Digital transformation is fast becoming a ubiquitous concept, yet we have barely scratched the surface of this phenomenon.
Every aspect of life is being redefined, redesigned and marked with a digital imprint. Digital is no longer something we do, increasingly, it is who we are.
Business must fully comprehend this new reality and respond to it, not with a change of process but a change of perspective.
Digital transformation is about understanding the power of data and how we can use it to steer business. Businesses that adopt this new technology are re-examining their processes from the ground up to ensure they add value in a rapidly changing business landscape.
The digital drive should focus on customer experience as well as back-end efficiencies to derive optimum value from the initiative.
Digital gives you the power to tailor your message to constantly changing fads and specific customer profiles to capture customer attention and market share.
The caveat is not to sacrifice quality for expediency. Focus on growing better as your grow bigger and creating efficiencies across the business and value for customers. The customer will always be at the heart of your business and you must remain resolutely customer centric.
Transform with digital
The current environment is vastly different from anything seen in the past and you need to look beyond established bench marks and practices to gauge the true potential of your business.
It is no longer adequate to use technology to improve existing business processes. A top down approach is required in which the organisation’s goals are re-examined through the prism of digital technology.
Isolate a revenue growth goal, a project, a desired market position and then collate, analyse and monetise data to achieve your objective. A successful outcome will exemplify the power of digital and catalyse digital transformation.
Conventional IT teams are not geared to leverage digital technology and some lateral hiring will have to be done to create a change in culture and firmly embed the digital drive. One way to accelerate acceptance and use digital transformation to full advantage is to give a creative team free rein to experiment. The innovation that results could be the building block of competitive advantage and catapult you ahead of your peers.
The C-suite should play an active role in encouraging employees to think digital and ensure that this mind-set runs through the entire organisation.
Social media has radically changed the B2C dynamic. Today’s customers are more exacting and less forgiving. According to a survey conducted by customerexperiences.co.nz, 81% customers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience and 90% will leave after a single bad experience.
To paraphrase Jerry Gregoire, Customer experience is THE competitive battlefield of our time.
However, the silo mentality that exists in many organisations impedes effective customer engagement as every division engages with the customer differently and often there is no cohesive engagement strategy.
Overcome this by, developing processes to record every customer interaction and analyse their digital uptake and overall experience. Learn from every misstep and take extraordinary steps to elevate the customer experience. The reward will be sustained customer loyalty.
While evolution is the only constant, each business should transform at its own pace and in its own way. There is no “right” path to success. It will take some time for businesses to fully come to grips with the new digital reality and harness technology to achieve prolific success. We might even feel a little lost as we grapple with this brave new technology but at least we are lost in the right direction.
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