When looking for efficiency in how you attract, convert and serve your customers, digital innovation offers big opportunities and clear return on investment. Small improvements to the digital customer journey can generate a huge impact, as well as increase your marketing, sales and customer service performance.
There’s no shortage of tools to support optimised digital journeys, from virtual assistants to chatbots leveraging conversational AI. And by rapidly experimenting with these innovations, businesses can quickly find out where the value lies.
“Our ultimate goal is to not invest any significant costs and resources into building and releasing anything which has not been through some form of controlled trial first,” says Chris Regan, optimisation director at Kin + Carta Europe.
For web and app experiences, it is a commonly cited statistic that just two out of ten experiments provide a positive result. It’s therefore better to test something in a controlled environment – which technology allows you to do cheaply and accurately – so that massive investments don’t face an 80% chance of failure.
“The process of experimentation also comes with efficiencies in how we use team time and resources to drive business value. This approach removes the risk of wasting hard-earned development resources on things that will not move the dial or, worse, will damage business performance,” Regan adds.
What to do with low-value tasks?
Processes for collecting, accessing and analysing data can be onerous and inefficient, increasing the cost of managing data while reducing the value extracted from it. This is a great place to look for innovative efficiencies.
Automating the collection and processing of data can help, especially in areas of the organisation where value could be realised more readily and reliably.
There are signs of this emerging in the legal sector, says Justin North, director at Pickering Pearce, a consultancy that advises law firms on digital transformation. Until the industry reinvents itself, it is an environment where lawyers’ time is money, he explains, and ambitious firms use automation in both delivery and operations to liberate lawyers from administrative tasks. Document-related tasks are already widely automated, North says, and now larger firms are automating back- and middle-office functions as well.
“No one wants to have a lawyer doing repetitive, low value work: not the firm, not the client, not the lawyer,” he explains. “It limits their progression as a lawyer and stifles their creativity and commercial development.”
Meanwhile, firms are beginning to analyse past legal disputes to predict the outcome of future cases, in what North and others describe as the ‘Moneyball’ approach to legal practice. “Obviously, if you can predict an outcome, and the costs associated with getting to that outcome, you can give clients a better idea of whether or not they should even start down a certain path. And it’s less based on intuition and more based on fact. Smart firms are chasing this hard.”
This combination – more efficient legal teams working on cases they are more likely to win – shows how efficiency- focused innovation can lead to more profitable value propositions.
Similar trends are emerging in healthcare and financial services. Kin + Carta has supported health insurers in the US following the No Surprises Act of January 2022, which obliged them to quickly update the contact details they hold for healthcare providers. Doing so manually would have been costly and time consuming but, for some insurers, it was the impetus they needed to transform their processes by supplementing or replacing tasks with automation.
To get started in supporting health insurers, Kin + Carta developed an AI-powered voice bot that calls healthcare providers to request their latest contact information, using natural language processing to transcribe the response. The contact details are then automatically updated in the insurers’ database.
“In addition to the cost savings, employees are relieved of the tedious work of calling providers and empowered to focus on higher-value work,” says Kevin Gumz, portfolio delivery partner at Kin + Carta.
Access to data is also ripe for innovation. In many organisations, valuable data is scattered among hundreds of spreadsheets or siloed databases, limiting its potential to be exploited and creating unnecessary work for decision-makers who need it. By building a self-service data marketplace, one global consumer goods company was able to give its employees access to data and insights through an e-commerce experience. Not only has this accelerated access to data, it has also saved the company millions by eliminating duplicate subscriptions to external datasets.