ensure that digital transformation benefits do not come at the expense of the customer experience.
Never Focus on “Digital” Alone
Finally, though a digital transformation strategy is essentially enabled by “digital” technology, companies should be wary of focusing too much on the tech. Not every tech promise pans out and inappropriate use of technology will obstruct – instead of enabling.
In other words, when engaging with digital transformation companies should focus on the real-world results: what does digital mean for operational costs, for the customer experience, and for business growth.
Digital is not an end in itself; it is a tool that powers the outcomes that drive improved organisational performance.
At Conn3ct we understand the tremendous benefits of digital transformation for the contact centre – and in business communications in the broad. We also know that these benefits depend only part on technology: in the long run, the focus must always be on the business benefits.
Get in touch with Conn3ct to see how digital can transform your contact centre, your communications requirements and your business in the broad.