By Derkia Thomas, Thryv
Digital transformation is at the top of just about every business’s conversations. The COVID shutdown forced a digital shift nearly overnight, and since then it’s been clear that this was the neglected element in business growth. The truth is, in 2021, if you’re not online, you’re doing your business a disservice.
Small businesses have the opportunity to become micro-international companies by tapping into tech tools. Now’s the time to step up your company’s digital game and become a heavy hitter.
With Coterie, independent agents can have a 24/7 online presence so you’re always open for business!
What are the benefits of going digital?
- Improved customer experience
- Increased efficiency
- Improved decision making
- Increased innovation
- Transformed business
Before the shift
In order to reap the benefits that come with the digital shift, you have to know what it is and how to prep for it — full circle.
More important than the shift itself is the planning that goes into it. Being a digital-forward company is key to success but many make the mistake of thinking only at surface level. They fall into the idea that digital transformation is simply implementing technology into your business to better communicate with customers. That’s one aspect of it.
Go beyond the customer. This is a chance to revamp your business and become your competition’s worst nightmare. It’s an opportunity to streamline your processes and get back your free time. Discover the unknown and get innovative.
You want to jump straight into updates, products, features and the like, but start with the big picture. Take a second to ask: What is your company’s mission? Now, how can going digital further push that mission? Look at your business model and reimagine it.
Gather Your Team
A must when undergoing a digital transformation is buy-in. Round up your leaders and stakeholders for a group think session. The changes may be digital but your development process should include more than your IT and programming departments. By working together from the beginning, your company has a higher chance at successfully and seamlessly transitioning, as well as meeting company goals.
Speaking of success, you’re not the one in control of that — not completely at least. You and your teams can slave over these digital changes but if your customer base doesn’t embrace them, it’s a flop. Have a customer-first mindset. Is this something your customer wants? Will this make life easier and better for them? Taking care of the customer is your business.
How the Shift Looks
Believe it or not, going digital actually means going hybrid. Talk about a sigh of relief for the brick-and-mortar shops.
Enhancing the digital side can seem challenging but there’s fun in discovering how simple tweaks and implementations can boost your business. Make no mistake, this is no set-it-and-forget-it job. Companies looking to flourish must stay on their toes. It’s the number one rule in innovation.
Keeping your website up-to-date
Don’t believe the lie that once your website is created that it’s complete. You’re constantly growing your business, which means your website requires regular updates, especially to your home page. It doesn’t stop at updating your address after a big move or opening of a second location.
Take a minute to look at your services menu and add new services. Perhaps you’re feeling like you’ve grown as a company and want to raise your prices. Axe those old prices and show the world what you’re really worth.
Nearly 9 out of 10 consumers look to reviews before making a purchase. That means you’ve got to keep the reviews recent. Consumers want to hear from those who have interacted with your business firsthand. It lets them know what to expect. Not every review will be raving about how amazing you are. Use negative reviews to your benefit. Showing your company cares about righting its wrongs is a clear sign that the customer is your priority, not their money.
Something business owners didn’t have to consider before 2020 was pandemic protocol. COVID or not, keep your customers in the loop. If there’s a storm approaching your area, update your site and Google My Business listing to reflect how your business is responding. Required masks, early closures, etc.
Keep in mind:
Innovation is key when staying competitive.
The internet creates endless opportunities for you to benefit from.
Trends should guide you, especially in marketing
Big Data knows all, so use all of your analytics
Adapting to customers’ needs will help you see the bigger picture and stay on the top of their minds
Seek out problems, become the solution and create value where it doesn’t seem possible.