BY DENNY FISHER, Chief Client Experience Officer, ACS

As businesses move toward in-person activities and resuming practices that they abandoned over the past 12 months, a new essential worker is needed: innovation. Innovation is the workhorse that creates a competitive advantage. Organizations that have taken advantage of the past 12 months to evaluate their customer engagements or operations have done far better than those that continue to do the same thing over and over again because that’s how it’s always been done. As consumers venture out of their homes, they have new expectations of what a business can and should offer. Technology, it seems, is at the core of these expectations.

If necessity is the mother of invention, then technology is its best friend. Often overlooked and underrated, technology can truly provide an organization the opportunity for increased revenue, mitigated risk and decreased costs.

Process optimization

When thinking about technology, many people forget front-office systems, the platforms that literally make your business run. You may think, “We already have a finance system, a customer relationship management system, an inventory system,” etc., but do those systems talk to each other? Do they make work easier or more cumbersome? Do they duplicate data? Could they work more efficiently together to provide insights and reduce lag time? Take this opportunity to evaluate your systems and ask, “Are we using these platforms to the best of their abilities? Are we missing a piece of the puzzle that could enhance these operations?” 

Enhance the customer experience

Take a note from the grocery and retail sector: Customers want more digital service options. The grocery, retail and restaurant industries quickly reacted to consumer needs. They implemented enhanced online ordering options, curbside pickup, delivery services and more. How can other industries utilize technology to enhance the customer experience?

Getting your driver’s license may never be the same again. Instead of sitting in a large, congested room waiting for your number to be called, the DMV implemented a scheduling system. This scheduling system allowed them to remind consumers to bring critical items to renew their license as well as shortening the time a guest spent trying to get their license. Instead of dreading the DMV, people are praising the ease with which they completed their task.

How can you leverage technology to turn a painful interaction into a positive interaction?

Innovation comes in many forms. Changes don’t always have to be grandiose or expensive. The key is that they make a positive impact. If the solution makes things harder rather than easier, you’re doing it wrong — try again.

denny-fisher_crop Denny Fisher, Chief Client Experience Officer, ACS
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