The Real Meaning of “Digital Transformation”
Digital transformation is often confused with the terms “digitisation” and “digitalisation”. This isn’t about moving your processes from analogue to digital (as with “digitisation”), nor is it about easily accessing data (as with “digitalisation.”) Instead, digital transformation is about using tools and technologies to fundamentally changing your processes, your culture and your customer service:
1. React to and evolve with the wants and requirements of your consumers
2. Increase efficiency at all levels (both internally and at point of sale)
IN ORDER TO
3. Boost the value of your brand to the consumer.
The end-user or customer is central to any digital transformation strategy. As defined by SalesForce “digital transformation begins and ends with how you think about, and engage with, customers.” Keeping your finger on the pulse of what customers want and expect from you is vital if you want to remain relevant.
Think about how your own expectations and behaviours have radically changed over the past decade. Consider how your expectations and behaviours have changed since 2011 in the following scenarios:
- Ordering a taxi,
- Watching films,
- Deciding where to eat,
- Making payments to your friends and family.
Think about how long you expect to wait for online delivery, or which device you make purchases on. These seismic changes in our requirements as customers didn’t happen overnight. The businesses that thrived were the ones to notice and adapt to these changes in our needs and expectations in time before their old ways became obsolete.
There’s no one fixed cookie-cutter solution out there. The way you roll out your digital transformation depends on your industry and your business model. However, there are some digital transformation tools that are widely applicable. We’ll take a look at a few useful examples.
Five Digital Transformation Tools
1. Symanto Insights Platform
The Symanto Insights Platform keeps your finger on the pulse of exactly what consumers are saying about you and your competitors on review sites, social media and customer surveys. Symanto uses AI deep-learning technology to analyse written text and extract insights from thousands of entries within minutes.
Unlike many social listening tools, the Symanto Insights Platform can delve deep into qualitative data with accuracy to find out exactly what people are talking about and how they feel about it.
Get deep insights into brand awareness and brand sentiment. View your strengths and weaknesses from the perspective of your customers, and compare them with those of your competitors. Discover the personality traits of your and your competitors’ customer bases, and adjust your messaging, brand and marketing strategies to attract more of the same niche.
Given that the customers’ needs are central to digital transformation, this tool should be your first stop so you can understand which direction your customers want you to go in.
Developed by Google, Tensorflow is a free-to-use open-source software library for Machine Learning that is bound to revolutionise business. So far, TensorFlow has been used by Coca-Cola to help their customers show proof of purchase for their loyalty program, by Airbnb to categorise photos by room, and by Spotify to help personalise recommendations.
Quickbase allows companies to custom create business apps with minimal-to-no coding experience. Create an app to improve your workflow processes, log contacts and work, manage and store documents and much more.
It’s popular with businesses of all sizes, and users appreciate its versatility and its usability with very little training necessary.
One of your biggest challenges to customer retention is your ability to quickly and effectively resolve customer service queries and issues. 80% of customers switch to a competitor after just one bad experience.
Zendesk is one of the most popular customer service software solutions with over 150,000 businesses using it including Shopify, Slack, Uber and Venmo.
With Zendesk, you can manage customer service from all your channels (email, live chat, social media, voice, Whatsapp etc) in one place. When a customer contacts you, all of their information will be displayed automatically.
Stripe enables businesses to make and receive payments online internationally, opening up a world of business. Payments are protected by fraud prevention, and it is increasingly becoming a household name, gaining trust with the general public with greater customisation capabilities than Paypal.
From a customer perspective, Stripe enables them to buy from you quickly and easily, no matter where they are. Competition is high, and customer patience is low, so ease and speed of use are critical when it comes to making online payments. Stripe helps to facilitate this.
Digital Transformation and Company Culture
Digital transformation requires you to adopt a culture of experimentation and curiosity when it comes to new technologies. The solution won’t come from outside of your company, your employees need to be encouraged to challenge the status quo, their ingenuity should be nurtured and fostered, and you must be comfortable with the fact that things won’t always go smoothly.
The tools mentioned above are a great first step on the path to digital transformation by encouraging the use of innovative technologies within your organisation.