The epidemic caught the world unprepared!
Companies have been investing in digital transformation for many years to allow themselves to offer online services that will accelerate business activities, shorten processes, and reach additional target markets. And customers can consume these services faster and without the need for human intervention (manual).
But still, We are in 2020, and a large portion of services needed intervention, which means anti-social distance services, and without any surprise, most of them are post-sale services.
The epidemic is here to stay at least until a vaccine is available to the public. Businesses that will not adjust their digital strategy will find themselves out of the game, and consumers are choosing companies by their digital offering, and how the firm offers those services in the anti-social distance era.
Since the first outbreak of the epidemic, companies came to understand that they must change the way they communicate with their customers and employees. The biggest challenge is how to continue to serve customer needs without the ability to interact face-to-face physically.
From customer services, sales centres, back-office operations that require employee collaboration, business a that requires physical documents, customer signatures, financial advisory meetings, and many processes that required pre-epidemic human intervention and interaction physical.
However, the most significant change came from demanding customers who choose businesses based on their ability to provide services at a time of social distancing or even quarantine, and this is also true of elders who, before the COVID-19 epidemic, opposed human interaction and interaction technologies.
Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, customers of all ages require more independence and the ability to do on their own (self-service). If a customer needs assistant, this should carry-out using a video conference where the client can see the company's employee. The assistant can assist the customers in performing complex operations or clarify information they received, And no less important the engagement needs to take place on any social platform that the customer feels secure (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, Tinder?).
What does technology need to solve?
The first step, Well, this will sound straight forward but first of all, be sure to implement a video collaboration platform and be sure to prefer a cloud-based platform to handle the scale. The platform must be fully compatible with mobile and desktop devices and also prefer a browser-based platform (without application installation requirement), remember the goal, the ability to create a B2C interaction without the physical touch will play a significant advantage in any industry.
The second step, Consider accelerating the Robotic Process Automation project. RPA is the fastest method to automate a manual process. RPA market share was growing "In 2018, the global Robotic Process Automation (RPA) market size was 477 Million USD, and it is expected to reach 1930 Million USD by the end of 2025, with a CAGR of 21.3% between 2019 and 2025". I define RPA as a short term solution a "quick win" approach, BUT be careful from RPA pitfall, "A recent survey showed that >40% of RPA projects fail to deliver expectations", therefore be sure of choosing the right processes from a business volume perspective and
The third step, Building an API First Access Strategy is the right technology choice but may take longer to implement than RPA, but in the long term, RPA will be more expensive because RPA will require more maintenance as screens or documents are frequently changing, and the sensitivity of RPA to those changes is high, Remember API is a market and development standard and powerful technology, no wonder that API management market is growing faster than RPA: "the Application Programming Interface (API) Management Market size is expected to grow from USD 1.2 billion in 2018 to USD 5.1 billion by 2023, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 32.9% during the forecast period"
The fourth step, Ask your self which social networks or instant messaging platforms your company support? And for which operations? My suggestion is to integrate common platforms (mentioned above). Integrating those platforms will allow your customers to share documents, pictures, agreements, and initiate everyday operations, query for information, and more. Most of the customers prefer these methods over the traditional web page or mail, as from a single chat window, they gain a complete view of their engagement.