The buck usually stops on the CEOs table, especially for small businesses, and marketers who do the main job of converting and retaining customers don’t find their task easy; it takes ingenuity to convert a customer, and the effort that goes into retaining customers can at best be described as herculean. The conversion rate has become more of a mirage now that customers mostly do their shopping online.
The changes we are experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic have deemed it absolutely necessary that small businesses must thrive. While this is so, the competition is getting stiffer, even for large corporations.
Survival and remaining relevant in the global market tilt heavily towards how you satisfy your customers. Businesses have seen the need to become consumer-centric and are putting in serious efforts to enhance this.
Incidentally, this affects everybody – startups, SMEs, and even the Fortune 500 corporations. Every business is looking for ways to remain relevant, and this is what has given the boost we now see to digital transformation.
What is digital transformation?
Digital transformation refers to the measures you take to reposition your organization by revamping legacy systems and adopting new technologies. The essence of digital transformation is to overwhelmingly improve customer experience as well as to achieve your company’s set out objectives through the effective utilization of technology, employees, and processes.
A successful digital transformation will both ensure customers’ satisfaction and improve revenue generation. The CEO of a small business must initiate digital transformation and ensure that the CIO, other managers, and the entire workforce are carried along to enhance customer retention.
This cannot be done without the collaboration of your entire workforce. You must focus on digital transformation; this is what 77.3% of 100 CIOs of Fortune 500 corporations decided to prioritize in their budgets for 2021.
If your small business has existed for some years, you need to work on organizational culture, and if you are just starting one, you must embed digital culture in your employees. However, you cannot do this without a digital transformation strategy.
Digital transformation strategy
Where are you coming from? Where are you heading to? These are two important questions CEOs of small businesses must have in mind for digital transformation, depending on whether their small businesses are just kicking off or if they want to remain relevant.
Whatever digital adoption or innovation you have in mind to implement must be driven by customer experience. Your customers will want faster, more responsive, and increasingly interactive experiences.
Apart from these, they will also want to have accessibility and availability. For you to retain your customers, your digital transformation strategy must focus on how to give them a consistent, efficient, and consumer-centric experience throughout the customer journey.
There are quite many applications you can integrate into your small business now to ease your workflow, however, you must consider the training your employees have to acquire before they can use these apps. You need to also consider if the apps fit the evolving tech ecosystem.
The integration of apps is pivotal to digital transformation, but as a small business, you must take into consideration the costs and ROI before the integration. The CEO must liaise with the CIO and the IT team to come up with the relevant apps.
Your digital transformation strategy ensures that the new apps, data, processes, and legacy systems work in tandem to improve customer experience and ultimately, customer retention. Considering it as a roadmap, it must fully indicate steps you must follow and how you embark on each step.
Revamping legacy apps may be necessary, but where the cost may be detrimental to your digital transformation, you don’t need to waste time and other resources on them. In such a situation, it will make better business sense for you to integrate new apps.
Where a study reveals that 80% of customers believe that the experience you provide is as important as your product or service, and 91% say they’re more likely to purchase from a business after a positive experience, you must focus on how to retain them in your digital transformation. It must not be all about your product or service alone.
The importance of data in digital transformation
It’s the era of Big Data, and the fact that you are running a small business must not make you lose focus of how important data has become. Digital transformation revolves around new technologies, organizational culture, and data.
Data is very important in understanding your customers better, and ultimately, retaining them. Fortunately, you have access to a lot of data from your customers and even the competition. By harnessing the data of your customers, you know how to serve them better.
It’s also an opportunity for you to understand their pain points and personalize the messages you send across to them. Your digital transformation strategy must take into consideration technologies that will ensure employees are better equipped to properly handle customers.
Customers want to feel belonging, they want to interact with you in real-time. All these must be taken care of as you embark on digital transformation.
A personalized experience ensures that a customer feels like part of your business. Data you gather about the competition also reveals what they may be doing better and what direction you must focus your digital transformation.
A small business may be low on funds, and the CEO can’t afford to sink resources into irrelevant processes and technologies. This is where data about the competition comes into veritable use.
The digital transformation that is focused on improved customer experience goes a long way to enhance customer retention.