This was first published as a guest article in partnership with Netcall, read the original piece here
Our previous interview with Dave Pattman, MD for Solution Development and Richard Farrell, Chief Innovation Officer at Netcall titled Shifting automation up a gear, focused on technology as the central key to unlocking efficient digital transformation with Richard and Dave exploring how customer support service levels can be maintained in these uncertain times, while accelerating change.
Continuing the conversation, we discuss how organisations can drive and improve customer service levels while driving digital transformation at pace. Knowing how tough it is to deal with the continuous uncertainty that the pandemic has caused, we ask how can organisations work through the changing policies and processes and get to the value quicker?
When you are working at pace, how is it possible to design processes which are going to be adopted and successfully meet the needs of the customer?
Richard: It’s a human-centric issue. The key to getting the processes right, is using your customer-facing people as a major part of the building process. They have amazing customer insight and also understand where the issues are with your current systems which prevent work from flowing effectively.
With Liberty Create, your customer experts can collaborate with IT to develop solutions to common customer experience issues. We call them citizen developers, as anyone can be taught to build with our drag and drop tech, they don’t need to be a seasoned developer.
By working together, they can build applications quickly and easily with IT controlling the secure and compliant environment and approving the build. Our studios within our low-code software create a nice line of demarcation between building, coding and testing.
Dave: When working at pace, it’s really important to have the right level of expertise to fall back on. While internal teams may have a strong grasp of the problem to solve, finding a suitable delivery partner who understands the technology and can deploy in appropriate areas is key to maintaining momentum.
The teams I lead hold a great degree of experience in technology deployment. When partnered with a client team who are able to bring their deep knowledge and proximity to the customer together, we’re able to both move at pace. This ensures that all-important scale and longevity of impact. Without that critical partnership, there’s too many false starts, single point solutions that only serve to move demand downstream or are unable to reach the scale required to realise ROI.
It seems automation isn’t simply about automation. People, process and technology are at the heart of it. So, how do organisations shift gears to adapt to this way of digitising?
Richard: I’d say the first objective is to opt for tools which allows you to add and prove value, quickly. That means that you can demonstrate the improvements and return on investment or efficiency savings, fast. You can show how reducing mundane tasks and refining the processes improves staff job satisfaction, making them more engaged and efficient, and also the positive impact it has on customer experience. Then, the next project gains momentum and you can work through several change projects, at a great pace.
Dave: Many examples of automation projects to date have seen large centralised functions created, who then hunt for opportunities to deploy automation. We’ve found that engaging colleagues much closer to the customer and providing easy tools to support has an evangelising effect, being an active part of change and transformation. This must continue to be grounded by, and supported with a clear strategic rationale, with a universal understanding of the customer service and wider brand proposition, and ultimately the customer journeys that deliver it. This avoids the nightmare ‘wild west’ IT scenarios that shutter initiatives and provide a framework for knowledge sharing.
Low-code provides many advantages for accelerating change in business led automation, can you outline the key rewards?
Richard: Aside from the collaboration between IT and business-people, it’s the pace at which you can make changes to systems adaptations, it allows you to work through the customer journey and resolve issues one process at a time. This means regular operational UK wins and as well as CX.
These changes are business led, and often automating mundane processes, so it can result in higher satisfaction for employees as it removes many of their mundane tasks. So rather than fearing job loss due to automation, they can deliver better service to customers and be more productive. For the employer, they are getting to the value of transformation much quicker – customer issues are reduced and staff have time to deal with the problems.
Dave: Where low-code is facilitated and encouraged by central teams and specialists, there’s huge opportunity to be more ‘fleet of foot’ in developing, deploying and iterating ‘best practice’ across functions and geographies.
When governance requirements are carefully balanced with the freedom for those closest to customers to develop innovative solutions; standards, particularly for heavily regulated businesses can be maintained and even improved while channelling the enthusiasm of colleagues to bring forward their deep understanding and co-create impactful solutions, leveraging internal expertise as required.