• Ellen Cresswell

Digital is table stakes for all businesses

Updated: Jun 8, 2020

It’s 2020 and most of us have had the internet in our hands, thanks to mobile phones, for at least a decade. As consumers, we have really high expectations of online experiences.

But some businesses have been slow to get on board with digital or just now are embarking on a multi-year "transformation".

So, in the spirit of educating organisations that are new to the online world, here is my list of the top benefits of digital for businesses of all sizes.

1. It’s a new channel to market

First and foremost, an online presence opens up a whole new way to engage with new and existing customers. What business wouldn’t want to do that?

2. Better customer service

It’s faster, easier and cheaper to provide customer service through online channels. Email, chatbots (software that automates online chat for sales or service) and even social media are cheaper and more efficient ways to provide customer service. I’ve worked at organisations that have transitioned its service centers from telephony to social channels and the benefits are significant: Operators can conduct multiple concurrent conversations online versus one at a time when on the phone. You also have greater reach to provide customer service online than if it's done in-person.

3. Increased customer satisfaction

Due largely to the ability to provide better customer service through online channels, issues and problems can be resolved faster. And a happy customer is a loyal customer.

4. Personalised, targeted marketing and the ability to amplify messages cheaply

Having a one-to-one conversation with customers and leads is marketing utopia. There are some really sophisticated marketing tools that enable effective multi-channel marketing though your website, and they don't have to cost a lot of money.

5. Automate or simplify repetitive, offline processes

Manual or repetitive processes are ripe for automation and digital technology enables it. Inventory management, production, marketing, admin and even technology functions can benefit from automation.

6. Data, data, data

You can capture an enormous amount of information when customers interact with your business online. The type of computer they use, the browser, the time of day that’s most popular for purchases … the list goes on. The more you know about your customers, the easier it is to sell to them. Analysing the data may even surface opportunities for new products or services.

7. Your customers are online

And your competitors probably are too.