What does it mean for an organization to become digital? What is a Digital Organization?
The term “digital” and “digitalization” are used very broadly to define the new ways of communication with customers, primarily using the modern internet technologies. It is useful though to define exactly what those terms mean.
Internet for everything
Whether this is sales or care, the organization should be able to accept and process any customer request via internet. This may take a form of a mobile/tablet app or a web-portal.
Removing paperwork, paper mail is a priority. Increasingly, companies using paper communication are viewed, and even frowned upon, as non-modern. Additionally, paper mail and paperwork introduce unnecessary delays and wait time for clients.
Removing a need for phone calls and call centers (both inbound and outbound) is absolutely essential. Although organizations will be able to remove call centers completely in observable future, their roles may reduce palpably and replaced with the digital means of communication. More on this below.
Introducing new, internet-based channels:
Web portal is of an essential need for almost any organization nowadays: from government, to B2B and B2C businesses of any size.
There are typically two flavours of portals: Sales portal and Self-care portal. As the name implies, Sales portal typically is deployed for selling to new customers or upselling to current customers. A simple sales portal would have a order form, however more complex portals include the product catalog and the “basket checkout” capabilities, a recommendation engine, payment and/or digital contract signing capabilities.
Self-care portal is deployed for servicing: think of support tickets from customers, invoicing,
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Many organization need apps, think of any modern airline or hotel booking company that does not have one? However many organizations do not really need it. Think of a consumer business where customers only need it once a year or so. Also, think of a B2B business, where a fully functional portal is normally sufficient.
One of the powerful tools that apps offer is push-back notifications whereby customers may be notified intravenously and a user-friendly fashion of any event, such as a flight delay or order delivery.
Social networks play an increasing role, for marketing, selling and servicing. Facebook offers a set of comprehensive capabilities for marketing, including a customized web front-end, promotion, but also often serves for submitting service complaints (also known as support tickets) and following up on them. Twitter has become a major channel of such complains too.
An important player for B2B organizations is Linkedin, which is often used for news and promotions, but also as a front-end for a marketing web page.
Messengers (whatsapp, facebook messenger, etc)
The messengers serve as an efficient interaction channels. The simple version of that is “Get in touch with us on whatsapp #”, however more complex cases may include a notification channel for organization towards is customers. They might also be coupled with an Artificial Intelligence mechanisms that “parse” customers request and channel them towards an appropriate service agent.
Millenial generation increasingly consider phone calls an obsolete form of communication, and largely prefer chatting, both for personal and business communication. It is considered less intrusive way to communicate in the time of constant meetings and nomadic lifestyle we live with. Companies should embrace that approach in talking to their customers and suppliers.
Emails and SMS
While more and more considered obsolete, these ways of communications are still dominant in the modern corporate life. From email notifications to workflow approvals, emails can still be relatively comfortable channel of communication.
Community portal and knowledge base
Enabling community for both information sharing, customer support or self-support is a powerful tool. Why not collect elaborate opinions via a community portal? A powerful knowledgebase (a database of articles clients can view and search in) may significantly reduce the amount of inbound phone calls and requests.
Just-in-time, no delays
This works both ways: for organization and its customers. Organization should not create any information bottlenecks regarding customer’s requests or orders, however equally, its customers should not be limited in providing the requested details, be it an order or a support ticket.
Digital Organization is an organization that does not need a call center or paper work, it is open via internet for any interaction with its customers and suppliers.