At the heart of any professional services firm is knowledge.
- Inside knowledge. This is the expertise, know-how and skills developed by your staff as they work on the job. This is the knowledge unique to your firm, capturing your ways of doing things. It’s all your custom internal processes, crafted value propositions and more. This knowledge is often scattered among your staff. If it’s even written down, its often in passive formats which are hard to update and rely on the original creator to be completely understood.
- Client knowledge. This is your firm’s knowledge of your clients – the other major asset of your firm. This includes the demographic and financial details of your clients, but it is much more than that. It’s also the understanding of your clients – their preferences, goals and ambitions. It’s the history of your interactions with those clients – not just how things are, but why they are that way.
Your client experience is a key point of difference against your competitors. In an environment where costs are more transparent and competitive, your client experience becomes the means to support the ends. In addition, clients are more demanding than ever. They have more options for providers in professional services and are far less tolerant of poor client service.
While your staff represent the front-line of your client experience, digital technology has an increasingly important role to play in the client experience. Clients see digital transformation as a confirmation that your firm is moving into the future. A failure to demonstrate that your firm is embracing technology sends a message to your clients that you are falling behind and failing to invest in the future.
Clients are also increasingly tech-savvy. Every day, more Gen X and Gen Y become your clients, as Baby Boomers enter retirement. Your future clients have multiple mobile devices, interact with social media, are familiar with modern web interfaces and consume a wide range of digital content.
If there is one area which digital transformation excels at, its the mundane. Digital technology can take repetitive processes through-out your firm and transform them into an asset. Quality control improves, staff engagement increases and overall efficiency is boosted.
Machine learning, big data and digital automation is within reach of every professional services firm right now. A huge variety of ‘software as a service’ platforms exist to easily transform your internal processes. Offshoring of key processes is easier than ever too, thanks to improve online reporting and communication tools.
Employee training is under-going a major evolution towards newer technology and software platforms with embedded artificial intelligence. These platforms are aimed more dynamic approach to scaling employee training, knowledge sharing and personal development. In particular, the use of artificial intelligence, machine learning and software platforms driven by big data algorithms is opening up entirely new ways to consider employee training at scale. Digital transformation to a modern learning platform can help….
- Offer employees more individualised experiences. Artificial intelligence allows online learning to adapt to suit each employees individual learning style. Tribal Habit’s own Narration element, for example, can transform written text, which may suit a very literal employee, into a narrated video or slide show which would be far more engaging for visual employees.
- Provide detailed learning reporting. Machine learning and big data can allow your business to fully understand the impact of learning on your employees. Modern knowledge sharing platforms allow you to evaluate how each employee is learning, as well as the impact each particular course has on the employee’s future work capabilities and the strategic goals of your business.
- Continue to improve your employee experience. Many employees may be worried that the rise of technology may impact their jobs, especially when a machine learning programme at educating those employees. However, digital transformation often ends up making training programmes more efficient. It frees up time for the employee to focus on refining their skills and improving their expertise in a meaningful way.
- Help automate training reinforcement. Artificial intelligence can also dramatically boost ongoing learning. Machine learning can examine training for critical content. For example, Tribal Habit’s Insights element allows our platform to automatically identify and reinforce key content in employee training over time
Communication, both internally with staff and externally with clients, isn’t getting any easier. There’s so much noise for everyone to sort through. Communication strategies need to be timely, personalised and consistent. That’s where a digital transformation strategy comes to the form.
Let’s begin with your clients. Professionals are busy. They are often focused on current work in progress. As a result, remembering to communicate with inactive clients, follow-up with prospects or even send reminders for clients with overdue materials becomes a difficult task. Without some form of automated communication process, its too easy for clients and prospects to fall off the radar.
It’s no better internally. Managers can suddenly find that months have passed between any 1:1 meeting with their staff members. Reporting can be overlooked, and then rushed and full of errors. Learning and development, which often requires long-term follow-up to ensure real behavioural change, can fall in a heap without automated notifications.