For all the importance we place on the customer experience, businesses still struggle to deliver a memorable or effective one. There are many factors that contribute to a winning customer experience, but there is one without which all other efforts won’t be as successful: empowered employees. However, through a digital transformation, you can equip your teams with the tools and information necessary to ensure excellent customer experiences.
We’ve come a long way in how we think of a digital transformation. It used to be something large enterprises did to make incremental improvements to different parts of their businesses and was seen as a complex endeavor that could take months or even years to get off the ground.
Now, IoT, AI, and the cloud have introduced a new approach to digital transformation – one that integrates disparate tools and technologies into a single source of truth.
And digital transformation is no longer something more suited for large enterprises. Digital and analytics transformations are happening across industries, especially within professional services. A primary motivator? Improving customer outcomes.
The chief beneficiaries of a digital transformation to a single platform approach are your employees and your customers. Your employees enjoy a streamlined operational workflow, and that workflow empowers them to deliver an improved customer experience.
More and more, businesses are recognizing the tie between digital solutions and customer service. A 2019 survey conducted by McKinsey Global looked at businesses in 11 different industries from retail to infrastructure and found that 57% of those businesses were executing a digital transformation with the goal of improving customer outcomes.
Within the professional services industry, 56% of businesses surveyed cited customer outcomes as the primary motivation, beating out more internally-focused concerns like reducing operational costs, increasing digital revenues, and launching new products and services.
These survey results tell a compelling story about how business mindsets have changed over recent years. Business leaders are recognizing that customer outcomes need to be the primary focus; otherwise, those other business goals like increased revenue or new product launches will not be as successful – or may not even come to pass.
That’s why a digital solution must serve both employees and customers. And we know a thing or two about what to look for in a single platform approach, because the Certinia digital platform was designed with both the customer and employee in mind.
The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Customer-Centric Organization
We’d like to walk through what a digital transformation must provide to your organization in order to deliver a truly improved customer experience.
Digital Transformation Starts From Within
As we mentioned, your employees are really at the heart of your digital transformation. First of all, wIthout their buy-in, your digital solution won’t be effectively utilized and opportunities for great customer satisfaction can fall by the wayside.
However, if your solution doesn’t equip your employees with the basic business capabilities required to service customers, their buy-in won’t matter because the solution is already working against you. Any digital transformation must include all of the business applications your organization relies on from opportunity to sale and beyond. These include:
Each component helps streamline an internal process that, consequently, improves the external impact – the customer experience.
Here are the key ways that single-platform solutions like Certinia help businesses undergo a successful digital transformation that empowers employees and improves the overall experience your customers have with your brand.
The moment a services opportunity is closed, your digital platform automatically generates a project based on a pre-defined template, setting in motion project tracking and status updates to keep deliverables in motion.
The Employee-to-Customer Benefit? Internal resources are mapped to specific customer needs, and project information is easily accessible to all team members, ensuring the project runs smoothly and the customer receives exactly what they paid for when they expect it.
At the center of your digital transformation is data. When data is harvested from every touchpoint and transformed into alerts, your team has access to valuable insights throughout the opportunity-to-cash lifecycle.
The Employee-to-Customer Benefit? With intelligent, automated alerts driven by real-time data analysis, you’re able to break down silos, put an end to sloppy handoffs, eliminate delays, and reduce errors. Valuable alerts include instantly detecting when a customer needs assistance, or when a KPI is in jeopardy.
All customer and project information is stored in one place, unified across sales, services, finance, and all other involved departments, enabling a clear understanding of profitability, cost-to-serve, and the customer lifetime value.
The Employee-to-Customer Benefit? Anytime data access empowers your employees to collaborate more effectively, and make better and faster decisions across the entire customer journey. Alerts personalized to each customer enable your employees to identify and grow business opportunities and customer relationships; for example, reaching out about a product renewal ahead of schedule, or following up with a customer about a sales opportunity based on their purchase history.
A single source of truth for data gives your employees immediate access to information specific to any one customer at any time.
The Employee-to-Customer Benefit? Think of the customer experience outcome when your employees can speak to all pertinent information about their account and existing relationship on the spot. What’s more, a single customer record can empower your employees to anticipate a customer’s needs even before the customer does.
Disparate data, or searching for information, create massive delays and frustrations among project teams. Your digital transformation to a single-platform solution can create role-based workspaces that aggregate everything each employee needs for the day on one easy-to-navigate screen, allowing them to stay productive and on task.
The Employee-to-Customer Benefit? Intuitive and configurable workspaces allow project teams to track every element of a project’s financials, from profitability to team utilization. It is also far easier to identify and mitigate potential challenges to customer success when you have daily, real-time updates and access to reporting specific to your role. Plus, reducing employee frustrations tied to inaccessible or hard-to-find information improves overall productivity, which also positively benefits the customer relationship.
Bringing teams together is a critical component of breaking down the silos that lead to poor customer experiences. Online communities available with the Certinia ERP and PSA solutions make engagement more productive and enable greater sharing and collaboration around project information.
The Employee-to-Customer Benefit? Information can easily be shared and exchanged with customers and partners, ensuring customers are kept aware of project milestones, updates, and other information, and are assured things are happening on time and within budget. Peace of mind is priceless for a customer relationship.
From sales to project execution, your integrated apps should be just that – integrated. You shouldn’t be able to tell where one app begins and the other ends.
The Employee-to-Customer Benefit? With seamless integration of apps onto your single-platform solution, your organization is able to gain deeper, end-to-end insights into your customers and your business, so you have the tools to rapidly and effectively respond to customer needs.
The Value of Certinia and Salesforce on One Platform
We leverage social media for almost everything in our lives, so it stands to reason that a social component of your platform’s apps would benefit your project teams. Integrated apps that have social built into the system allow employees to access conversation threads pertinent to a particular topic so everyone is kept in the loop and has the information they need when they need it.
The Employee-to-Customer Benefit? The more accessible the information, the better the customer experience. Social enables the sharing of information quickly and seamlessly to inform customer projects and keep things moving.
Let’s be honest – real-time is the only time. Between desktops, laptops, tablets, and our phones, it’s critical that information be accessed from any device at any time.
The Employee-to-Customer Benefit? Everything from up-to-date reporting, customer data, or project alerts can be accessed at the touch of a button from any device. Rather than spending time and resources on administrative tasks, your teams are freed up to focus on customer opportunities and growth.
We can’t forget about the critical importance of security. A single-sign-on (SSO) feature for your digital solution ensures a secure, safe, and easy way for many users to access several related and connected systems. With a single ID and password to each, employees can get the information they need while maintaining a secure approach to digital platform use at your organization.
The Employee-to-Customer Benefit? A secure system at your organization doesn’t just protect company data, but customer data as well. An SSO feature is one way you can help protect sensitive data and maintain uninterrupted operations.
Your company’s digital transformation is an opportunity to improve what lies at the core of the customer experience – your employees. Empowering your teams with the tools they need to deliver outstanding customer service can be achieved through the benefits of a single platform approach to business operations.
Professional services businesses are feeling the pressure of increasing customer expectations for more efficient, engaging, communicative, and personalized experiences that cater to their needs – even before they know what they need. Your organization can meet those demands by improving business operations and arming your employees with the right tools for success.
Contact us today to schedule a demo and learn more about how we use the Salesforce ERP and PSA cloud platforms to streamline your operations and put your customers at the center of everything you do.