Digital transformation is a “hot” topic today for enterprises that are striving to deliver an outstanding customer experience cost effectively. A growing number of enterprises have acknowledged the need to change the way they do business if they want to continue to be relevant to their customers. Many of these companies are not exactly sure what they need to do, but appreciate that the “old” way of conducting business is becoming less effective with each passing day, and even worse, it’s too expensive. While the term “digital transformation” takes into account the need to use the newer digital channels – email, chat, co-browse, SMS, social media and video – this is only a small piece of what people are referring to.
For companies to succeed and thrive in the digital economy – which is another way of saying “in the future” – they need to take a critical look at all of their activities, particularly those that involve customers. For example, it’s not just a matter of taking too many days or weeks to approve a customer application or claim, but also reducing the processing time and cost.
Contact centers are ahead of the game when it comes to digital transformation. Contact centers have been talking about Omnichannel environments for more than 5 years (and multi-channel environments for the previous 15 years). Best practices are starting to emerge to help contact centers make the necessary changes in operations, people and technology to position them to support an increasingly digital world. An important element of this challenge is to view experiences from the perspective of customers and prospects, something that companies have failed to do for generations.
One component of the digital transformation will be investments in technology to automate activities that previously required the participation of agents and other employees. Robotics (also known as robotic process automation (RPA)) and intelligent virtual agents (IVAs) are two applications that are increasingly being used by enterprises to enhance customer satisfaction. These solutions can reduce the time it takes to complete a task, reduce error rates, and improve the quality of the output at the same time as they decrease operating costs. Contact centers and their customers will be one of the earliest beneficiaries of this new generation of artificial-intelligence-enabled solutions, but these applications are expected to find their way into other enterprise activities and will play an important role in the overall digital transformation of business.
A lot of noise has been made about the lack of productivity improvements in the era of smart and digital technology. It’s time for companies to address this issue. With the right support and cooperation throughout enterprises, digital transformation could lead the way to delivering an outstanding customer journey while increasing staff productivity and reducing operating costs.