When it comes to interacting with companies and brands, today’s customers determine the rules of engagement. And they’ve decided that the days of doing business between 9am and 5pm are over.
Customers complete banking transactions at all hours, on a range of devices. Telco companies resolve customer service issues on Twitter at 2am. And business executives expect to be able to check the status of an insurance claim from anywhere.
I read an Accenture report the other day that sums up the 24/7 customer landscape as follows:
“Always on the go, [customers] demand engaging content, tailored to their needs, as well as easy access and fast fulfillment—a seamless experience, however they choose to shop.
Tomorrow, thanks to the unprecedented pace of technology change, they will still be more formidable digital powerhouses, meeting needs with the help of an astonishing diversity of devices, across multiple channels—24/7.”
This shift presents new challenges and opportunities for chief information officers. Not only are they under pressure to keep the IT machine running at all hours. They are also responsible for identifying new technologies to boost revenue, save money and gain a competitive edge.
Those who respond to 24/7 customer demand while minimising risk and cost stand to reap considerable benefits.
With this in mind, let’s look at how CIOs can create engaging digital experiences to help their organisations thrive in an always-on business environment.
1. Deliver customers the transactional experiences they expect
According to Accenture, the modern customer journey is dynamic, accessible and continuous. It says customers expect a “seamless, integrated, consistent and personalised experience.”
I’m sure many CIOs will agree that meeting this expectation is easier said than done. So what can you do to deliver a consistent customer experience, regardless of device, location and time of day?
It all comes down to availability. Your digital channels need to be mature enough to both conduct 24/7 transactions and meet evolving customer expectations.
In practical terms, this means ensuring that customers can interact with your business at their convenience, using the method of their choice (i.e. smartphone, tablet, laptop, in-person). And since customers are likely to interact with your business across more than one channel, it also means ensuring you deliver consistent experiences across all of them.
2. Replace inefficiency with digital automation
I’ve seen organisations cut process costs significantly by automating critical business tasks. However, the benefits of document and form automation go beyond just cost savings.
When processes are automated, organisations don’t need to wait until operating hours to kick off a business process. For example, if a customer submits an online insurance claim on a Friday evening, automation can enroll the customer in the appropriate workflow based on the type of claim.
It can email the customer to tell them their claim is being processed, save claim information to the CRM and forward to the right staff member for review – all before 9am the following Monday.
Digital automation helps organisations meet demand for round-the-clock availability, without the expense or inconvenience of mobilising a 24/7 workforce.
3. Revitalise systems with new technology integrations
The systems that keep organisations running are often decades old. As explained in a recent Deloitte paper, Technology Trends 2016, “Transforming the bedrock of the IT footprint to be agile, intuitive and responsive can help meet business needs today, while laying the foundation for tomorrow.”
To do this, organisations need to modernise and revitalise their legacy systems. While these systems don’t need replacing, agile business leaders will want to ensure they have the capability to integrate business process automation technologies such as SmartForms and electronic signatures. This will ensure they can respond more efficiently to the 24/7 demands of today’s customers.
That’s why it is critical to choose a business partner that takes the time to understand your organisation’s objectives, needs and initiatives, and who can translate these into a practical pathway for digital enablement and transformation.
Learn more about transforming your processes into the 24/7 digital experiences that customers expect. Download our complimentary guide to streamlining business processes through digital automation.