The importance of digital transformation became very clear with the pandemic in 2020. Businesses had become more digital to stay alive, and those businesses that were more digital when the pandemic began were better able to adapt.
Digitization of products and services enables automation AND personalization, which improves the user experience and increases efficiency.
Here are some examples of digital transformation:
- Hotels offered virtual concierge services and self-serve checkout
- Airbnb offered virtual experiences, like entertainment and education
- Restaurants started or ramped up delivery, to-go, and curbside pickup and used QR codes in place of menus
- Retail stores increased ecommerce and order-online-and-pickup
- Mortgage companies made their document and notary processes virtual
- Gyms offered virtual training classes; Peloton’s hybrid product and virtual group services were a hit
- Car companies delivered more cars ordered online
- Real estate companies increased digital discovery and virtual touring
- Schools adapted to distance learning
How did these businesses evolve and how can you help your business transform more rapidly?
1. Improve your customer listening and insights
Enhance all the ways you collect feedback and invest more time in reviewing it and looking for the patterns. Document what concerns they have and be sure to address them prominently on your website and through other digital communication. Review the customer support tickets and resolutions. Run a survey to collect additional feedback from customers.
2. Reimagine the customer journey and enhance the digital touchpoints
Start with a simple map and define how most customers:
- Find you
- First steps they take
- Steps that engage and lead to conversion
Then expand the granularity within these three steps: For the find you step, is it search? traditional media? email? word of mouth? display? PR? For example, if a user found you on Google Maps, did not book or buy and used a third party site to make purchase, it is worth running conversion rate optimization (CRO) tests and using analytics to review journey and drop out and points. For example, is it the site design or information available that needs enhancement?
Next evaluate the paths and content they use. You can do path analysis in Google Analytics by reverse mapping the path and content of people who convert to a lead or booked trip or room. There could be dozens or hundreds of paths, but focus on the 3-5 most popular paths.
As you evaluate the successful traffic, determine what caused the engagement. Was it a free trial? A guarantee? Reviews or testimonial. Try to scale up what is working by offering it at more points.
This process will give you about 10 points in the journey. Create a graphic of the journey and share it with the following groups: Product, Programming, Marketing, and Sales as each of these departments needs to be aware of the context that most customers have when they engage with the site, product, content, or talking to a salesperson. Strengthen any weak and thin spots in the journey.
3. Build a better marketing dashboard for 2021
The right dashboard will tell you the following:
- Which channels are:
- sourcing first touches, contributing, and closing the deal
- How are you performing on a visibility and share-of-voice perspective
- What the CPA and ROI is for each channel
- What media types are contributing and performing well
- How your site and content is engaging your audience
- How many tests you are running and how much progress has been made
4. Understand the digital transformation of your competitors
Take the painful step of doing loss studies and loss customer interviews each quarter. A loss study seeks to answer the question, “Why did you choose my competitor instead of me?” Have the studies conducted by someone who does not have a vested interest in a particular narrative about why customers are lost. Product marketing is often a good choice to lead the project.
Benchmark your performance against your competition using tools like Milestone Insights to create a business strategy to get ahead of your direct competition. In addition, track the performance of your website in terms of leads and conversions, SERP saturation and rich results of your content on a daily basis to plan your next steps with defined goals. Milestone Analytics will allow your business to track your performance and growth on a monthly and quarterly basis and make year-on-year comparisons.
5. Digitize, automate, and optimize
Eliminate the need to be physically present. Eliminate paper and forms and hard copy signatures. Digitize product and in-person experience into high-quality photos and videos. Explore immersive videos and even virtual reality. Some examples are 360-degree open house tours, video test drives, and how-to videos to maximize product satisifcation.
Once you have done this, automate more of your processes and improve the self-service processes.
- Expand and optimize your FAQs and help section. Milestone FAQ Manager will help organize and amplify FAQs to multiple touchpoints – ensuring that you’re content is displayed as the relevant and best answer.
- Implement schemas in your website to tell search engines what exactly your content is all about and be displayed as rich results on search for relevant queries. With no coding expertise required, Milestone Schema Manager allows businesses to manage the entire schema implementation and tracking process seamlessly.
- Create a strong omnichannel local presence by managing your local listings effectively. Milestone Local ensures that multi-location businesses manage all their business profiles on a single screen. Businesses can update key details of each business location and have it reflected on multiple platforms real-time.
- Update your email nurture flows and your email preference center.
- Check all the error messages on your forms and make sure they are clear and helpful. Milestone customers enjoy a high degree of
6. Evolve your corporate culture to support curiosity, speed, and focus on outcomes
For companies with long histories of traditional and physical processes, like banks, real estate, hotels, and autos, the rapid changes will be uncomfortable. Help people propose and try new approaches by making the culture more transparent and open and give people room and some budget to experiment. Nurture a culture that develops and destroys and develops anew. The future favors the prepared.
Help all departments focus on the business outcomes of: engagement, conversion, leads, revenue, retention, and profit.
7. Prioritize and align
Evolving the workflows of the company requires additional layers of work and effort, so management needs to help define the priorities and keep the work moving. Management needs to be on the lookout for people resisting the digital transformation by holding onto or defending old processes and workflows.
Digital transformation should be an ongoing priority. Using this framework will keep your organization with and ahead of the market and your competition. Contact your Milestone CSM or [email protected] if you would like to learn more.