‘Eight in ten organisations fast-tracked their digital transformation programmes in 2020’, according to Dell’s Digital Transformation Index (2020), helping them build their organisation status and performance in an increasingly growing digital world.
Digital Transformation is forcing organisations to adapt their business strategies and models, to bring them in line with the new market reality, that is driven by technology.
‘What’s interesting about this is that it’s not the companies that are driving this change. Instead, this change is being led by the customer’ (Lund, 2021).
With increased customer expectations, organisations need to ensure they can deliver easily accessible, relevant content at the right time and in the format the customer needs to ensure their message is heard and acted on.
Companies that do transform digitally are creating highly engaged customers.
'These types of customers are:
Six times more likely to try a new product or service from their preferred brand
Four times more likely to have referred your brand to their friends, family and connections
Two times more likely to make a purchase with their preferred brand, even when a competitor has a better product or price'
Customer-centric organisations are more likely to retain and grow their business, as they are focused on the success of the customer journey and the engagement this brings and digital transformation runs in parallel to this.
But what does digital transformation actually mean and why are organisations across the world, adopting this process to improve customer engagement?
Digital transformation is the process of adopting new digital technology into areas of a business, changing and updating business processes and procedures, improving customer value and driving organisation change from the inside out.
Gartner (2021) refers to digital transformation as: ‘referring to anything from IT modernization to digital optimization, to the invention of new digital business models.’ It’s about taking the existing core elements of a business and transforming them, by incorporating technology to improve your core business outcomes and customer engagement.
Whilst this concept may be seen as a 21st-century ideology with many organisations striving or entering their digital transformation journey in this decade, there has always been an element of digital transformation taking place. Organisations and individuals, continue to adopt the latest technology available to them to improve their standard of living, improve their business outcomes and improve their business processes. The concept is therefore not new, but rightfully has come to the forefront of business objectives in the last decade, as we see technology come into its own.
For organisations to truly adopt a digital transformation process, organisations ‘should surround themselves with both business and technology partners that understand the broader business objectives and can operate honestly and transparently to achieve these goals’ (Cooper, 2021), as well as have support internally from employees.
Bringing your stakeholders, including employees, suppliers and partners on this journey is just as important as your customers. Keeping them up to date and in the know, will not only ensure its smooth adoption but will champion your change to the wider audience and improve your customer journey.
In essence, the digital transformation journey is simply using the technology available to brainstorm, plan, implement and build upon your company processes and procedures, so that it is agile, flexible and ready to face any challenges that may lay ahead. It brings your customers on this journey with you, through an improved customer experience and feeds directly back to your bottom line.
Furthermore, by adopting digital transformation for your processes you are improving the security provisions you have in place for both yourself and your clients. This is essential for the management of PPI and gaining audience trust within a partnership.
‘Digital transformation provides a valuable opportunity for core business functions, such as finance and HR, to move away from manual processes and automate key areas like payroll, enabling leaders to focus on wider business opportunities’ (Cooper, 2021), through technological innovation, like Dotpost or hybrid mail, and stakeholder focused processes, that drive engagement internally and externally.
Organisations are therefore entering their digital transformation journey at a rapid speed to ensure that they are drawing upon the valuable benefits and insights, these innovative technologies bring.
This is true for all industries whether you are an NHS organisation communicating with your patients, a Local Authority wanting to improve communications with your community or constituents, a finance company or any other type of business that wants to improve customer engagement and drive better business results.
So, what do organisations really gain from adopting a digital transformation approach?
By adopting digital transformation, it brings impressive benefits including:
Improved resource management: finding solutions that work for you and help achieve your goals, so that you manage your processes in an effective, efficient way
Greater customer experience: through increased customer insight and audience engagement, you can use technology to deliver a greater customer experience that is personalised for their requirements
Increased ROI and results: by improving your customer experience, through effective processes that meet your goals, it is likely there will be an increase in ROI as your resource allocation minimises but your customer expenditure and brand awareness increases
Improved productivity: as processes become streamlined, productivity increases as employees are working in an agile and proven way
Competitive edge: staying at the forefront of your industry by operating in a relevant, sustainable, innovative way that delivers real results
Here at CFH Docmail, we understand the importance of digital transformation for organisations. We understand how digital transformation can be used to drive communication evolution in an organisation. It's about using technology to deliver communications that matter, when it matters, using the right channels to drive business outcomes and improve customer engagement.
Omni-channel communications, or multichannel communications, is the utilisation of multiple media formats to communicate with an end audience, in a way that drives the best results.
Bringing together the perfect mix of offline and online communication, whether this is SMS, letter, email or bespoke landing pages, and incorporating personalisation and easy access, a multichannel communications strategy is essential for business success in modern society.
Organisations across the world chose to adopt a digitally savvy way of communicating to engage with end audiences in a way that is relevant and meaningful and meets business objectives.
For example, 18-35 year-olds might be expected to favour digital communications over physical documents, however, research shows that this generation is more likely to respond to physical mail with ‘50% of under 35s saying they would like to receive more inspiring mail’ (Market Reach, 2016).
Therefore businesses are required to consider all aspects of an audience in relation to communication and move away from the stereotypical assumptions on the right and wrong way to engage with a specific demographic. They need to ‘move seamlessly between the channels and mirror audience behaviours so that they are more likely to get a positive response from customers’ (Market Reach, 2014, p27).
It’s about delivering smarter communications, by targeting audiences at the right time, in a blended format and when it matters most, so that you and your stakeholders benefit from this.
In doing so, the customer journey is incorporated into communication strategies as organisations ‘follow the complete lifecycle from awareness to loyalty, allowing them to match communication to customer expectations at every stage’ (MacDonald, 2021).
multichannel communications, work best when audiences are understood and that’s why a solution that is designed to deliver smarter communications helps provide audience understanding and generate the results required.
Whether this is used internally or externally knowing what to say and how to deliver it is critical and multichannel communication providers can help with this.
Stakeholders of businesses, including customers and business partners, are no longer tied to a single channel for communications and are becoming increasingly used o switching from text, email, online apps and physical mailings as part of their decision-making process. Communications need to be relevant, time-sensitive and smart to achieve the outcomes businesses are looking to achieve.
By utilising a multichannel or omni-channel approach, that is managed through a digital process, organisations are able to deliver communications that meet the audience requirements, influence the decision-making process and positively impact the buyer’s journey. By utilising a multichannel solution, the communications become automated and are driven by the above three key factors, whilst offering organisations the ability to personalise the correspondences in a way that attracts audience attention.
One size doesn’t fit all anymore and to drive audience engagement in a way that delivers results, organisations need to partner with a company that offers the full suite of communications they can pick from. Whether that be online, offline or a combination of both.
Effective communications, that are tailored to audience requirements, build upon brand awareness and loyalty as well as provide customer value, as the communications provide an element of trust and direct connection.
‘Building customer loyalty isn’t easy and sometimes organisations feel like they have to anticipate what the customer needs even before they demand it’ (Atkins, 2021). Organisations that are creating a seamless customer experience and delivering effective communications, will have a greater audience understanding of needs and wants and will be able to support these requirements, through customer insight, leaving the organisation with that competitive edge.
Organisations need to be customer or stakeholder focused to really generate the best results and adopting a communication solution that offers personalisation and is tailored to their requirements, is essential for starting this process.
So, once you have begun driving your audience engagement and increased your value proposition and brand positioning within the market, through improved communication touchpoints, you will begin to see the real results that effective communication delivers.
‘Highly engaged customers buy 90% more frequently, spend 60% more per purchase, and have 3x the annual value’ (Lund, 2021), in comparison to the average customer and this comes down to targeting when it matters.
This works to create an increased market presence and confirmed positioning, not only will your sales objectives be met as you retain and attract clients, your organisation will generate natural market status as a stakeholder / customer-centric organisation. Which will only drive more customers your way.
Digitally transforming your communication strategy allows you to engage with your audience using a range of different channels to help ensure that you achieve the business outcomes you want whilst offering your audience a highly personalised, seamless and easily accessible experience.
Businesses never complete digital transformation, it’s a continuous adaptation of processes driven by technological evolution. Partnering with organisations that continuously strive to offer innovative solutions, will help you maintain your competitive edge, as your processes transform naturally through an innovative partnership.
Digital transformation is finding the best digital processes for your organisation and utilising these to meet your own and your business objectives so that you can continue meeting your customer requirements and building upon your customer engagement.
If you would like to find out more about how CFH Docmail Limited, has supported organisations across the UK, to transform their digital communication process please read our case study. Alternatively, get in touch, and talk to us about your communication objectives and how we can work with you to come up with a range of bespoke highly personalised online and offline communication solutions.
JICMAIL (2020), Medical NHS/Dental/Private Healthcare/Chemist/Optical Appointment Letters – Vaccine Brief Presentation. (Accessed 20th May 2021).
Royal Mail (2014), ‘It’s All About Mail and Email’. Market Reach. pp1-44.Royal Mail (2016), Market Reach, Quadrangle – Mail Cut Through Presentation. (Accessed 20th May 2021)