The Importance of Digital Transformation in the Customer Experience
Organizations that thrive in the digital age understand the customer is at the heart of any successful business transformation.
Digital transformation is no exception.
Strategic digital transformation initiatives that embrace technology to remove paper and simplify processes will improve their customer experience and get closer to meeting the sky-high expectations of the always-on, digital age.
Meeting Expectations in the Digital Age
Moving to digital from manual and paper-based operations is an obvious first step in digital transformation, and it will go a long way toward improving customer experience.
In fact, according to recent research from IDC, two-thirds of Global 2,000 company CEOs will shift their focus from traditional, offline strategies to digital strategies to improve the customer experience before the end of 2019, with 34% of companies expecting to fully adopt digital transformation within 12 months or less.
Is your organization there yet? In reality, most are not. As a result, they face the risk of falling behind, while the need to improve the customer experience is gaining momentum.
Since face-to-face and telephone interactions are no longer the standard method of communication, customers expect more convenient options and these interactions come with higher-than-ever expectations. People expect attention and convenience on their terms, through their preferred channels. Self-service options, 24/7 access, and meaningful human interactions are all necessary to deliver the experiences your customers demand.
It is not possible to deliver on these high expectations with a dependency on paper-based transactions, and while moving towards a digital format drastically improves transactional efficiencies, simply eliminating paper is not the whole answer.
The Experience Economy in a Digital World
Successful engagement in this new, experience-driven era of high expectations requires organizations to evaluate and improve the customer experience.
The idea of the Experience Economy, defined by B. Joseph Pine II and James Gilmore 20 years ago, is based on the premise that just providing goods and services is not enough. Businesses must instead deliver a total experience where the memory itself is the product. Studies prove that customers whose expectations are satisfied are far more likely to be satisfied.
Findings are consistent with their theory and the results are measurable. According to a 2017 Forrester report, companies with a superior customer experience score grew revenue five times faster than competitors with inferior scores.
To successfully deliver good experiences, it’s critical to spend time and resources intentionally building the experience you want customers to have. That may involve uncovering any obstacles to providing that experience and identifying how to eliminate those obstacles.
Start by understanding how each interaction begins, how your organization delivers on the customer need and how any possible issues are resolved along the way. Re-think business processes and services to support and align with the experience you want to deliver, and that will likely go beyond just digital transformation.
The Real Impact of Digital Transformation on Customer Experience
For organizations that successfully navigate digital transformation, the benefits to the customer experience are quantifiable. It doesn’t require complete transformation to begin realizing the benefits. Even the early stages of digital transformation can produce improved customer experience and measurable benefits:
Convenience is a minimum expectation for today’s consumers, and enabling automation and online access are some of the quickest ways to get there.
Automation, as part of your digital transformation, streamlines workflow and enables instant—often in real-time—service notifications, tracking and updates, which can be delivered through self-service channels available 24/7.
Sophisticated document management solutions enable secure online information sharing and the convenience of searchable digital records accessed through email, online forms and portals. All of this can decrease or eliminate the need and inconvenience of in-person appointments since users can access records online at any time, from anywhere.
As part of Image API’s solution for Florida Department of Health’s (DOH) Division of Medical Quality Assurance, we integrated the division’s licensing system, website, and agenda system with the Axiom Pro cloud-based document management tool. Axiom Pro holds over 31 million documents for DOH, including many types of files related to licensing and enforcement that are both public and confidential. Axiom Pro allows users to securely access the information they need online. Thousands of public users can also search and access public records and medical provider profiles on the DOH website through the system.
Paper-based records requests are extremely time-consuming and labor intensive. Gartner reports that employees waste 20 to 30 percent of their work week managing documents, including searching for information.
That wasted time translates into delays, slow response times, and ultimately, inconvenience for customers. People expect fast service and want nearly instant answers. Digital content available online eliminates the need for unnecessary appointment scheduling, long telephone hold times, and waiting for mailed forms or information requests.
Digital content is also organized and searchable, reducing the time it takes to respond to information requests, while manual processes are prone to loss, misfiling, repeat requests and delays. In a digital workplace, it takes a fraction of the time and effort to fulfill requests, whether through self-service or staff assistance.
3. Lower Cost
Eliminating paper nearly always results in lower costs, with savings on consumables and utility expenses associated with physical records storage and labor costs for managing those records. When Image API took the Texas Department of Insurance paperless by scanning over 800,000 case files, it eliminated $300,000 in file storage and management costs.
Client after client, we’ve seen successful reallocation of staff and restoration of space previously used to manage and store paper-based systems drive significant cost savings. New York State’s Nassau County freed up and cost-effectively repurposed an entire floor of office space when it moved from paper-based records to a digital system. Digitizing case files freed up thousands of square feet of expensive office space for the New York City Housing Authority. Reduced travel to off-site records storage facilities and mailing are other benefits.
Cost savings mean time and money can be spent on mission critical initiatives, technology or resources that further improve the customer experience.
4. More Secure and Accurate
Digitizing documents doesn’t just make processes quicker and more cost-effective, it also increases security and accuracy, which serves your customers interest—making it easier to find information and safeguarding private data.
Paper files stored in file cabinets and file rooms present a security risk. A printed sheet of data can go anywhere, anytime, with anyone. With a digitized document, you have far more control over who can access information. A scanned, trackable document is always a more secure one. Information is also more accurate when customers can input and verify their own information.
Scanned documents can be safely stored in the cloud, and security authorizations can easily be set and enforced. Electronic data can also be encrypted so even if copied or stolen, the information is protected. When choosing a vendor, it’s important to ask about multi-level security settings.
Complying with privacy requirements is also easier when you know exactly where and how your records are stored, who has accessed them (and when), and how the document was used. A digitized system provides the trackable audit trail required for compliance with privacy laws such as HIPAA, FERPA, CJIS, PPACA, and more. When the Florida Department of Safety and Motor Vehicles digitized several million high-security images, it improved security of and access to confidential records such as state drivers’ licenses.
Seamless transactions—whether by phone or online self-service—are key to positive customer experiences.
When information is easily accessible and in one place, it brings consistency to every transaction. Automated transactions and processes and digital content enables service notifications, tracking, and updates.
Seamless transactions mean convenience, speed, accuracy and security for customers from beginning to end, and that translates to an overall winning customer experience.
Digital transformation is a multifaceted undertaking, but the benefits are quantifiable and far-reaching, especially in relationship to the customer experience. It requires planning, diligence, and continuous improvements and investments, but it can play a significant role in improving the interactions people have with your organization.
Image API can partner with you to evaluate your processes and technology for inefficiencies and help you navigate digital transformation.
Our clients report substantial improvements in service delivery, including accuracy and convenience. We help reduce the burden of paper, in everyday tasks and processes, and our services and technology solutions integrate for a seamless digital experience, both internally and externally.