Practical examples: how to overcome the challenges of the digital age
New commercial challenges faced by businesses require an innovative approach to sustainable business, and digital solutions have become an absolute must. The rapid development of technologies has significantly expanded the range of solutions available to businesses to improve their competitiveness and customer service, and to increase efficiency. CEOs should carefully assess their business goals and select the best solutions. I will offer several examples how technologies can help in developing your business.
Uninterrupted communication and excellent service
People regularly use the chat functionality to communicate with their family, friends, and colleagues, and quickly share information. According to the latest studies, 61% of respondents also consider this platform the most convenient and easiest way to communicate with companies. Not to lag behind changes in the digital habits of their customers, companies and public bodies should use all opportunities offered by AI virtual assistants to lessen the workload of customer service units, increase customer satisfaction and make services available 24/7.
Raitis Znots, Customer Experience Manager of AS Sadales tīkli, admits that the company had already started process digitization, but Covid-19 pandemics had accelerated it much more than initially expected. The latest upgrade includes a chatbot called Valts. In as little as just a month, the company has experienced a notable decrease in the number of calls and written questions.
“At the beginning, approximately 60% of visitors wanted to speak with a human operator, but now it is only 10%. Usually, it happens when a more complex problem should be solved,”
Mārtiņš Bērziņš, the head of Citadele banka Digital Experience Department notes that customers want to receive the services immediately and a company needs to ensure that there are no delays. It is also important to know one’s customers and the level of their digital knowledge to offer excellent service to the youth who are digital natives, as well as to seniors who quite often are not really familiar with smart devices.
“As a result, we offer an advanced mobile app for any smartphone user to have a bank in their pocket, as well as a code card for those that are not interested or do not want to start using the latest payment options. To maintain excellent customer service, we have to test customer experience regularly and remembered that our digital services will be compared at the global, not local level,”
Automation of internal processes for improved efficiency
To maintain or increase competitiveness and cut costs in the long term, businesses need to consider automation of internal processes and its potential benefits. It can secure significant time, finance and human resource savings. For example, due to rapid increase in the demand for courier services, delivery company DPD Latvija introduced a shipment sorting conveyor that has allowed to more than double the number of packages processed per hour. According to Karīna Jankovska, the head of the Customer Service Department, the company will soon hire a virtual assistant:
“The company used to receive approximately 400 calls per day, but as the number of shipments rapidly increased the number of calls suddenly jumped to up to 1400 calls per day. However, as most questions were repetitive, we chose to introduce a chatbot. As we will implement this project in all three Baltic States, our assistant will be unique: it will speak three languages — Latvian, Lithuanian, and Estonian.”
Speak the customer’s language
The new pandemics reality has made businesses quickly adopt digital solutions to move their business online. It offers sizeable benefits as e-commerce knows no borders and allows to significantly expand potential markets. Even a small-town shop has a chance of growing in its region, country or even beyond if its online shop is developed in a smart and savvy way. However, in the latter case it is very important to offer services in respective foreign languages.
According to a European Commission study, an overwhelming majority of consumers prefer goods from online stores available in the language they speak. Human translation used to be costly and required a lot of time, but advanced automated translation tools have made this service available and convenient also for smaller businesses.
For example, the construction supplies company Albau offers its site in five languages. The company's spokeswoman Elīza Jaunzeme notes that since the introduction of the automated website translation (Machine Translation) feature, information about new product and their documentation can be posted online on the same day. Before, it used to take 4-7 days. Introduction of this technological tool has allowed the company to significantly cut the workload and rapidly expand in new markets.
These examples demonstrate that this challenging time also offers many opportunities to grow, and technologies can be of great assistance in reaching new horizons.
Originally published in ir.lv on 31.03.2021
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