It’s the end of the business world as we know it…And the beginning of new opportunities to harness the superior digital technology the era has to offer.
When the world welcomed 2020 with the usual high expectations and hope for the New Year, no one could have known that, not even three months later, the way business was done, and the way humans interacted, was to change fundamentally.
Yet, as abnormal as the “new normal” may still seem to the business world right now, the outbreak of a global pandemic did not only close many doors, it also opened up a host of new ones that will ultimately lead to the way business is done in future, perhaps even more efficiently than ever before.
Because of the Government’s directives on social distancing and the need to work remotely and without contact with other individuals, many companies have had to adopt new technology. In some situations, businesses have had to map out an entirely new digital journey for customers, from scratch.
Chart your customer’s digital journey
Some companies have had no choice but to adapt to the new way of doing business practically overnight, but for most, their pandemic and post-pandemic strategies are still in the fledgling stage. In preparation for the eventuality of being back to “business as usual”, with a semblance of how it was just six short months ago, companies need to consider that it is not only going to be another new situation for themselves but for their customers too.’
With the customer at the epicentre of any successful business, the journey ahead – which is inevitably a digital one – must be made as seamless and simple as possible for them. In not doing so, companies stand the risk of alienating – or altogether losing – their existing customer base.
That said, there are many considerations to be made.
If you as a business can put yourself in your customers’ shoes and take a retrospective look at how they were used to doing business “then” (pre-COVID 19), walk the journey forward into how it is going to be done going forward, and then say the terrain felt only slightly different, you have won. If the details around a product used to be communicated face-to-face, in-person – how is that communication going to take place now? How will the same service, with the same response and turnaround time, be delivered without any physical interaction?
As it is the aim of any business that a deal that starts with communication, ends in a transaction – it also needs to be considered how businesses will take payments. Customers can be left feeling frustrated if they are unable to pay through their chosen payment method, bearing in mind that some customers may be uncomfortable paying services or products over the internet. How can customers be assured a business has sufficient safety measures in place?
If the nature of business means it must send contracts back and forth, how will this be done now?
All these questions have one umbrella answer: digital transformation.
And fortunately, in this digital age, companies have an arsenal of technology at their disposal to help them effectively plan and successfully execute their digital transformation.
Take away the dated manual ways of doing things – the paper, the printers, the scanners, the couriers, the wasted time – and replace them with digital processes.
Need customer communication that is remote, yet personal and unintimidating – fast, efficient and professional? Communications and transactions that are watertight when it comes to security, offer peace of mind? Legal contracts and documents that cannot be tampered with?
All these problems can be solved using the right digital technology.
The more prepared and better advised a business is digitally, the faster it can go forward into the “new normal” future we all face. Daunting as that sounds, it is more opportunity than ominous. Just harness the technology already at hand.