The pandemic has taught the world the dangers of relying on brick and mortar and accelerated the shift to digital business. This puts digital transformation consultants in high demand, with constant new challenges to take on.
Yet the internet is exploding with improved technology being released all the time. This makes the job of a digital transformation consultant more difficult, as they always need to stay on top of the latest trends.
It’s the only way they can ensure they are delivering the best possible solution to their clients. What was the best option last year or even last month might have already been supplanted.
When working with SMBs, this issue becomes more acute, as these companies often lack the resources to simply throw money at something until it works. They need to be more careful about their choices and find the optimal blend of function and affordability.
What a consultant might recommend to a large corporation might be horribly bloated for the needs of a more nimble SMB.
Here are five ways digital transformation consultants can help SMBs to get set up for success.
Ease them into CRM
Managing a Customer Relationship Management platform can be a significant challenge even for most digital organizations. It’s not surprising that businesses will be cautious when it comes to choosing the right system when they know how integral it will become to their business.
It’s understandable that becoming reliant on an unfamiliar tool overnight could be scary for some business owners. The key is to help organizations know they are not alone and that they will be supported in this journey into the future.
The vcita xperts program is perfect for allowing digital transformation consultants to stand alongside their clients until they no longer need any assistance.
The xperts program is a white label-ready resellers’ version of vcita’s small business management platform. It allows consultancies and agencies to set up templates and workflows on behalf of the client to get them set up while they are finding their feet. Clients can have access to the same tools that the consultant does, so they don’t feel dependent on you.
It includes an xperts dashboard which allows you to easily see onboarding metrics for the small business and understand how much they are using the application.
From the information provided, you can get a deep understanding of the client’s engagement and change your communication accordingly.
Open their eyes to the data
Digital transformation consultants are at the vanguard of the movement to make better data-driven decisions. They can help clients make sense of data and inform them as to how it can be relevant for different areas of the business.
Yet in the long run, you want to succeed in changing the internal culture, so they aren’t reliant on third parties and can analyze the numbers for themselves.
Often analytics software can be aimed at those who are already tech-savvy, and this presents a steep learning curve for SMBs who may feel intimidated. One solution comes from AgencyAnalytics, which has a while label, all-in-one analytics reporting platform.
It’s useful because it allows both the client and the consultants to log into the same system and make edits. You can teach clients which metrics to track and why they are important.
There will be less of an information gap between you and your client while using AgencyAnalytics, which can help in winning support for your suggestions. After some time, you won’t need to present your evidence, as they will be monitoring it already.
You can completely hand over the low-value tasks to in-house employees and focus on the more complex strategy consulting work yourself. This represents greater value for money for the client and helps consultants stay on the cutting edge.
Use collaborative customer journey maps
Many SMB owners bring in consultants because they want a fresh perspective on the way they run their business. Often the biggest areas of improvement won’t be obvious to internal employees, because they have become accustomed to a certain way of working.
As an outsider, you can question these practices and bring in new ideas that could make a lasting impact on the business’s fortunes.
One great way to identify these issues is through customer journey mapping. You work alongside the company to visualize customer interactions. By breaking it down at such a low level, suboptimal processes will be exposed. They may be adding unnecessary friction for customers, which could result in a poor customer experience.
This process can be arduous and it can be difficult to get buy-in from the client. You need to make the process as easy as possible whilst encouraging sharing to get the clearest understanding of the current situation.
Custellence is helpful software here, as the clean UI means clients will be able to contribute without it taking up too much of their energy. This participation will strengthen the client relationship whilst providing the foundation for problem identification.
Teach them web basics
It’s often not difficult to convince an SMB of the importance of a lead-generating website, but the implementation can be painful for all sides. They may be frustrated at needing a third party whenever they want to make basic changes, which leaves them feeling trapped.
It can become expensive, and they are forced to wait for someone to be available to fulfill their requirements. For consultants, these tasks can fall way below what they are capable of and distract them from higher-value tasks.
In an ideal world, SMBs could manage most of the simple tasks by themselves and only call digital transformation consultants for more strategic conversations. Weblium has a white label solution that can be used to empower clients while keeping everything within your control.
The consultant can build the website with reusable templates to the SMB’s requirements in a short space of time. They can then walk the clients through how this was done until they are confident enough to take over.
Create a feedback loop
To best serve the organization you are working with, you need timely feedback on current progress so you can pivot when needed. Qualitative data can be just as useful as raw software data especially when sample sizes are small.
You can use a simple Google Form to send out requests for feedback within the client organization. These are intuitive to use and answers can be automatically added to a spreadsheet, which makes analysis easy. You can change the settings to allow anyone to see the anonymous results so they can gain an unfiltered view of what people truly think.
Even with SMBs, employees may be afraid to voice their opinions, which is why anonymous data collection can be so powerful.
This data can help you to challenge misconceptions within the business by pointing to evidence that not everyone agrees with the decision-makers. It can also be used to show positive progress where the confidence in the answers significantly improves between feedback sessions.
For a digital transformation consultant, this can provide validation that their recommendations are working and serve to extend the relationship further into the future.
Digital transformation consultants can lead their clients to a brighter future where they are more resilient to changing market conditions. To have the greatest impact, they need to be partners in the truest sense, and shared access to suggested tools is one of the best ways to do this.
The client’s hesitancy can be eased because they can trust you to ensure things run smoothly. It’s critical to encourage information sharing so all decisions are informed. This will lead to an SMB feeling set up for success and foster strong relationships.