There is no doubt that the pandemic has changed us all, check out our recent blog on business trends to see what we think the world of business will start to look like as we emerge in this post-pandemic world.
One area that has benefited from pandemic conditions has been digital growth; the adoption of new technology and the swift evolution of the products available.
When we were forced to stay indoors, we adapted. From online shopping, banking, and socialising (no more zoom quizzes, ever, please), to the all-important working from home.
Whilst all of this technology pre-existed, the necessity of it put user adoption into overdrive, and whilst you may still experience the same “you’re on mute” moments today, the knowledge and acceptance of all digital technology has undeniably accelerated the digital age.
The digital age has increased the multi-functionality of many assets in our lives; a car is no longer just a car; a phone is no longer just a phone.
Digital can take anything slow, expensive, impersonal, or clunky and transform it into something quick, easy, cost-effective, personal, and most importantly, scalable. But if you’re trying to bring your business and processes up to speed in this new, post-pandemic digital age, you need to consider how, why, and where you plan on using new technology as this is just one part - management, structure, and strategy play a huge role in digital business, you need proper implementation and adoption to make it worthwhile.
If you try to do too much too soon, you may flounder; creating complexity, user issues, and solutions that are empty of use. Ultimately, employees and customers will drive change, consider what’s needed rather than what you ‘think’ you should have.
The increasing popularity of working from home, or hybrid working, will have undoubtedly required further digital adoption within businesses, but if you had to adjust rapidly amid lockdown, now is the time to review your processes. Is everyone fully trained on the software they are using, and is the solution right and scalable?
If the lockdown catapulted you into Microsoft Teams or similar digital offerings, it may be that you aren’t using the solution to its full potential. When it comes to digital transformation and adoption, you don’t need to know it all, but you do need to ask for help when it’s needed, especially if you have employees. Any resistance to change can be improved by training and a full understanding of not only how to use certain technologies, but how they can be beneficial to the business, and each individual.
Migrating your business into the digital age can feel overwhelming, but it’s key to ensure that any change and improvement you make links to your overall business strategy and goals, and like any goal and objective, digital transformation needs to be realistic, researched, and fully understood before commencing.
The digital age has also adapted how businesses can communicate with customers. Your customers could potentially now reach you 24/7 by email, phone, social media, chatbots... and this could easily overwhelm any business. So, make it clear how your customers can and should reach you, this not only allows the person responsible for customer communications to have a life outside of work, but it also manages the customer’s expectations and avoids frustration on their part for any delay.
Whilst customers may want to communicate 24/7, it is now widely accepted that they should be able to purchase at their convenience; be that to book an appointment or to buy a product. Is your business ready for e-commerce and online appointments? Are you offering your customers and clients the chance to transact with you remotely? If not, this should be an area to explore - more and more audiences are tech-savvy and this is now deemed a basic level of business interaction, you could be in danger of missing out if you’re not making it as easy as possible for your customers to buy.
If you’ve invested in digital platforms; a website, CRM, Xero... anything that exists online, you need to invest in protecting it.
Cyber safety is something we’re all aware of as digital users; from your own personal banking to GDPR, and this extends to businesses. Your data needs to be secure; your own website needs to be supported. More and more frequently, cyber-attacks and hacks are reported, if you are in any doubt at all about your cyber safety, reach out to an expert, it will be something you will certainly kick yourself for not doing if you were to ever fall victim of a breach.
To explore the Digital Age more, join us for BiZHUB this month, where we will be discussing current trends, inward reflection on your business processes, and expert advice from a guest speaker. For more information, or to sign up, CLICK HERE.