By Vikram Adoni
Delivery Managers at Rulesware approach every engagement with the intention of ensuring that what we set out to do is truly helping the client. It’s our role to define the project, and to clarify the intended outcome so that we are delivering the precise solution that’s called for.
With this in mind, we ask every client at the start of an engagement to clarify exactly what their desired outcome is. What are they trying to accomplish with the solution? What’s their vision?
This is a good question, and often a very big one.
To make it answering easier, we’ve arrived at a set of five clear questions designed to help us–and the client–break down what kind of digital transformation they are looking to achieve.
THE 5 KEY QUESTIONS YOU NEED TO ASK
- What mission are you trying to accomplish with this project?
- Is it to eliminate things you do today but that you don’t want to continue to do going forward?
- Is your objective to minimize an activity that you do today but is still necessary?
- Do you want to enhance what you do today?
- Is there anything you don’t do today that you want to do going forward?
THE 4 KINDS OF DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION INITIATIVES
#1 – THE INITIATIVE THAT ELIMINATES THINGS YOU NO LONGER WANT TO DO
This is a common type of digital transformation initiative: it’s about achieving efficiency by replacing time-consuming tasks or processes–often manual–with automated systems.
Some companies, for example, may still work with spreadsheets. Perhaps this is because they don’t feel they have the budget to buy a particular license, or maybe they feel that their market is small enough to continue to do the task manually. Rulesware has delivered many of these kinds of projects, boosting efficiency and saving time.
#2 – THE INITIATIVE THAT REDUCES THE AMOUNT OF WORK YOU’RE DOING
Who wouldn’t like to reduce their volume of work?
Yes, this kind of digital transformation initiative helps with that delightful prospect.
A very good example of this kind of initiative, which we have undertaken at Rulesware, would be an insurance firm with agents who are hired to answer any and all call types that come in. But of course, for them to be qualified to answer the myriad of call types, often needing to use several different systems to address them — like billing, policy cancellations, and such — they are going to need a lot of training. And it’s going to take a lot of time to train them. And perhaps retrain them. Why not instead create an initiative that replaces all of those different systems being used with one system, or one interface, so that an agent only needs one type of training? This makes sense: one login, one interface, reducing training costs, report creation, and so on.
#3 – THE INITIATIVE TO ENHANCE EXISTING FEATURES, PROCESSES, OR SYSTEMS
Many of our digital transformation initiatives enable clients to enhance existing features, processes or systems, with a key objective of allowing them to do something more quickly.
A good example is a company we worked with that needed to better use its “call handling time”: the time a customer is on the phone to get questions answered. By coming up with a solution that replaced a complex set of applications with a single application and interface, we have been able to reduce call handling time.
But in addition to saving time, that reduced time allows those agents to ultimately answer more calls, which in turn gives the caller greater expedience and satisfaction. From a cost perspective as well that company might be able to replace numerous agents with fewer agents. This results in more profit. This is a great enhancement.
#4 – THE INITIATIVE THAT ENABLES YOU TO DO THINGS YOU HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO DO BEFORE
Digital transformation initiatives frequently enable companies to do new things they simply weren’t able to do in the past. An example of this might be adding systems that enable a company with a call centre to implement very efficient surveys, so that they can see their NPS, or net provider score.
Here’s how it helps: a customer has a problem, and calls their bank with an issue. The issue gets resolved in less than a minute for Customer #1 and they’re delighted. In the survey afterwards, they rate the bank 9/10 — the bank did a great job. But let’s say it took 5 minutes for Customer #2, and they are not so happy. So they give the bank a 6 or 7. And let’s say it took 10 minutes for Customer #3 and the bank couldn’t solve their problem in the end at all. They’d likely give the bank a 1 or a 2.
What the NPS score allows you to see, as the bank, is whether or not a customer is going to stay with you —and to flag the people who might be leaving you, in time to do something about it. If, after all, they give you (as the bank) a rating of 9 or 10, chances are they’ll speak highly of you. Customer #2, though, might just think about switching banks. And Customer #3? They are very likely going to leave that bank.
So our digital transformation clients can use these scores to take actions: they can follow up with the second group—Customer #2—and figure out how to keep that client. And if they handle the situation well, they can potentially move that customer from the second to the first group.
These kinds of systems, which we can set in place for our clients, will in addition allow anyone within an organization to see these metrics. This can offer a 360-degree view of a particular customer to anyone in the organization who would, for example, like to see that customer’s history with the call centre—in that case, quickly providing a window into what is happening with that customer (e.g., how happy they are; how many calls they made, and so on).
This is genuine value: allowing those within the organization to take action in ways that they simply were not able to before.
ASK THE RIGHT CLARIFYING QUESTIONS TO ENSURE SUCCESS
Asking these five questions truly will allow you to get to the heart of what your digital transformation initiative is meant to accomplish, first and foremost. And this is critical in ensuring the true success of that initiative.
We hope you’ll find these questions, and these categories, useful—and do encourage you to reach out to share your own successes and results.