With business operations no longer limited by a physical location, the door has been opened to expedited global expansion. Prior to the digital revolution, companies had to wait for significant growth in their local markets before considering further geographic expansion. Now, that process has been democratized, allowing any business to expand its footprint into new locations without a significant investment in real estate, local staff or other associated operating costs.
Expanding your business’ reach without physical locations
At one time, a brick-and-mortar location was considered a prerequisite for companies to attract clients in a new location. Today, digital strategies provide unparalleled value to businesses seeking new markets. Any business with a mobile app or web platform can reach both clients and employees in different geographies and time zones, meaning operations can proceed seamlessly over digital, regardless of a physical location.
A digital solution can enable even the smallest businesses to extend their reach outside of their home market. With a dedicated channel, small and medium sized businesses (SMB) can deliver high-touch service to a wider range of clients. Especially for SMBs with limited resources, a mobile app can facilitate expansion by allowing employees to manage quality and timely engagement with clients.
Improving client engagement digitally
While going into a physical branch to handle business was once a preference to clients, with the rise of digital-first clients, in-person interactions no longer offer the same appeal they once did. In a study conducted by Moxtra of 1,000 respondents, 51% of consumers (51%) prefer exclusively digital interactions over in-person meetings where possible.
This increased preference for digital by consumers lowers the barrier for entry into new markets, ultimately giving businesses an opportunity to expand globally. The move to digital also opens up space for added flexibility for client interactions. Businesses are finding a balance between 9-5 operating hours and 24/7 availability by adopting a “just-in-time” model for client engagement. With staff and clients equipped with digital channels, client engagement can happen anytime, from anywhere at the convenience of the client and the employee.
With higher demand for convenient digital experiences, businesses need to ensure their mobile app offers as much value to clients as an in-person interaction would. So, what features must mobile apps have in order for businesses to successfully expand and maintain a global client base digitally?
Key Components of a Digital Strategy Enabling Expansion
- Timely, consistent and quality engagement: One of the top pain points for 54% of clients when interacting with service providers is difficulty getting in touch with a representative. For smaller businesses and startups that may lack adequate resources and staff, 24/7 on demand engagement is not always a realistic option.
The ability for businesses to deliver a just-in-time service experience to its clients is key to maintaining a digital client base. By providing timely responses on the client side and maximizing efficiency on the business side, companies can be available while still optimizing their resources. Offering secure and dedicated channels for client engagement allows for asynchronous communication that meets the digital expectations of clients without draining internal resources.
- Access to information in a dedicated OneStop platform: In Moxtra’s latest survey, the overwhelming majority (91%) of consumers said the ability to access all information relevant to their interaction with a business in one place is important to them. Keeping in mind consumers’ desire for convenience, businesses should prioritize the centralization of different tools and functions into one single platform that can be managed with tailored permissions for more efficient operations.
This can eliminate inefficiencies that slow down interactions and help streamline processes, delivering a better experience to clients. Additionally, centralizing information and having access to previous interactions in one location allows for businesses to maintain a more consistent relationship with individual clients, even if the brand representative changes over time.
- Account management strategies: With an all-in-one digital strategy, organizations can manage their internal teams and streamline their organization to ensure quality client engagement. Having a digital solution with account management capabilities allows businesses to offer better engagement with more human touch. The management of client interaction history allows companies to gain visibility into real-time activity and derive actionable insights about clients.
A managed strategy can assist businesses in retaining control of the entire client process and ensure that loyalty is directly with the business, not only through a staff member. The key to expanding a business digitally is creating confidence with clients about their relationship with the brand, regardless of the brand representative on the other end of the line.
As industries continue to become digital-first, service providers must continue to evaluate their digital offerings to ensure that consumer demand for convenience is being met. In today’s age, businesses can achieve expansion and rapid growth by tearing down the rigid “rules” of traditional business and reach new audiences without investing in a physical presence in every market. However, the ability to do this is highly dependent on providing a secure, managed, reliable and convenient digital offering for clients. Businesses seeking global expansion must deliver high-quality engagement by constantly evaluating and evolving their digital strategy to accommodate changing client preferences.
Leena Iyar, Chief Brand Officer, Moxtra