Newsflash: the introduction of the smartphone has eradicated at least 27 industries, from analog photography – thoughts and prayers go out to Kodak – to record stores, bookshops and GPS device producers. That’s the conclusion from research into the impact of digital transformation, conducted by Ray Wang from Constellation Research.
Client-centricity: you can bank on it
It doesn’t stop there. Banks are digitalizing at record speed to prevent being outpaced by clients who prefer contact through WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger over visiting offices with endless queues and limited opening hours. They’re hastily closing administrative offices and relationship management divisions to replace them with online presence, web care, advice bots, chat and Skype teams.
Insurance brokers and insurance companies are exploring the field, developing several new concepts that are being piloted as we speak.
When will the window close?
Industrial companies are still running slow. But a few innovators are already testing virtual reality in sales, or augmented reality in after marketing, service and support, setting the standard for tomorrows market.
Unfortunately, many companies still see the introduction of vanilla flavor CRM and the use of automated mailing programs as sort of a technological avant-garde. However, the window of opportunity created by these new technologies in futureproofing sales and business models, won’t be open forever.
All hail King Client!
The new standard in client centricity – as perceived by the client himself – is being set by companies such Amazon, Bol.com, Coolblue, ING, Deliveroo and Uber. They use real-time predictive modelling, often knowing what you want before you know it yourself, creating instant satisfaction for every single client.
No more waiting. And, even more important, no more control over your client’s acquisitional behavior. The client is in charge. And from now on, that’s a given fact.
Digital transformation > technology
Ease of choice, reaction speed, easy-to-use digital interfaces and complaint handling is being remodeled by a handful of companies. With inescapable effects, felt throughout the entire economy.
You, as a company, don’t get to have a say in all this. But you’ll have to meet the ever-growing expectations of your most demanding clients. And now, there’s the problem. Most companies aren’t ready to live up to the changing pattern of emancipated customers expectations. Being up-to-speed on digital transformation is about more than the mere implementation of technology.
Keeping it relevant
Changes in company culture, adapting processes, redefining your value proposition and often even your business and income generating models are equally important. Better yet, it’s what’s essential. Only by combining all these things, you have a shot in the upcoming and inescapable new economy.
If you want to keep your company relevant 7 to 10 years from now, you’ll have to act today. In a few years, it’ll be too late. And the fast players of today will be merely dots on the horizon.
The future. It’s here.
So, here’s the thing. Stop wasting time. Especially if you know that thoroughly futureproofing your SME’s business model can take up to two years. By just seeing which way the wind blows, your chances of survival and market leadership are decreasing every day.
Only by keeping pace with your clients’ expectations and permanently improving the efficiency of your business model, you can secure your company’s future. Or as Ray Wang so strikingly puts it: digital transformation is unkind to those who wait.
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