Patience is necessary, and one cannot reap immediately what one has sown. – Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard
Occasionally, I drive through an expansive California agricultural scene on my way to Santa Barbara (The melodic phrase “strawberry fields forever” is quite accurate in this neck of the woods.) And each time, I am amazed at the amount of time and work that goes into filling one flat of strawberries or one crate of cabbage. The magic of that bounty did not happen overnight.
For example, after the farmer has sown the field, they continue to work on it. They apply fertilizer, they irrigate and control any pests that threaten to invade. The farmer pulls weeds that reach to choke out young plants. It’s a lot of work. Yet even before the farmers’ crops reach the growing phrase, there’s significant time put into preparation. Before planting takes place, the farmer determines what products are in high demand. Once a crop is determined, the farmer puts work into plotting the field, preparing the soil for planting, arranging for labor and developing a plan for harvesting and selling.
Good things come to those who wait (and work)
Obviously, even today’s farmers cannot adopt the 21st century mentality of instant gratification; growing produce can’t work that way. Nor can your brand’s implementation of digital customer experience. Like the strawberry growers of California, you require an abundance of time and effort to deliver customer expectations. A truly successful digital transformation can take several years.
In the Forrester report, “Plan Now for Customer Service in 2021”, we learn that “technologies developing now will take time to mature.” As you undergo your new digital transformation, you must allow for trial and error in order to get it right, and you must be willing to take the risk of extra time and labor. According to Forrester, “Because these technologies take customer service in new directions, customer service application pros will need that time to plan, play with, and pilot them.”
Expand your view beyond the immediate need
A great amount of planning and cultivating goes into this huge endeavor, and it starts with a vision – a vision that goes beyond what you already know about customer expectations. Plan for the possibilities of the technology, not just the technology itself. Innovations for engaging with customers create new opportunities to engage differently, and engaging differently creates new opportunities for more innovations.
Farming (and digital transformation) is tough with only one person
Forrester Research has found that 74% of business executives say their company has a digital strategy, but only 15% feel they have the skills and capabilities to execute it.
Don’t let your digital transformation team be left out in the field, working alone without the right equipment. Find the technology provider that comes with those needed skills and capabilities and one that thrives on expanding your vision.
Join us March 16 to hear from Ian Jacobs of Forrester Research and me on how to “Plan now for digital customer engagements in 2020” and learn:
- Market imperatives and customer experience success drivers for the age of the consumer.
- How advancements in speech recognition, natural language understanding, AI and machine learning will usher in a new class of conversational virtual assistants that partner with and learn from agent-assisted interactions and support new service capabilities.
- The role of messaging in developing customer-focused omni-channel engagement strategies.
- How leading organizations are reaping the benefits of AI-powered self- and assisted-service today, while planning for the future.
And start planning NOW for digital customer engagement in 2020!