When is it Time to Change Digital Communications Platforms?
If you have been wondering about moving to a new digital communications platform, you likely already know that the time is almost here. There are several reasons that you may want to make a change. You might be using a platform that is not working for your needs. You may be using an outdated legacy system that is unable to keep up with modern technology. You may not be 100% happy with your digital communications platform provider. Whatever the reason you are considering a move, knowing when it is time to make the transition is key.
When to Move to a New Digital Communications Platform
In a world of digital transformation, businesses can no longer afford to put up with second best. The competitive nature of the digital space means that your competitors are investing in powerful tools, even if you are not. Customers today have higher expectations from businesses than ever before. When they are still receiving outdated bills and statements from your business, they may be getting easy to pay bills from another business. COVID-19 has also played an increasingly big role in how customers interact with businesses. According to a Statista report done in July 2020, there have been numerous digital communication channels adopted since the pandemic. The biggest channel is live chat, at a 54% increased use and a 35% first-time use. SMS increased by 41%, while remote contact centres increased by 25%.
At some point, outdated systems will no longer be an option. Making the transition now, while you can still go over and beyond for your customers, is therefore vital. Waiting too long can risk putting your business behind as it is unable to meet the needs of customers.
Knowing when to make the move will help you get started on your transformation journey. Here are a few things to look out for when identifying the right time to move to a new platform.
Your current platform is overly simple.
Simple is good… but only to a point. You want a platform that is easy to use, which will make adoption easier for your teams. You want customers to have access to an easy-to-use system for paying bills, viewing statements, and interacting with your business. At the same time, you don’t want a system that offers limited functionality. The problem with overly simple platforms is that they often lack capability. A good example of these platforms is platforms designed with only one or two functions. You may be using a marketing automation platform that handles lead generation and email marketing, and possibly SMS. This platform works for some areas of your digital communication but not others. You may have a platform that handles other functions, such as debt collection, invoicing and statement delivery. You may have both of these tools, which provide very basic tools. The trouble with this is that they will only give you limited benefits.
Rather than having multiple simple tools, it is far more effective to have a single, perhaps slightly more complex platform that provides an omnichannel experience. This type of platform will be a far better investment. It will allow you to run marketing campaigns across multiple channels, from email to SMS, USSD and shortcodes all the way to preference centres offering customer self-service tools. If you choose a fully integrated platform designed to be easy to use, it will still be simple – just not overly simple with limited functions.
Your current systems are limited.
If you are using an ancient legacy data system, you are not alone. Many companies rely on outdated silo approaches that make it difficult to integrate any new technologies. Limited systems result in many challenges. The biggest challenge of all is that they are seldom able to update to meet the needs of customers. They may work at a basic level and get the job done. When you are using complex data servers rather than cloud-based servers, it gets harder to simplify your various campaigns. It also becomes harder for new tools to be integrated, as most technologies are not designed to work within older systems.
These systems are extremely limiting. They often result in an increased need for manual functions, whether that may be manual invoicing or non-automated lead generation campaigns. There is a greatly increased error margin. Organising anything becomes a nightmare. Trying to automate some functions is impossible. As the entire system is not working, all customer communication functions become more complicated. Making the move to a modern, automated system is essential in this case. You may have to make a slower transition, however, as moving from an old system to a brand new cloud-based system takes more time than moving from one cloud-based system to another.
Overly complex systems.
You don’t want very basic systems that can only do so much. You don’t want extremely complex systems that make everything too difficult, either. Overly complicated systems are problematic for a few reasons. The biggest reason is that they take up a lot of resources. Many are legacy systems, which adds even more of a challenge. Others may be modern but still lack the basic functionality needed to plan and implement various campaigns. The more complicated systems are to use, the bigger the barrier will be for adoption. Employees may end up using manual channels. They may make mistakes that are caused by hard to understand features. Training may be extensive, with a longer time frame for adoption.
If you are battling to use your digital communications platform, you have a big problem. You want a system that is comprehensive enough to offer a fully integrated solution. You don’t want one that has all the features you need, with none of the usability you need. Systems that are not intuitive, non-responsive, difficult to use, heavy on physical resources and generally a pain will make it hard to get results. Instead, you want to move to a platform that can be easily adopted and used without weeks or months of training.
To help you get the most from your campaigns, Grapevine Interactive offers a fully integrated omnichannel platform that has all the features needed for success. Contact us today to find out more about making the move to a digital communications channel that meets all of your needs.