Why Small Businesses Should Adapt to New Digital Processes
Today, a significant differentiator for most businesses is the customer experience. By adapting to new digital processes, particularly those customers are accustomed to having with similar types of companies, they can not only keep up with their competition but perhaps outpace it digitally. Digital processes streamline operations and help small companies increase their profitability by improving how they engage with consumers, streamlining operational workflows, preventing errors, improving accuracy, and reducing expenses.
Examples of Digital Processes That Deliver Exceptional Results for Small Businesses
Digital processes are changing the way we do business. They have transformed our world, as well as the way we work. Many small businesses are using digital processes to enhance their customer experience and make it easier for them to deliver exceptional results on a daily basis. Here are some examples:
- Online reservations and appointments
- E-commerce stores that expand their potential customer base internationally
- Improved internal collaboration and sharing
- Better employee onboarding and ongoing training
- Customer research and insights derived through fun quizzes, contests, and social engagement
Small businesses that successfully adopt digital processes, like the ones listed above, typically see reductions in operational costs. Transaction costs are reduced through shortened turnaround and completion times, postal and printing costs, and improved customer service. Also, products and services are commoditized, and they gain the ability to scale operations quickly without increasing staffing or space requirements. Collecting online payments, signing contracts with an e-signature, and electronically delivering products and services is a game-changer for business consultants, lawyers, personal trainers, technical support specialists, mental health professionals, and others in service businesses.
Lack of Digital Engagement
Failing to focus on digital engagement can be particularly devastating for small businesses when it comes to delivering an exceptional customer experience and expanding marketing efforts. Companies that are focused on the quality of their customer experience consistently outperform their competitors and see higher revenue. Customer engagement, brand loyalty, and positive service experiences are essential to repeat business and word of mouth.
Digitally engaging with customers improves a business’s ability to collect data and scale marketing messaging quickly and at a relatively low cost. Data is critical for making both marketing and business decisions that allow businesses to improve the customer experience. Digital engagement with customers on social channels and owned communities will enable companies to deliver social proof, increase brand awareness, develop customer advocates and brand champions, improve purchase frequency, value, and rate, and cost-effectively expand their marketing reach.
Strategies for Adopting Digital Processes
Digital transformation is happening at an exponential rate, which means that small businesses need to be prepared for this change, or they will be left behind in today’s competitive market. Yet, many small businesses still lack the necessary tools and resources to manage these changes. As a result, many small businesses are losing out to larger companies because they fail to address the digital transformation process effectively.
The success of a small business in adopting digital processes significantly depends on its business model, culture, and competence. The following are some strategies for implementing a digital strategy:
Plan ahead: Small businesses should set up a process with defined steps for creating a digital strategy before implementing the changes. This will make the process more manageable and less overwhelming for staff members who have been practicing the same old processes for some time.
Address staff concerns: It’s critical to acknowledge and address the concerns of staff members who are not comfortable with change. For example, if the digital strategy includes changes to daily routines, the small business can make a plan for dealing with employees who need additional support during their transition period.
Encourage open communication: Small businesses should encourage honest communication among employees on what is being discussed and what they find helpful or unhelpful from this change.
Establish a baseline: It’s essential to establish a baseline for measuring success and the progress of the digital strategy before implementing any change. This will help to avoid frustration for your staff and customers throughout the transition.
Small businesses wanting to improve their adoption of digital processes can enhance their success by planning out their strategy, addressing staff concerns, and finding a mentor or vendor that has successfully done what they are trying to do.
Many small businesses have ideas for how they want their business to operate but struggle with taking concrete steps in this direction due to a lack of resources. A strategic plan gives small businesses tangible goals, which they can then take the steps towards making a reality. Businesses look to QAT Global for digital process enablement using web applications to enable custom processes, improve customer experience, and quickly deliver innovative digital solutions.