Is digital business transformation putting the customer experience first?

The purpose of digital business transformation should be enhancing customer and employee experience. Building services in accordance to user needs gives no reason for your customers to look elsewhere.

Digital technologies – and the way we utilize them personally, at work, and within our communities – have changed the face of business.

But, the speed at which it is occurring is faster than the pace an organization can handle. 

It’s why, according to research from IDC, two-thirds of Global 2,000 companies will pivot from traditional, offline strategies to more modern digital ones to improve the customer experience. 

But is this digital business transformation putting the customer experience first?

The growth of digital business transformation

Digital business transformation is a method of exploiting digital technologies and their supporting capabilities to generate sound new digital business models.

Digital changes in society are highly disruptive; causing us to shop, interact, and do business differently with organizations. Now, we can do everything in a digital space, sign documents, gain education, coordinate teamwork.

No company, industry, and area of society are unaffected.

You only have to witness how global business wishes they were more digital to offset the impact of the worldwide pandemic spreading across the world.

Rather than stand still, businesses have sought to transform to gain a competitive edge. To do this, companies try to modify either several components of their business or only one part. Despite there being a lot of emphasis on the distal aspect, the key is to not forget that it is a transformation after all. 

These areas for digital business transformation include

  • Business processes. One or several connected operations or activities that achieves specific business goals. Business process reengineering is essential to improve internal or customer-facing aims. 
  • Business areas. From human resources, sales, marketing, operations, finance and administration, and customer service.
  • Business models. How a business functions, from its go-to-market approach and value proposition to the ways it seeks to monetize. Transforming a business model aims to tap into new revenue streams. 
  • Business ecosystems. The partner and stakeholder networks of a business. Plus, it will include economic and regulatory factors that impact an organization’s ability to transform. Can a partner continue to integrate with a company that has digitally transformed? 
  • Business asset management. Typically focuses on traditional assets but also on more tangible assets like data and customers. Customers must be treated as an asset in digital business transformation. 
  • Organizational culture. Understand what is culture – it’s an employee’s mindset. Your culture should be agile and human centered. Explore what pains and gains your employees have and how to listen and understand them better. Only then it’s possible to change the culture to be more customer centric. If your employees are feeling cared for, your customers will feel the same.

It is a holistic transformation where its aspects include customer experience, technological innovation, and digital disruption. It is not only a buzzword.

Business transformation

Any business transformation should have a clear purpose. And that purpose should be the customer and the employee experience combined.  

It is easy to see why.

When asked why put in place digital transformation, nearly half of all organizations in a PWC report cited customer experience as the main factor.

Research from MIT discovered that companies that embrace digital transformation are 26% more profitable.

Combined with the better customer experience and increased profits, digital business transformation appears to be the silver bullet to company success.

Yet, alarmingly, 73% of enterprises failed to provide any business value from their digital transformation, according to an Everest Group study. 

Furthermore, 78% failed to meet their business objectives. 
There are several reasons why this could be, one of them is putting technology over customer experience.

Why is keeping the customer experience in mind so challenging in transforming a business?

It’s easy to forget the customer when attempting to transform a business. 

A common problem is the scarcity of accurate customer insight. 

Customer data is often trapped within business silos: sales, customer service, marketing, even finance. This data cannot be linked to create a holistic view of the customer. 

A lack of usable, harmonized data leads to endless discussion about what the customer experience should be, why, and where. 

As a result, digital transformation initiatives lose momentum or pivots. Judgment calls lead to futile outcomes.

Businesses view customer experience either as customer service or customer acquisition. They don’t include customer preferences that cater to continuous customer engagement. 

Poor customer experience design makes worse the interaction a company provides its customers. 

Efficiencies and productivity gains are the primary reason why companies seek to digitize. But if the customer does not benefit, then the entire organization will not either.

Ignoring a businesses’ customers means missing clear opportunities. 

Using digital technology should improve brand awareness, customer acquisition, and customer retention – the overall customer experience.

Why is focusing on customer experience necessary for your business?

Customer experience is your customers’ perception of a business or brand. 

It forms from every interaction a customer has with your business. From navigating the website to talking to customer service and receiving a product/service they purchased. 

Everything (and everyone in it) a business does will impact customer perception. They are influencing a customers’ decision to keep coming back or not.

Research supports this perception

  • 60% of customers said they would stop doing business with a company if they experienced unfriendly service;
  • 46% said they would do business elsewhere if employees lacked the knowledge to help them;
  • 32% would walk away from a brand after only one bad experience.

Excellent customer experience then is a key to profitability.

Delivering a great customer experience is critical for any business. The better experience customers have, the more repeat custom and positive reviews they will receive. 

The benefits of achieving excellent customer experience include:

  • increased customer loyalty
  • increased customer satisfaction;
  • increased positive reviews and recommendations;
  • increased business profitability.

There is no single checklist to guarantee an excellent customer experience: a business is unique, and so is its customers.

Before transforming a business, an organization should consider how to improve the customer experience.

This approach begins with understanding how the business needs to change to deliver improved customer experiences.

Leaders, managers, and employees then focus on implementing technologies that will deliver customer value early on. 

The customer experience should lead to digital business transformation, not the other way around.

Final thoughts on digital business transformation

Digital business transformation offers organizations an opportunity to engage modern buyers. 

Companies can deliver a seamless customer experience regardless of which channel or place a customer used.

That being said, despite the desire to be innovative, not putting the customer first risks sending them to competitors. 

Digitization allows you to create a customer experience that is understandable, comfortable to use and consistent across channels products and services. 

Digitalization of your services in accordance with user needs gives no reason for your customers to look elsewhere.

Enhance your customer experience with digitalization now! Share your challenge with us.

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