How Digital Transformation Helps Make SMBs More Competitive

February 14, 2023

Today’s technologies allow for better customer engagement and experience

If you own a small or medium-size business, it’s become abundantly clear that technology is rapidly changing consumer behavior, and vice-versa – no matter what industry you operate in. While the pandemic and its continuing after-effects are key drivers in all this, customers are also demanding more from companies, which are now forced to work differently if they want to keep up with change and stay in business.

Most experts agree that hybrid and remote work environments are here to stay. So the next decade will continue to present new challenges and bring changes to the way work gets done. You may already be thinking ahead to what’s next and how to confront changes so that you can continue to grow your business. Important questions to ask yourself include: How well am I keeping up with the digital transformation and technologies that my employees need to succeed? And what customer experience am I providing to retain loyal customers while acquiring new ones?

If you’re still in business after these last few years, you’re obviously doing a lot that’s right.  That includes the right management team, financial planning and management, marketing and sales, building the right team and partners, providing a great product or service, and maintaining good processes and systems to help everyone do their job. The success factor that influences all of these is communication – internally among your employees and suppliers, and externally with your customers. Communication keeps your business moving, growing and succeeding.

And because satisfied customers are the essence of a successful business, providing a great customer experience leads to repeat business, higher levels of customer retention and the potential for loyal customers to become your brand ambassadors. In this age of social media and influencer marketing, it doesn’t get much better than that. Proof? Here are just a few interesting stats rounded up in 2021 by Annex Cloud:

  • HubSpot has found that just a 5% increase in customer retention can boost profits by 25% to 95%.
  • Among U.S. customers, 69% believe that customer service influences their loyalty, per SmallBizGenius.
  • Loyal customers returning to your business spend an average of 33% more per order, says MyCustomer, a leading online resource for customer service and customer experience professionals.
  • PwC has found that speed, convenience, knowledgeable help and friendly service are the most important aspects of a good customer experience.

Digital adoption makes it easier to satisfy more customers

While there are four areas of digital transformation – business process, business model, domain, and cultural transformation – according to, for most SMBs, domain transformation offers the greatest potential to survive and succeed. Many businesses have made this change and continue to transform as customers and times change. Consider Netflix, which started out as a movie rental business; Starbucks, which first just sold coffee beans; and YouTube, initially a video dating site! Domain transformation through digital technologies allows you to take your core business and pivot with additional and/or related products and services that work to create your next chapter, appeal to new customers and grow your customer base.

With new technologies, you can tap new opportunities and markets that may have been out of reach. Making the move to more digital channels of communication has been key to many SMBs staying alive throughout the pandemic. Excellent customer service has never been more important, and easier, than it is today through digital transformation.

This is not as complex as it may sound, especially with the multitude of automated and easy-to-use digital tools available. They offer unified platforms that deliver intuitive operation and convenient ways to communicate with your customers – from calling and emailing to messaging and video meetings, from any device – allowing you to deliver an excellent, “always on” customer experience while you improve worker productivity on a daily basis. According to IDG’s Digital Business Survey from 2021, 91% of companies are either fully in the planning or execution stages of digital business or have already transitioned – and 61% of those surveyed said that the pandemic jump-started their “digital first” transition.

Keep everyone connected with the right tools for your business

Whether you’re a small or medium-size business, adopting the right communication tools not only helps you deliver a great end-to-end customer experience, but it will also help your employees work faster and smarter, adding to everyone’s productivity, efficiency – and your bottom line.

At Konica Minolta, we offer Unified Communications to take advantage of modern phone solutions that offer these benefits through cloud-based applications. There are no more missed calls, systems that don’t “talk” to each other, infrastructure maintenance or fluctuating expenses. And the system easily scales up as you add people – in any location – or as your needs change.

If your company includes sales and/or service teams, Unified Communications offers huge advantages because it automatically captures and logs all calls in CRM, with enhanced reporting on the call performance of users. It also integrates voice calls with your existing CRM omnichannel capabilities. CRM Integration lets you capture high-integrity data, streamline common administrative tasks and provide a better customer experience overall.

Starting with a cloud-based VoIP phone system, you can simplify your communications with a collaboration app that keeps everyone connected to everything with full HD video, voice, messaging, desktop sharing and conferencing that integrates with your other cloud business apps. Collaboration in the age of hybrid work has never been easier.

There’s also Call Recording with AI, which allows you to access voice data with call recording that also offers unlimited playback of your encrypted recordings for seven years. The advanced capabilities that artificial intelligence unlocks let you better understand your customer retention and support challenges. You can discover trends with text transcription, and quickly identify negative calls to reduce churn risk using sentiment analysis. Call Recording with AI also sends notifications when calls are rated negatively with intelligent alerting.

Most recently, we enhanced our UC offerings to include clients using Microsoft Teams. Through our partnership with NTS Communications, we have implemented their iPILOT platform, which offers a cloud platform as a service (CPaaS) to support the entire Microsoft Teams calling lifecycle including migration, deployment, capacity management, support, analytics and integration. This innovative software creates a more streamlined and robust user experience to collaborate, interact and manage ongoing communication projects from anywhere. With Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams, we are able to meet the demand from the evolving distributed workforce and offer a new level of connectivity for the Microsoft ecosystem.

Cloud-based Unified Communications is the flexible, reliable, available and scalable solution if you have business continuity planning in mind. It’s also a great solution if you need the latest tools – and need them to be available anywhere, at any time. Whether you have a small, agile team that needs flexibility and collaborative tools, run a full call center and need detailed reporting, or anywhere in between, Unified Communications is ready to help your business thrive and grow.

Find out more on how to simplify and expand your communication capabilities here.

Ginnie Lee
Marcoms Manager, ICW Brand & Content

Ginnie is a marketing professional with over ten years of experience planning and executing on strategic marketing campaigns, primarily in academic publishing but most recently in the IT Managed Service Provider industry. She has worked on B2B campaigns to drive demand generation and content strategy, in addition to providing sales enablement and corporate communications support. In her current role at Konica Minolta, Ginnie is a Marketing Communications Manager specializing in the SMB customer segment for the Intelligent Connected Workplace (ICW) Brand and Content Team. She enjoys cooking, watching baking shows, and doing arts and crafts with her family.