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Robotic Process Automation

Five stages of digital transformation: Stage Two

Once you make the decision to start taking digital transformation seriously, it’s easier to keep the ball rolling.

For example, think about the first question you asked yourself in our stage one assessment: can staff quickly and easily onboard new customers without making them wait in line? Or the second question: Do you invest in web, mobile or kiosk technology so customers can quickly complete a self-service transaction?

When you answered yes to those questions (or started considering how quickly you could be able to), without knowing, you were already thinking ahead to the second stage of digital transformation: the self-service stage.

Ever since 1916, when Piggly Wiggly owner Clarence Saunders first allowed shoppers to use a shopping basket and choose their own items from store shelves without the assistance of a clerk, businesses across all industries have embraced the concept of self-service. By allowing customers to scan their own barcodes after shopping, deposit their own checks via a smart phone at any hour of the day or night, choose their own event tickets and download electronically, and so on, businesses experience cost savings and increased loyalty, and customers enjoy convenience, shorter wait times and increased autonomy.

Customers enjoy these perks so much, in fact, that they’ve come to expect them. An estimate from London-based strategic research and consulting firm RBR projected the number of installed self-checkout terminals at retail stores will grow from 191,000 in 2013 to almost 325,000 by 2019.

A 2014 NCR global study found that 90% of 2,803 consumers in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, Spain, UK, and the US, identify as self-checkout users, and 7% of those will always use self-checkout, no matter how many items they’re buying or how long they need to wait.

Today, more than 80% of a retail banking customer’s interactions, including mobile check deposit and checking an account balance over the phone, take place through self-service channels.

No matter your business, your customers expect self-service with knowledgeable human assistance waiting just in the wings should it be needed. Are you ready to provide what they’re after?

Answer these questions to assess your organization’s stage two progress toward digital transformation:

  • Is it easy for customers to complete self-service transactions at any time of day? And is support staff available in case they need assistance?
  • Have you removed as much friction from the self-service process as possible?
  • Do you offer pre-configured product and service packages so customers can easily choose what’s right for them?

If you answered yes to all three questions, you’ve achieved transactional status and are ready to move on to the stage three assessment questions! Does that mean your self-service offerings are exactly where they need to be? Maybe not. After all, “digital transformation doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing endeavor.” Chances are, no matter where you’re starting on the journey of self-service offerings, there are still ways to improve efficiency and increase visibility into your systems and customer behavior, even if you never work with them face-to-face.