Digital transformation is not a one-time thing. Instead, ‘digital’ is a way of working. This three-part series on digital provides insight on the following:
- Why organizations hesitate to go digital
- Consequences on not going digital
- Considerations, risks and benefits of digital transformation
We live in the fourth industrial revolution, the digital revolution. This era represents the combination of new technologies, and technology-enabled era does not discriminate; all sectors of the economy are being disrupted, which causes customer preferences to shift and expectations to meld together.
Companies that choose not to ‘go digital’ are not able to quickly adapt and are not able to provide expected customer experiences. Examples of companies that did not change in time and failed are not hard to find.
Beyond closing doors, like Blockbuster and Kodak, there are other serious consequences business leaders need to consider of staying analog.
First, not going digital is inefficient and can interrupt work. Consider what happens when there is an outage due to a patched, inefficient, siloed call center. Fixing the outage can be very expensive, and there is a potential loss of revenue, poor customer experiences, unmet expectations from employees or customers, and a loss of focus on strategic work.
Further, and potentially more significant, if the system goes down with an on-premise system, a company does not have a disaster recovery plan. It is simply not possible. The outage literally must be fixed before business can resume.
Other inefficiencies to consider include:
- Average time customers spend in queue
- Average amount of time per call
- Abandonment rate in each channel
The second consequence of not going digital is that an outdated infrastructure is expensive. Beyond the cost of an outage, an outdated infrastructure requires ongoing maintenance, customized upgrades, and duct-taped patchwork. In most cases, companies throw good money after bad to keep the environment at status quo. Further, it is difficult to scale and difficult to integrate with modern cloud software investments.
Third, legacy tools negatively affect both employee and agent satisfaction and engagement. In the IT space, employees are not as efficient with legacy tools; they have to be trained on old systems, and they likely will be frustrated with stand-alone applications and mismatched reports, which may lead to decreased job satisfaction and a higher rate of employees leaving for companies with modern systems.
And in the agent space, no one is more impacted by dated contact center software than the call center agents. Agents need accurate, accessible information from reliable and efficient systems. Legacy systems are not as reliable or efficient as new systems. Further, outdated technology makes it harder for companies to route customers correctly, keep average handle time low, and provide a sufficient number of self-service options.
Beyond even satisfaction, legacy solutions require more training. In contrast, a modern solution is more intuitive, making it faster to learn, and reducing the amount of time spent on training.
A fourth consequence of sticking with the status quo: old systems cannot handle the customer expectations of today. Why can’t the old systems handle today’s expectations? Because they were designed to handle the customer expectations of yesterday.
Today, customers want a seamless, effortless experiences. They want to be able to communicate with a company in the way they prefer, and would rather not have to repeat themselves if they switch from one representative to another.
In 2018, the average enterprise had 11 communication channels. Yet, fewer than 10% of organizations have a digital strategy! And of those communication channels, only about 8% were connected. To achieve a high level of customer service, customers now want organizations to consider Omni channel capabilities.
Again, outdated systems and solutions within contact center impact service levels, and low customer service levels lead to a lower customer base.
The Institute of Customer Service found that 62% of customer complaints were about their negative customer experience. Contributing factors included negative agent attitude (which is related to agent satisfaction), hold times, transfers, and agents lack of knowledge.
Poorly integrated systems, inaccurate call routing, and inefficient agent solutions all contribute to these issues.
These issues can be resolved with new solutions. With new environment companies can:
- Build a solid foundation with reliable solutions
- Consolidate processes and eliminate redundancies
- Automate routines and build a more strategic brand
Customer service can be your company’s biggest competitive advantage. Are you willing to invest in new solutions to get an edge over your competition and provide a personalized, seamless customer experience?