Coronavirus and digital
At the time of writing the UK and many other countries are still in lockdown as a result of the ongoing impact of COVID-19. Many business have been impacted by this as their operating models have drastically changed and their workforce remains at home.
Digital transformation has long been driven as a result of competitive threats from innovative competitors or disruptive business models, or as a result of the need to deliver a better customer experience. COVID-19 has rapidly pushed business towards a degree of digital transformation. Digital products and services can help firms manage the slow down as they have adopted new ways of engaging and supporting customers.
Some business have adopted a digitally-enabled model where previously they would have offered traditional bricks and mortar services. Others are using digital tools to build a foundation of customer trust, and ensure customer loyalty in the medium term.
Ready for transformation
It's worth noting that the companies who are ready to embrace digital transformation at this time are those who were already geared up to make best use of it. The organisations who have already been working on their cross channel customer experience are those who are best placed to capitalise on the changes in the way customers are now using their products and services.
Leaders who were ready for change are in the best mindset to help their organisations to adapt through current remote ways of working. They have the mindset and the belief that their business is ready to step up.
Communication and collaboration tools such as Slack, Microsoft Teams and Zoom are helping many employees to keep in contact with each other. There is evidence that many employees feel that working from home will be much more accepted in the future than before the start of the coronavirus pandemic. An increased levels of meetings and conferences are also expected to be held online after the 'end' of the coronavirus pandemic.
The current crisis has also acted as a road test of a cloud-first strategy. Organisations who have followed a SaaS and infrastructure-as-a-service approach are currently well placed to scale up and support their employees and customers. Of course this isn't without its own challenges. Cloud-based technologies need resilience and information security to ensure optimal service delivery and capability whilst reducing information security threats and vulnerabilities.
Those companies who have already moved technology infrastructure and operations towards remote delivery, whilst ensuring service delivery and security are clearly well placed at present. Alongside digital there is also the opportunity to start focusing on aspects such as machine learning and process automation to free up capacity for the service and support workforce to attend the most important service visits.
Operations leaders also need to remember to focus on the metrics that are needed to run their businesses. Many organisations have augmented their data analytics approaches to allow them to effectively measure how well their operation is holding up and of course to evidence and monitor the sentiment of their customer base.
There is likely to be pent-up demand for many products and services when the current period of lockdown ends. This wave of uptake from customers might also translate to an increase in service and support requests and in customer contact.
What to do next
If your organisation is playing catch up to some of these digital models don't worry - it isn't too late. Approached in the right way (rather than in a knee jerk method) you can still make big steps forwards. You can also take the opportunity to learn from your current experiences and put more robust processes and digital tools in place beyond the current situation.
Leadent Digital helps organisations to achieve transformational change. We love developing apps that transform customer experience and help you deliver a more frictionless service experience across all of your contact points and channels. Why not get in touch to tell us more about your current CX priorities?