S T A G F O X

Picture this: the year is 2021 and the internet is ‘literally’ high on buzz words such as disruptive technology, IoT, VUI, AI, distributed cloud, and innovation. Digitalization and Digitization are but just an example of our addiction to tech jargon. The two terms look and sound similar but most certainly, differ in meaning.

Digitalization, also known as Digital Transformation (DX) is when a business incorporates digital technology in its processes, tools, operations, or even to revamp its products and services. It is the process of employing digital technologies and information to transform business operations. Google Trends suggests that the term ‘Digital Transformation’ peaked in popularity in Sept 2020. The use of a laptop for report generation is the most basic and simple example of digitalization.

Digitization is the process of changing information from analog to digital form. An example of this is the transformation of physical forms to digital forms where the process hasn’t changed, except the information is now stored and viewed in a digital format versus handwritten. Digitization helps reduce paperwork.

In summary, information is digitized while a business is digitalized. Unless this distinction is clear, it can be challenging for business leaders to establish a clear vision.

The Best Way To Predict The Future Is To Study The Past

It started with the invention of the transistor in 1947. There was no looking back from then on. Next came the pager, computers, game consoles, emails, laptops, CDs and digital cameras. The list goes on and on. Fast forward to 2021 where we live and breathe technology.

With the speed at which technology has taken over our daily lives and businesses, one would be right to assume that every business understands the importance of digital transformation, specially in terms of customer experience. Interestingly, this isnot the case. Many CEOsdon’t entirely understand what it means to digitalize their business. Othersdon’t want to have to do anything with technology and leave it up to the CTO/CIO to make technology related decisions instead of working with them in close collaboration.

In a recent research, 79% of companies admit that it is only because of COVID-19 that they have increased their budget for digital transformation.In another study, 47% businesses haven’teven started their digital transformation as yet while 59% are worried that it might already be too late for them! The same study found that 55% of businesses believe they have less than a year before they start to suffer financially and lose market share. 12 months isn’t enough time to digitalize customer experience but a significant number of companies have managed to do this during the COVID-19 crisis. The food retail sectors, specifically, grocery stores were forced to digitalize their customer experience entirely. The sector achieved in months, what it had planned to achieve in the next 5 years and managed to thrive. In the UAE, there was a consistent 2x growth in revenue in Q2 and Q3 2020 versus Q1 2020.

Call it ‘Digital Darwinism’ or ‘Survival of The Fittest’, done right, it can mean the difference between making it and going extinct. If you are still reading, chances are you appreciate and understand the need for digitalization.

Help!!! How Do I Go About It?

So, why do some digital transformation efforts succeed while others fail? In a 2019 survey, CEOs admitted that of the $1.3 trillion that was invested in digital transformation, more than $900 billion was wasted. That’s a 70% failure rate. It is fair to conclude that digital transformation is not only about technology. It is a combination of attitude, strategy, teamwork, willingness to learning new things, project management, prioritizing the customer and change management.

To get started, segregate your business into segments that need to ‘undergo the surgery’. While it differs for every business, for most, the following segments need to be focused on when embarking on the journey to digitalization:

  • Customer experience
  • Employee journey
  • Business processes
  • Operations

Regardless of the area you focus on, you need an overall strategy with a clear timeline.We will focus on the customer experience segment in this blog.

An engaged customer is also, usually, a paying customer. Highly engaged customers buy 90% more frequently, spend 60% more per purchase and have 3 times the annual value in revenue compared to the average customer. Furthermore, companies that have embraced digital transformation are 26% more profitable than their peers!

We suggest that you:

  • Map out your existing customer journey
  • Look at opportunities for digitalization and improvements. This initiative will overlap with operations and business processes. Don’t forget to keep personalisation, top of mind. Consider what competition is doing and how you can do it better. Don’t be afraid to re-invent and do invest in developing a reliable CRM. Sound like hard work already? That’s because it kind of is but it pays tenfold in the long run.
  • Bridge the physical and digital customer experience so that you can map the entire customer journey rather than just the digital part of it. When retailers decide to go digital they incorrectly assume that it includes the website and App worlds only. Nothing should stopyou from exploring the online to offline bridge, also known as O2O.StagFox can help you achieve this through the use ofBLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) technology. Install the StagFox device at a location, integrate with your existing application or deploy a white label version of the StagFox App andping your visitors with relevant notifications and offers. Speak directly to your visitors while they are on your premises and utilize the opportunity to convert them into paying customers. The opportunities are endless. The technology also allows you to turn every visitor into a mystery shopper thereby eliminating fake reviews. ​We spend an average of 4.5 hrs on our phones, every day! Due to this, response rates are higher for in-App surveys versus traditional and email surveys.
  • Appoint vendors wisely.Your vendor should have the ability to work with you as a partner to help you achieve your targets. Your digital environment needs to be flexible to adapt to hurdles it may face in the future so a cloud-based solution could be the way to go. 86% of businessesbelieve that cloud technology is critical to digital transformation.
  • Consider resources at hand such as human resources, time, funds availability andteam buy-in.
  • Don’t just design this new process, deliver it! Detailed plans are impressive and necessary but don’t ponder over them for a year. Decide on the final plan and execute it in 8 months vs over 3 years. COVID-19 has propelled companies to accelerate digitization of their customer interactions from 3 to 4 years.
  • Manage change well by changing mindsets to make the transition as smooth as possible.
  • Drive customer adoption- through marketing and incentives.
  • Ask for feedback, externally- from your customers and internally- from your employees.

The end result needs to be a seamless multi-channel experience for the customer along with increased revenue generation opportunities for the business. Customers are more likely to return if their experience is as painless and as technologically diverse as possible.

Benefits of Digitalization

If you are still not convinced, here is a list of reasons you might want to digitalize:

  • Increased transparency within and outside the organization– Armed with data and analytics it is much easier to drive business decisions, gain consensus internally and better manage staff performance. Both digitization and digitalization equip us with valuable insights that allow for informed decision-making. Not to forget, compliance regulations are becoming more demanding than ever. Having the ability to store and record data in real-time is crucial in some industriesin order to avoid hefty fines.

Nevertheless, data is valuable when it is visualized and analyzed accurately. At the heart of StagFox’s offering is the true voice of your customers. With our state-of-the-art CMS (Content Management System) you can set your campaigns and surveys to view insights based on gender and age ranges. With our fully automated reporting suite, you can analyze trends in real-time.

  • Efficiency– take the example of how mystery shopping was done in the past. Mystery shoppers were hired and had to physically travel to a location to perform the job. This would cost firms money and time. With the advent of mobile phones, businesses can now turn every customer into a mystery shopper through emails, text messages, in-App surveys, telephone calls, and website feedback forms.
  • Ability to react quickly to external changes– As we have witnessed with COVID, companies that were able to rebuild operations and the customer journey didn’t just survive but actually thrived. Businesses that were technology ready, morphed at a pace much faster than anticipated allowing them to save jobs, limit cost-cutting, increase market share and exploit new opportunities. A pandemic is just one of the many possible unexpected turn of events that can take place in today’s volatile world. Who is to say that the next hurdle won’t be a political one, climate change-related, a big-scale cybercrime or another pandemic! The ability to change is the only variable between making it and ceasing to exist. There is a school of thought among long-standing organizations that they can still, somehow survive a passive and slow approach to digital transformation. This proved to be fatal for Debenhams and many other companies. The advanced and diverse use of technology safeguards businesses from losing touch with their customers. Check out our blog about Bluetooth technology hereand consider how BLE can add value to your operations.
  • An opportunity to reflect on the organisation’s culture and learn about the organization’s attitude when faced with change. To deal with change on a personal level is challenging, to do it as an organization is not short of a mammoth task. When undergoing a digital transformation, every departmentcan use the opportunity to reflect on its attitude, behavior, culture, and even crisis management skills. It can be an eye-opener for every level of the business and bring to the surface: fears, doubts, and areas of improvement.

What if I still don’t want to do it?

If you are still convinced that you can retain your customers without digitalization, you might be risking:

  • Becoming irrelevant…pretty much next week
  • Your competitive disadvantage
  • Market share
  • Innovation and growth
  • Opportunities
  • Efficiency in work processes

Summary

Global net spending on digital transformation in 2018 was approximately $1 trillion. This number is expected to increase to more than $2 trillion by 2022. Every business is now a technology business, and what matters most is a deep understanding of the customer, which is enabled by technology. Get started today and contact us for a demo!

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