Why do organizations hesitate to go digital?

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Every company wants to go digital. But, what does that really mean? To some, digital means using the latest tech tools. For others, digital is how a company connects with customers and the available capabilities on any given device. And to others, digital is simply daunting and maybe even threatening.

“Digital” is more than a definition, and it is certainly not a destination. Instead, it is a way of working.

So, why do organizations hesitate to go digital?

“Going digital” is often associated with a company’s digital transformation. Blake Morgan, the Customer Experience Futurist, aptly defined Digital Transformation:

Digital Transformation comes down to using technology to provide more value to customers, and then continually improving and evaluating the process…Digital Transformation is more than just adding new technology, however; it is a cultural shift that completely changes how a business operates.

From sales to marketing to customer service, Digital Transformation integrates across all areas of a company. It can be overwhelming; hence, why some companies hesitate to go digital.

Companies hold tightly to their legacy systems for a variety of reasons, and it is certainly not because business leaders want to see their companies fail. On the contrary, decision-makers want success and have good intentions, and the thought of transforming mission-critical systems is, again, overwhelming. Hesitation is understandable.

Leaders are concerned with security risks, cost, perceived simplicity of ‘getting the job done” with existing solutions, new vs. tried & true, and of course the unknowns. And, instead of taking the risk, leaders stick with the status quo. Unfortunately, they don’t just stick with the status quo; they stick with outdated technology solutions and still expect it to provide an experience only new solutions can provide.

The illusion of playing it safe is just that: an illusion. Companies face more risk when they do nothing versus when they try to improve and provide a seamless customer experience.

Too often IT departments need a complete transplant from their current system, yet, they are told “no” by leadership to new or improved functionality. Instead, they are left to put Band-Aids on their unstable legacy environment. The need for the transplant is rooted in the limitations of on-premises contact center solution; they simply can’t provide what customers expect, which is a personalized, omnichannel, and seamless experience.

Take a moment and consider an old tale. When Ernest Shackleton put together his Antarctic expedition, he put an ad in the London newspaper, The Times, reading: “MEN WANTED, for hazardous journey, small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful, honor and recognition in case of success”

In response to his posted ad, Shackleton was supposedly flooded with 5,000 responses, men clamoring to take their chances on the icy southern continent.

In relation to digital transformation, consider this “ad”: Contact Center Leaders wanted for a potentially hazardous journey, trusting strangers, many meetings. Failed implementation could result in being skipped over for promotion, disappointed leadership, or even loss of a job. However, honor and recognition in event of success for years to come.

Some people require guaranteed success to fund a digital transformation; they are not willing to risk a promotion or reputation over a failed implementation.

However, to remain relevant, companies need to embrace the opportunities technology affords to further their mission and thrive in the near and distant future. And, because the customer experience is the biggest competitive differentiator across all industries, companies need to prioritize improving their customer experience within the contact center.

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