As you look for ways to bring your business into the next iterative phase of technology, you have to be thinking about digitization and automation. In fact, it’s difficult to even separate these two concepts from one another. They go hand-in-hand.
A New World Order for Businesses
When you order a set of kitchen knives on Amazon, you click a couple of buttons and two days later it arrives at your doorstep. Then you get a push notification on your phone that it’s arrived.
If at any point you wanted to know where those kitchen knives were in transit, you could have pulled up an app and seen the exact location on a map.
If you need some money in order to start a home remodeling project, you can walk into your local bank (or visit a website), answer a couple of questions, and you’ll be approved for a loan within minutes. The money can be accessed right away.
Whether it’s the delivery of physical products from an ecommerce store, a loan approval from your bank, or even the speed and efficiency of a fast-food drive-thru, these processes don’t just happen. They’re the result of incredible planning and tactful execution. More specifically, they stem from digitization and automation.
Many organizations are struggling, simply because they don’t have the right processes or infrastructure in place to meet the needs and expectations of customers in a marketplace that increasingly prioritizes urgency and on-demand fulfillment.
“Customers wouldn’t phrase it this way, but they are demanding from companies in many industries a radical overhaul of business processes,” McKinsey Digital explains. “Intuitive interfaces, around-the-clock availability, real-time fulfillment, personalized treatment, global consistency, and zero errors—this is the world to which customers have become increasingly accustomed.”
As a business, you either have to meet these needs or step out of the way and let another company do it. That’s just the cold, hard truth of operating in this marketplace. However, if you are willing to lean into this next evolution, there are ways to win. It all comes back to digitizing and automating in the right spots.
Simple Ways to Digitize Your Business
As you think about specific ways that you can digitize your business processes and better meet customer expectations and demands, here are several simple approaches we recommend:
- Build Out a Tech Stack
The first step is to build out a tech stack that does the heavy lifting for you. No matter how much resolve you have or how talented your team is, it’s impossible to build a competitive business without having a strategically selected tech stack.
The good news is that you have plenty of tools to choose from – no matter the industry or vertical. For example, if you’re in charge of managing a large fleet for your business, there’s fleet management software that makes it easy to digitize what are typically very time-consuming, manual endeavors for businesses. Or if you run an ecommerce business, you can use email automation software to set up smart campaigns that automatically send sequences of emails based on specific actions that customers do or don’t take. The list goes on and on.
- Prioritize UX
The next big thing is to prioritize user experience at every step along the way. Smooth and frictionless interfaces are what today’s customers expect. They won’t put up with glitchy apps or long waits on the phone. In true Veruca Salt (Willy Wonka) spirit, they want it and they want it now!
- Train Employees
You can’t think about technology in a vacuum. In other words, it’s not enough to implement a few automated tools, connect them together, and expect everything to work out well in the end. People still play an integral role in fully-digitized businesses. The key is to invest in the right training so that they become experts of the tools they use. This means doing more than just a couple of hours of training during the onboarding process. You should invest in regular training and continuing education for all employees.
Adding It All Up
Digitizing your business isn’t always easy, but it is necessary. Look to the areas where your processes are slow or misaligned with larger business objectives. The goal is speed, efficiency, and accuracy. If you can consistently deliver value to customers with minimal friction, they will reward you with overwhelming loyalty.