How IT Professionals Can Use Technology to Enhance Workflow

Image source: Adobe Stock Premium Collection / Wavebreak Media.

by Colin van Oosterhout

posted on 07-17-2018

At the start of the summer, I was looking to order a new gas barbecue. I found the model I wanted at an online store that was offering an extra discount on a matching barbecue cover. After I added the barbecue and cover to my shopping cart, up popped a message that the cover was not available. However, the site wouldn’t let me order the BBQ to be delivered right away, with the cover to follow once it was available. I even spent time on an automated chat system, but quickly found that it couldn’t handle my questions. Frustrated, I canceled the order and purchased it through another website. I was disappointed to lose the discount, but relieved to be able to complete my purchase frustration-free.

If you’ve ever had a customer like me — on the cusp of buying a product or service only to decide last minute to go somewhere else — you likely know the risks that come with delays in the customer experience journey.

You’ve probably been there when a major sale depended on getting the customer’s signature on a contract that you had to mail out, resulting in several days’ wait time for the customer to consider other options. Not that your product wasn’t the best, but customers don’t ultimately want to spend money, and if they have to spend, the lowest cost trumps quality almost every time, especially if you’re not there in real time, explaining why your product is worth the investment. That several days’ wait time could make all the difference, and the great news is that it’s unnecessary in today’s digital world.

With document cloud technology and digital signatures, brands can follow the customer journey from initial contact all the way through to point of purchase — and eliminate downtime in the process. Gone are the days of mailing, messengering, or faxing a contract and waiting for the customer to sign it, make a copy, and send it back to you through the same delayed channels, costing you time and money.

Using IT to overcome barriers to growth

Technology doesn’t just create opportunities for improving the customer experience journey. According to Adobe’s latest Digital Trends in IT report from EConsultancy, information technology (IT) professionals play an important role in today’s business world by using technology to overcome barriers to growth and optimize overall workflow. Two of the barriers identified by the sample of IT leaders surveyed are departmental silos and bureaucratic processes (60 percent) and the integration of aging legacy systems with new technology (55 percent).

Despite the challenges businesses face, the report found that the top-performing companies are committed to implementing scalable digital platforms to meet the increasingly complex requirements of today’s customer-focused businesses. In fact, these companies are almost three times more likely (25 vs. 9 percent) than mainstream companies to have invested in an integrated, cloud-based technology stack.

Connecting decision-makers with cloud-based tools

Digital cloud-based tools give businesses the opportunity to digitize and electronically store important business documents and make them available at the click of a button to all involved parties, whether within the company itself or all along the customer experience journey. Getting digital signatures is easy with electronic or e-signature technology, such as Adobe Sign. Customers can take advantage of the convenience of signing off on any device without having to print or transfer the document. E-signatures also provide valuable insights that help brands further improve customer experiences.

Enhancing the customer experience with AI and AR

Technology provides other opportunities for enhancing the customer experience as well, in ways that genuinely tap into today’s digitally driven customer expectations.

Imagine walking into a furniture store and instead of guessing what a piece of furniture would look like in your living room, you’re able to look at a screen — and through augmented reality (AR) see what your living room would look like with that new piece of furniture. Companies are also using artificial intelligence (AI) to automate many of their workflow processes, saving time and freeing people up to focus on improvement of other aspects of the business.

The Digital Trends in IT report reveals that IT professionals are in a unique position to impact every aspect of how a business operates because digital transformation remains a top priority for customer-centric brands. As long as digital connection continues to be a value among customers, IT professionals will continue to play a role in keeping businesses focused on the customer experience, enhanced by technology.

Topics: Digital Transformation

Products: Sign