Business Tips & Tools — Africa

Digital transformation? What is it anyway?

Digital transformation is the integration of technology into business processes to modify procedures and improve customer experience.

This morning I spilled my juice. I grabbed the serviette roll and pinched one. As I was wiping the spill, I noticed that the size of the serviette was smaller than usual yet sufficient for the spill. I have always criticized the size of the tissues in the serviette roll, but I always felt that there is nothing much I can do besides buying what is offered.

Yet, at that moment, I felt like the serviette company would have conducted customer research. The winning result must have been that customers want sizeable serviette tissue rolls. This result must massage the company balance sheet for the company; otherwise, why would they make this product?

Everyone knows the gimmick. Make wider toothpaste openings, so more toothpaste fills the toothbrush than is required. Make larger size serviettes so that even small spills consume more. For businesses, more equal profits. The reduction in the size of the serviette does not fit the bill.

Customer-centrism is never by accident; it's by design. It's an organization choosing to abandon the script and choosing to lead from the heart (Customer) rather than from the head (Balance Sheet).

At the core of digital transformation is a shift from using technology for push and sell to listen and sell. Digital transformation promises businesses a listening tool and one that can quickly adjust to the customer's needs.

For example, an IVR is a call system for customers to self serve. Here we have 2 types:

  1. The common IVR designed with a set of menus. “Press 1 for billing, Press 2 for payment” verses;
  2. Helloduty Magic IVR removes the menu and allows the customer to explore the business offerings. “Hello, in a few words, how may Blue Sacco assist you today?”.

In the first type, the customer has to pick what is offered, and in most cases, the customer is intended to skip the menu and speak with an agent, your most scarce and expensive resource. Sometimes, what you call billing might be something else to the customer, and at that point, your menu is null and void.

In the second type, the customer can express their needs, and the system will identify the best path possible. That is digital transformation. Your customers are likely to express themselves in ways that prove beneficial to the business, and when they do, you require a tool that can quickly adjust out of the box.

What is Digital Transformation? It's the art of constantly listening and adjusting without having to wait for your customers to ask. To achieve digital transformation zen, you need 2 things, an open channel to your customers and well-oiled gears that smoothly adjust.

Last updated
June 12, 2024
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