10 August 2020
As business owners we have a great opportunity before us. COVID-19 has provided the opportunity to pause, to review what expenses we can do without, and how to remain connected with our customers.
For many years, I have been encouraging business owners to adopt digital strategies within their business. Now, merely adopting digital strategies is not enough. Now is the time to adopt a touchless digital strategy.
A touchless digital strategy is where you have a business process that is seamless. Where tasks and processes are digitally completed from beginning to end.
Changing to a touchless digital strategy can provide your business with the following advantages:
- Improve customer experience
- Improve quality throughout the business process
- Free up your team to focus on what is important
- Extend capacity and productivity
- Cost control
- Realtime KPI feedback
- Opportunity to scale
- Opportunity to collaborate
All of these closely align with, and in some cases even solve, some of the golden rules of business, including:
- Provide service excellence
- Be innovative
- Be curious, engaging, and have fun
- Anticipate your customers’ needs
- Solve a problem your customer didn’t know they had
- Understand the price drivers of your customer
- Be mindful of how vulnerable you will be to a new competitor or a pivoting competitor
As with any new strategic implementation, changing to a touchless digital strategy will require an initial time commitment to learn new processes and educate your existing customers. Customers will need to be reassured of your intent to use the change to provide a timely product and improve service excellence. We recommend you communicate that the people behind the process are still the same, and that you remain committed to looking after your customers every need.
You’ll also need to consider the cost. In most scenarios, when you assess the business case, you will find the cost of moving to a touchless digital strategy is paid back within three months to one year (depending on the scale of investment).
What could touchless digital look like for you?
Question your entire business process, and the tasks you undertake. In most instances, you’ll find the steps can be completed electronically. The goal is to have each step communicate with the next, digitally.
You can start by asking:
- How will you connect with your customer and marketing base?
- How will your customers view and purchase your products?
- How can they communicate with you?
- How can you deliver the product to your customer?
- How can you reorder your product?
- How will you manage your inventory?
- How will you manage your bookkeeping?
Don’t assume a touchless digital strategy won’t work for you. Retail is one of the industries that are traditionally late adopters and many retailers believe their customers only want face-to-face contact. While this may be true in some instances, the advantage of going digital is your market place instantly expands. It goes from being your local community, to national and international markets.
Findex has been undergoing its own digital transformation for the past three years. When COVID-19 hit and the business was forced to pivot rapidly to a distributed workplace, employees were forced to adopt tools and technology to stay in touch with each other and their clients.
Although initially challenging for some, team members who previously resisted using technology and digital tools in their working lives soon found their opinion changed when they realised the productivity, efficiency and servicing gains that could be achieved. Now, Findex operates seamlessly irrespective of whether its employees are in the office or working from home.
If going digital is of interest to you, reach out to someone in the Findex Accounting and Business Advisory team. Our advisers are experienced in business transformation and can take you through the required change at a pace that will fit with you, your business, and your customers.
Findex NZ Limited, trading as Findex
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The title 'Partner' conveys that the person is a senior member within their respective division and is among the group of persons who hold an equity interest (shareholder) in its parent entity, Findex Group Limited. The only professional service offering which is conducted by a partnership is the Crowe Australasia external audit division. All other professional services offered by Findex Group Limited are conducted by a privately-owned organisation and/or its subsidiaries.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect the thought or position of Findex.
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