If you haven’t heard the term ‘digital transformation’ then kudos to you, because you’ve obviously managed to colonise the Moon. If you have heard of it you’ve probably asked the internet oracles “what is digital transformation?” and come up against something like this:
…at which point you would be totally justified in wanting to move rapidly in the opposite direction. Digital transformation may sound huge and disruptive and, frankly, expensive, but technology like online booking software is not going anywhere. To ignore the enormous impact it will have on your business is not the way to secure your future.
Rather than view digital transformation as an undertaking that will fundamentally change your business, look at it instead as an evolution. What you are aiming for is something referred to as ‘digital maturity’, which is exactly what it sounds like. A digitally mature business is one that uses technology confidently and effectively to improve everything from the service they provide, to marketing, to internal processes.
Where to start?
The thought of ‘transforming’ a business is an intimidating one, but by taking it one step at a time digital maturity is very achievable. Rather than just swiping at technology like a pinata and hoping something good falls out, take a measured approach based on competitor research, customer feedback, and internal reports. These will identify where the business can benefit most from some digital growth.
There are those who associate the word ‘automation’ with apathetic customer service and that bland robotic voice reciting endless phone menus when all you really want is to talk to a real person. In fact, savvy use of automation can actually improve service quality by making the customer journey smoother and more convenient.
Utilising digital tools to improve customer experience has become common practice for many business models, so it is often a natural place to start. In only a short space of time we have come to expect tools such as instant online chat with customer support, online payments, and of course online booking. The relatively simple introduction of these kinds of online services not only vastly improves a customer’s experience and impression of your business, but also goes a long way towards easing the pressure on customer help staff and making processes more efficient. Speaking of processes…
Even the most technologically resistant business probably uses minor forms of automation without even thinking about it. If you’ve ever used an out-of-office autoreply: congratulations! You have benefitted from the power of automation.
But it gets more sophisticated than that. Automated confirmations and reminders of services are now seen as standard, and save hours of time manually contacting customers. Smart accounting tools (such as FreeAgent and Quickbooks) can also take a lot of the sting out of everything from invoicing to payroll.
Investing in a tool that allows for streamlined scheduling both internally and externally will also dramatically improve the efficiency of all operations, removing the need for lengthy email exchanges or enduring episodes of voicemail tag.
Marketing moved into the digital sphere a while ago now, but keeping up with the trends and techniques is a full-time occupation in itself. One of the key things to remember is that mobile is king – over 50% of businesses now offer their own branded mobile app, which only makes sense since 92% of user interactions are now conducted through smartphones. Even if you don’t make yourself an app (although, when it’s so simple, why not?) having a mobile-responsive website is a must.
Another big movement in the marketing world is towards data-driven marketing. The hardcore among us are heading towards a multi-pronged attack combining in-depth analytics with tools and practices such as predictive modelling and optimisation. But at its core all of this is in aid of obtaining more detailed insights into customers and identifying the messaging which will be most effective. Then personalisation is paramount. Appointedd, for example, allows you to segment your contacts and set up automated, personalised messaging triggered by events or points within a customer journey.
If your business is ready to leave digital infancy and enter digital maturity, why not start with online booking and scheduling? Take a look at our suite of time-saving, revenue-generating features and find out more with a 15 minute consultation call.
Published on 1 June 2017