The digital effect on consultancy and customer engagement
Digitisation for knowledge-based businesses isn’t just about being more advanced than your competition, it’s a necessary evolution of your services.
The Guardian quoted that, “increasingly, research has found that our reliance on technology is altering the way we think, act and engage with other people”. For an industry based on understanding people and helping them achieve positive change, this trend is significant.
The digital era, digital transformation, digitalisation (along with a myriad of other terms) are, therefore, not simply buzzwords. They are, and should be considered as, integral influences on customer engagement and retention, programme delivery, and business performance.
Changes in digital engagement
Garter claims in its 2021 Digital Business Acceleration Survey that customers are moving towards total digital experiences. Organisations should shift to provide this and, at the same time, unify their own internal operations to remove silos.
The key elements of this are:
- Improving customer experience through digital transformation
- Personalised and relevant experiences improve conversion
- Omnichannel strategies create a seamless customer journey
- Two-way conversations and listening improve customer service
In fact, the same report states that “the top two reasons for pursuing digital initiatives are to enhance customer experience (58%) and improve employee productivity (57%)”.
Overall, digital transformation has put the power with the consumer. They now have platforms to voice their demands and the freedom to choose, or design, the services they want. A sub-par experience will quickly get dismissed.
While this is a change that impacts all businesses, service-based businesses in particular must take these demands seriously. Not only must they evolve in line with this overall change in their market, but they should position themselves to react to customer demands with agility.
Changes in learning habits
The presence of technology and digital devices has a tangible effect on our attention spans. But it’s also catalysed the presence of short content. There has been a significant rise in bite-sized or highly experiential forms of learning – like videos or quick 10-minute sessions. Language apps like Duolingo or social media platforms like TikTok are a clear example of this in action!
As an extension of the above, COVID-19 has moved consulting and training services online. The traditional format of week-long training courses or flying across the country to run a workshop just aren’t the most effective approach anymore. Instead, shorter Zoom, Teams, or even FaceTime meetings, along with the use of interactive apps, are the go-to mode of programme delivery.
“Mobile learning can increase engagement by 72%” – Growth Engineering UK
Technology has brought people together in their learning journeys. People prefer collaborative, interactive and/or connected lessons, rather than isolated experiences. This also affects time. Learners want to be able to reach out in real-time – to each other or teachers - and get the answers they need.
People are more likely to seek out opportunities for learning with the help of technology. They want control over their learning experiences. This is something apps have been exceptional for. People can access knowledge any time, on the go, straight from their phones.
This is a new kind of freedom which supports active problem-solving vs passive listening.
This one is likely no surprise: digitisation has been very valuable in helping personalisation. Technology supports ways for instructors to deliver content individually and for students to search for content. Learning experiences that benefit from this have proven to be more successful.
How to adapt programme delivery
These changes have inevitably affected management consultancy services, specifically the effectiveness of their programme delivery approach. There are several key challenges that firms and consultants must now address.
Good engagement has become more closely connected with digital experiences. Traditional consultancy methods need to evolve accordingly.
Digitising your methodologies and using capabilities like automation, AI, or data-driven insights gives firms the opportunity to deliver their services in an entirely new, digitally enabled way. Bite-sized development courses, quick messaging, or personalised content delivery are just some examples.
- Organisational change
From trends in focus to personalisation, changes to how people learn make achieving embedded change throughout the organisation more complex. Each employee needs a tailored experience to receive the full impact of a consulting service.
This would be extremely time-consuming to achieve using consultants alone. Digitisation allows certain services to be delivered in an accessible platform organisation-wide, while using automated AI and ML to give each user a unique experience based on their interactions.
- Customer retention
Keeping up customer retention will require a closer look at programme delivery, customer satisfaction, and what customers want. Organisations need to be reactive to meet these demands.
On-the-go learning and instant updates are much easier using digital solutions. Automated workflows and data collection, for example, give consultants greater availability to be reactive with their 1:1 services.
Benefits of digitisation for customer engagement
However, these challenges also represent an opportunity for better programme delivery and, as a result, better customer engagement.
McKinsey predicted in 2013 that algorithms would displace 140 million knowledge workers. But this does not mean they will be totally replaced, only supported to provide a more efficient and effective service.
While automation takes care of the repeatable tasks, and AI is used to personalise the everyday experiences, management consultants can focus on the more complex, custom problems. They can represent the specialised services which people want and require a one-to-one relationship for. All the while, digital tools can deliver your expertise in an easily ingestible format.
Here are more ways digitisation enhances the end-to-end customer experience:
- AI / ML helps tailor content and delivery to each individual’s preferred style of interaction
- Digital formats are well suited for bite-sized, easily accessible content
- Automation, workflows, and digital processes enable consultants to react quicker to customer needs
- Personalised and interactive programme delivery creates more exceptional, more memorable, experiences which last
- Surveys and data-driven insights enable firms to monitor and proactively improve customer satisfaction
- More relevant, timely, interactive and personalised content delivery will lead to greater customer retention
- Services delivered via digital platforms or apps can be better used across an organisation to support holistic change
- Automation, templated methodologies, and AI powered activity free up experts’ resource so you can take on more customers
- Optimised resource maximises revenue and reduces costs
- The ability to digitise methodologies and automate, or package, certain services helps firms scale their services and grow their business
How Mindset makes digitisation accessible
Despite the numerous benefits, getting digital transformation right isn’t straightforward. Advanced capabilities like machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) still aren’t commonly accessible, or usable for that matter, to the average business. Plus, digital transformation requires an integrated approach across the business to truly be successful.
Mindset is changing this.
It empowers you to turn your management consultancy business into an all-in-one platform (without a developer). By making machine learning accessible, you can now automate user engagement and improve customer retention.
Download our user journey infographic