Identify the Digital Business Advantage
We're well into the festive season and for most businesses it's a case of "making hay while the sun shines!" I've been watching businesses all around under the pump trying to make the most of the trading opportunity and still maintain the high levels of customer satisfaction seen during quieter periods.
Yet I regularly come across points in my own journey as a customer where a sales relationship feels awkward, slow or even worse... like I want to buy somewhere else 😬
Image by KamranAydinov on Freepik
These pain-points often stem from seemingly unrelated issues like:
- the new trainee who has not yet commited the process to muscle memory.
- the old hand that makes mistakes and is slow entering data using their 1980's seek-and-destroy typing skills.
- the reception team that likes to do things their own way causing chaos for the folk delivering services to customers.
- the anxious performer because data has to be entered identically into the sales system and the job spreadsheet else risk being disciplined because invoices aren't getting out on time.
- the manager who wants to help out his team, but is rather rusty on the tools.
Not having the right tools to fit your business increases costs and gives your competitors an edge.
If done well, the application of software can reduce these problems. The catch is of course, doing it well and where do you start? Once you start thinking about the processes you feel aren't perfect, you'll probably begin building a long list; and they're not all worth applying software to.
Which part of what process causes you or your customers the greatest friction?
That's where you want to start. That process is likely to already have one or more systems to support it. Perhaps a combination of documented procedures and a couple of spreadsheets. Maybe a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, printed job sheets placed onto clipboards and a group e-mail inbox. Systems are needed to support business process perform efficiently and deliver consistently even when the customer queue is long. Well... they should.
Once you've identified the process and the systems you're using, there's a series of questions worth answering honestly to assessing what it's costing you to do nothing:
- Do we actually have systems in place to manage this part of the process? Do we have too many systems to juggle?
- Do people know about our systems and why we use it? How much does it cost to educate and remind them?
- How long does it take to learn our systems and adapt to changes?
- How often are mistakes made and what is the impact to the business and its customers when they happen?
- When under pressure, do people get more stressed because they fear that they will fail to follow the process correctly? How do our staff and customers feel?
- Do you feel you could train a monkey to do it faster, cheaper or better?
- Does the use of the system fully achieve the goals of the process?
These questions are posed to measure the significance of the process pain points and reveal the drivers and opportunities to implement change. Changes where software, or 'getting software right' are likely to deliver good outcomes and give you a digital advantage over your competitors.
If you'd like some help identifying where your systems are letting you down or to learn more about how software might help you gain the 'digital business advantage', please feel free to reach out.