Digital Transformation of SMBs in India – Part I: What is Digital Transformation

Lotus Tech-The Content Lab-Understanding Digital Transformation Part 1

Executive Summary: SMBs in India are poised for an explosive growth through digital transformation. This article, part one of a two part series, discusses digital transformation of SMBs in India.

Reading Time: 3 min.

India’s small and medium enterprises (SMBs), also known as Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), have a great story to tell. Here are some statistics*:

  • 51 million units
  • SMBs command
    • 7 Cr employment
    • 14 L Cr assets
    • 5% CAGR
    • 496,000 Cr exports
    • 5% of GDP (2012-13**)
      • 7% of manufacturing GDP
      • 5% of services GDP

 

* Annual Report 2016-2017, Ministry Micro, Semi, and Medium Enterprises.

** Contribution of MSME in the economy, Press Release by Ministry Micro, Semi, and Medium Enterprises

A KPMG report, based on a study by KPMG in India and Google, titled “Impact of internet and digitization on SMBs in India” (January 2017) reveals a huge gap in technology adoption and a mega opportunity:

  • Number of Indian SMBs that are completely offline: 68%
  • Number of Indian SMBs actively promoting their businesses online: 2%

And it is also a widely published fact that Indian SMBs can add $1 trillion by 2020 to the Indian economy by going digital. While this is a huge opportunity for the SMBs themselves, the service providers who help the SMBs make the transition are set to gain as well. And this blog attempts to understand this opportunity and the role of content in two parts:

  • Part I: What is Digital Transformation
  • Part II: The Role of Content in Digital Transformation

What is Digital Transformation?

What was once bought from a shop near home is now bought from an online vendor. That is, customer behavior has changed. And the whole nation is going through this shift in behavior. And this is what digital transformation is:

The definite shift of customer behavior towards digital and a business’s response to let the customer interact and transact with the business digitally no matter where the customer is or when.

In a digitally transformed enterprise, the business’s ecosystem made up of prospects, customers, partners, vendors, government, and so on interacts and transacts with the business digitally.

Is There a Metric to Measure the Success of Digital Transformation?

Yes. There is. It is Customer Experience.

Examples from the Fitness and Ecommerce Spaces

The other day, I was wondering if one of the most personalized fields such as fitness training could be sold and consumed online. I searched and found some offerings. I promptly clicked a link and watched a short YouTube video about how to use the online fitness training service. Sadly though, I failed to understand how their offering was different from watching a fitness trainer on a 7.00 AM TV show.

That made me recall my earlier experience with a particular yoga posture. The challenge for me was that the trainer would move her limbs in sync with the narration in the background. But since I didn’t know what was coming up next, I had to replay the video several times to understand what the trainer was doing. This experience leads to a frustrating start. And I am sure many would give up.

At another time and place, I tried to buy an address book from an ecommerce portal. It took me to the global shop, and I was asked to upload an ID proof. I don’t quite understand why I should upload an ID proof to purchase a mundane item made of paper. I can understand a cautious approach when the item being bought has many uses and can be a possible security threat. But why this process for a book?

There are two key challenges here:

Teaching fitness or any motor skill online has to be different from the way it is taught in the real world. In a gym or classroom, there are many visual cues and motivating factors. Crafting them into digital learning needs a close look at psychology, user experience, and how people learn in real life.

If a business can’t tell a prospect very quickly how it can make a difference, or makes it difficult to buy online, the customer is lost. In the digital world, the customer comes to the business. The business doesn’t go to him. (This is true even if the business does digital marketing. The prospect clicks a link in the ad to access the business.) So, if you can’t impress him the very first time he is visiting your website, he will be gone, and retargeting may not be easy, or worse still, may not work. (At another level, isn’t it good to spend minimal money on retargeting?)

Now, step back and take a look at these key challenges. They are not specific to that business but are a matter of customer experience offered by any business. Hence my conclusion that customer experience is the litmus test for determining the transformation of a business into a digital business.

We Can Help

To know more about how we can support your digital transformation through content, please write to us at sales@lotustech.online or call us at +91-7032727333.

How to Collect, Organize, and Present Testimonials on Your Website

Lotus Tech - The Content Lab - How to Collect, Organize, and Present Testimonials

Executive Summary: A website has only 2 sections — what the business has to say about itself, and what the customers have to say about the business, that is testimonials. This article attempts to give a perspective into how to present testimonials in step with your service offerings.

Reading Time: 2 Min.

A website is for customers, and the testimonials speak louder than what the entire website has to say about the business. So, if you have a website designed for your business, this is how you may go about collecting, organizing, and presenting testimonials.

Testimonials, Your Service (or Product) Offerings, and Organization

Businesses make many service (or product) offerings but present only the most important services on the website. Therefore, you must first decide what service offerings you would like to present on the website.

For each service offering, choose the marquee clients you would like to showcase on your website. This exercise has to be done with care because, as a business, you would like to be showcased as a business that successfully executes complex projects or cutting-edge projects, or as a business capable of delivering such projects. And if your clients don’t belong to that area of business, or if the testimonial does not state or hint at your capabilities, the testimonial does not help enough.

When your service offerings are specific to industry sectors, make it a point to collect a couple of testimonials from customers belonging to each segment.

Content of a Testimonial

The content can include:

  • Range of services used
  • Differentiators
  • Ease of doing business with you
  • Value added to the customer’s offering
  • The wow factor in the service
  • The reviewer’s name, designation, and company.

Content Format of a Testimonial

The more visual, the better. If it can’t be visual and is only made up of text, help the reader scan and get the gist quickly. More importantly, help the reader decide if reading the review is useful even before she starts reading it.

Collection

The sooner, the better. Collect it soon after the service is rendered or product is purchased. Sometimes, customers may need guidance in writing a testimonial. Help them write the content.

You may even think of setting up a process to collect testimonials.

Presentation

Sliders and testimonial pages are the most common areas to find the testimonials. However, the best use is when you display it at the point where a customer makes a decision. Therefore, using them on the landing pages, above the fold, is crucial for conversion.

To know more about how reviews can help your business, visit PowerReviews.

Our Experience

Sometimes, customers, mostly from the B2C segment, ask us to pick up the customer reviews from the Facebook pages or Google Reviews. Often, this does not work for a couple of reasons. The customers who give a review often are not explicit. They simply award star ratings and write that the services were great. Since such reviews don’t include the specifics mentioned in the Content of a Testimonial section above, visitors to your website may not find the reviews very useful. Sometimes, an outside agency like us cannot view all the testimonials on your Facebook page unless you grant us permissions.

In the B2B segment, often the testimonial collection is the most neglected aspect. As a result, the service renderer often misses what created the wow factor. Also, many business owners need hand-holding in writing the testimonials. We have noticed that both cultural and language proficiency challenges are at play here. If your customer is not comfortable writing a testimonial in English, you may think of doing a video with him in the vernacular language. Even a testimonial shot using a good quality camera phone will do. What matters is your client’s endorsement. Everything else is secondary. If bandwidth is a concern, you can opt for a voice recording. (While recording, ask the customer to state his name, designation, and company. This will improve the credibility factor greatly.)

Need Help with Testimonials?

We routinely help our customers in compiling testimonials that are treasure-worthy. Here is a testimonial from our customer about our skills in drafting testimonials.

If you need help with testimonials, write to us at sales@lotustech.online or talk to us at +91-7032727333.

 

Mindful Editing for Creating a Great Customer Experience

Lotus Tech Blog-Mindful Editing for Customer Experience

Executive Summary: Editing has a great role to play in customer experience. Hence, it should be mindful.

Reading Time: <1 minute.

A few days ago, I was attempting to learn a breathing pattern in yoga from an online video.

As per the video, I was supposed to chant a sound repeatedly while breathing out. However, after voicing the sound, before I could go to the next utterance, the trainer was already into the second utterance. I was perplexed as to how he could breathe in so fast that he could go on to the next utterance.

After some attention to the video and the technique, I reasoned out that probably… probably…the pause between 2 breaths was too long in the original video and was edited out for keeping the video length short and the content sharp.

I understood, first hand, 2 things:

  • The need for retaining all that is relevant rather than all that is voice or image in a video.
  • Silence is content too.

— By Surya Vallae

A Look into Content Creation and Delivery for Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT)

 Content Creation and Delivery for Virtual Instructor-Led Training

Executive Summary: Focal points of content creation and delivery for a virtual instructor-led training, popularly known as VILT.

Enterprises are the early adopters of Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT) to benefit from expert coaching with low cost of delivery. On the other hand, in an attempt to attract students from across the globe, many universities deliver their online programs in the VILT mode.

I have been strolling the portals of Coursera and Udemy since long. Also, I pursued a couple of VILT courses earlier and am guiding the content development for one. In a virtual instructor-led training, the professor teaches in real-time while the students log in from across the globe. And this blog is born from my experience with VILT.

Here are some focal points in content creation and delivery for virtual instructor-led training:

  1. The students represent a wide variety of age groups, learning styles, and maturity levels. Therefore, the course should be built with a sharp focus and a thorough understanding of what should be delivered for each category of learners.
  2. The class size should be limited, and the mentor would need a moderator who would answer the questions.
  3. Evaluation of the content created by the students is another area that needs significant resources. Also, some courses typically need more performance support than the others. The support extended to the students is bound to come back in raving reviews for the organizer.
  4. The content quality is an area that the course organizer should focus on. With MOOC platforms like FutureLearn and Coursera setting high standards in course content and delivery, learners expect a minimum level of content quality. The VILT organizer should set and manage the participant expectations about the content standards.
  5. The instructor’s experience and presence make a huge difference in the successful delivery of the course content. Therefore, when designing a VILT, the course organizer should ensure that the instructor is someone who is an expert or a seasoned professional with loads of experience in a relevant field. Or, if the mentor is a junior person, they should be trained in team dynamics and facilitating conversations.
  6. Equally important are the instructor’s skills in managing the VILT technology. Dysfunctional technology or the instructor’s inability to troubleshoot can take away precious hours off the class time and in turn affect the experience and course reviews.
  7. One of the best outcomes of VILT is the creation of a community. However, if the organizer chooses to monitor the community, the efforts are directly proportional to the vibrancy of this space. Each batch of learners evolve into a close-knit social group, and the cooperation among the members lasts much longer, if not for a lifetime.

Virtual Instructor-Led Training is the ideal method of training when the students need a lot of handholding and guidance. While not very scalable, it certainly eliminates the geographic boundaries in bringing the mentors and mentees together. Quality content, management of participant expectations, and support for community activities can make this model a runaway success.