Digital Customer Service Strategy Lessons from Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley has given traditional businesses a long list of lessons on improving the digital customer service. Companies in the valley have the agility to shift with consumer needs, whether it for the actual products or the way customers interact with the brand. The Valley calls it pivoting. We call it digital transformation.

Put simply, digital transformation is a company’s investment in new technology to maximize its own value. Larger companies, bogged down by internal checks and balances, have a hard time doing this and sticking to these new investments. It doesn’t help that there is a mess of conflicting information: some publications suggest innovating in only a small pocket of the company to avoid that dreaded red tape. Others insist that the entire organization has to be on board in order for the digital transformation to work.

Call center professionals looking to join the digital transformation revolution can take a lesson from Silicon Valley. Here are five ways you can begin implementing changes.

Small steps are the key to success.

1. Take a step back and assess. Before making any changes, find out what needs improving. Are more of your customers reaching out via social media instead of dialing into the call center? This will help make sure you’re investing in technologies that will yield results quickly (more on that later).

2. Make a culture shift. While the temptation will  be to start small in a “pocket of innovation” the risk of the project failing is higher. The reason? The project can’t survive if there isn’t a cultural shift to accompany it. An organizational buy-in is critical to help make the transformation shift. For instance, if call center managers don’t see the value of Twitter and don’t train their agents, the company will lag on that platform, creating a negative customer experience. That, as a result, will hinder a successful digital transformation.

3. Focus on a project with tight focus and immediate payoff. As mentioned in step 1, choosing one initiative will ensure that call center agents won’t get overwhelmed in implementing several changes, potentially leaving many unfinished. Seeing results quickly from one initiative works, in Valley-speak, as proof of concept. You’ll be more likely to want to proceed with additional digital transformation initiatives, keeping the project’s life source alive.

4. Bring in an outside pair of eyes. Ford is one of the most prominent large companies that is working with…Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. The company understood that it needed agility while using its ability to scale. If you don’t have the number of a few Silicon techies handy, translate that idea into reaching out to other departments. Digital transformation, given its name, might start with IT. Bring in marketing or sales teams and get their feedback. They might see the problem- and solution- differently.

5. Use metrics wisely. Big data has given us the ability to further segment customer populations and to dive deep into a pool of information provided to us. The benefits seem to be endless. Customers are better able to get their needs served through the information they give. The pool of customer experience metrics (or voice of the customer or
call center metrics, for that matter) could drown any company if its teams aren’t sure what they should be looking for. By understanding what you want to measure beforehand, you will better be able to keep your gaze focused.

Digital transformation offers a great opportunity for companies to stay relevant with their customers and to reach out to new potential customers. By staying agile and focusing on manageable projects, companies can begin to see the changes they need.

How will you begin your digital transformation?


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