Enhancement of customer experience: In case, the objective is to delight the customer, it is recommended to implement an immersive experience solution like NGCE (Next-Gen Customer Experience) to inculcate benefits like:
i. Unified user interface: to provide data from different screens & applications in one single screen to user
ii. Next best action : Personalized next best action and alerts to improve customer’s satisfaction and provide resolution steps
iii. Customer 360° data hub : Single view of customers engagements and preferences across multiple touch points
iv. Omni-channel view: Single view of customer interactions across all channels such as voice, email, chat & social media & previous action history
v. Issue anticipation: Forecast the reason behind an interaction even before it reaches an agent
3. Allocation of budget
Once the top focus areas for automation and transformation are identified, the next crucial step is to arrange funds for it. In its state of the digital transformation survey conducted by masergy through webtorials, budget-commitment has been identified as the number 1 challenge for a successful digital transformation. Key points to be followed:
- Get a project sponsor aligned who would support the transformation journey: It is crucial that a CEO, BU Head or CIO is aligned as the project sponsor who would oversee financial support for the projects
- If the budgets have quarterly or annual validity: discuss the deliverables with your service providers and seek commitment in contract to ensure there are no delays
- Estimate the ROI for each initiative and pursue accordingly: ROI may be long-term or short-term and could be in terms of cost or productivity savings, efficiency improvements, AHT reduction, CSAT improvement or volume reduction. Strategize with your business partners and customers about your key objectives. Rank the projects with greater ROI and allocate the funds to top contenders giving maximum returns
- Seek realistic budgets: Rather than guesstimating, conduct market research to estimate the probable expenditure
4. Transition strategy
One of the most critical actions for an organization is to communicate the change to their customers and staff in a transparent way. For this, the organization should setup a change-management strategy comprising of two main parts:
- Engaging staff: To avoid spread of rumors, demotivation and uncertainty, organization must take following steps:
i. Communicate organization’s strategy and highlight why change is important for growth and to keep in pace with changing business landscape
ii. Identify the upskilling areas needed
iii. Enable training programs and roll-out to target employees
- Self-learning modules can be enabled for all employees
- Specialized training and certification programs can be enabled for specific employees
iv. Motivate employees and track status of learning
- Engaging customers: To ensure customers and end-users don’t have an unenthusiastic response to changes, organization must take both proactive and reactive steps like:
- Communicate organization’s strategy and highlight target objectives from customers’ perspective like improving efficiency and productivity, reducing error-rates, improving CSAT etc.
- Conduct surveys and capture the feedback
- Rollout changes in a phased approach
- Conduct parallel-runs for customers to adjust to changes
- Reward customers/end-users opting for changes
5. Conduct pilots and not Proof of Concept (POC)
Whenever your organization is trying to test the applicability of a new tool or a solution, ensure it is done through a pilot and not through a POC. This is because the challenges and dynamics of a production environment cannot be replicated in a development environment. A pilot may not be a full-blown all-feature-encompassing production-ready module, however if you want to observe how a technology behaves in your environment, then have it deployed in production. The more critical the process, the more important it is to conduct its pilot in a transformed state. Usually, POC is conducted to show serviceprovider’s ability to deliver the outcome or to test a product’s suitability for a customer’s application landscape. However, POC deprives both service-provider and customer of crucial learnings about impacts on people and technology that constitute the process.
Today, almost every organization understands that to sustain and grow in an ever-changing ecosystem it must continuously disrupt its processes and adapt to the radical technological changes. Transformation for the sake-of-transformation without detailed thought-through approach would adversely affect the health of the organization itself. Hence, it is very critical for an organization to seek-out & document responses to following key questions while strategizing the transformation journey:
- Who will monitor and support the objectives of transformation?
- What are the top priorities and focus areas that need to be accomplished?
- Who will sponsor the different transformation initiatives?
- What would be employees’ role during and post transformation state?
- How will customer’s feedback be monitored and what safe-guards would be put in place to avoid dissatisfaction (DSAT) and increase user-adoption?
- How are processes and applications expected to behave in a transformed state?
As the organization matures in its transformation journey, the responses to these questions should be continuously re-visited and refined with the learnings from failures and successes gained through the experience.