Author: Jo Hutchinson, Deputy Director of Digital at the Prince’s Trust
@JoHutchinson, deputy director of digital at the Prince’s Trust, joined Josie, Neil and futurist James Woudhuysen in the studio to discuss how SMEs from all sectors can better interact with their customers on digital channels. Jo also shares her experience of planning and managing a digital project that has led to immediate benefits for the organization and the young people it supports, and explains why companies should start their own digital journey if they haven’t already…
Whether you’re a SME or a charity, digital technology allows you to make life more convenient than ever for your customers. On top of delivering an improved service, every digital interaction helps you build a more complete picture of who your customers are as individuals, gain valuable insights into how you can operate more efficiently, and may even spur you to offer new types of services in the future.
As one of the UK’s largest charities, and one that works primarily with young people, we recognized the need to change the way we interact with our customers – who for us are the young people we support and the volunteers that support us – to make it easier for them to get in touch and access our services online and via mobile.
We’ve been able to reach and help more young people than ever before, including those that couldn’t previously attend in-person groups and meetings. Because we can better track each young person’s journey as they move through the programmes and placements we offer, we‘ve also been able to improve the services we deliver to our existing customers, including being able to better match people with programmes that will be most relevant and beneficial for them, and running those programmes more efficiently and cost-effectively.
In short, we can now reach more people, provide them with a better, more tailored service, and make significant efficiency savings.
Where to start
The road to creating a successful digital experience required us to come with a completely new approach to attracting “customers”, monitoring their progress and interacting with them on an ongoing basis, moving from a primarily in-person experience, to a primarily online one.
Making such a big change to the way you operate can seem a daunting and potentially disruptive prospect, but it’s one that SMEs must face up to quickly if they haven’t already.
Here’s why I think you should start looking at how you can be doing more on digital now:
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