CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

10 Steps to a Digital Transformation.

Jerry Staple

Jerry Staple

Co-Founder
Technology , Innovation, the Future

2nd June 2020Customer Experience

As Winston Churchill once said, we should never waste a good crisis.

Companies have been forced to transform their business or face being left behind or closing altogether. Covid-19 is a digital transformation accelerant, as this image doing the rounds on Twitter shows:

covid led digital transformation

Covid-19 is forcing companies to adapt but forward thinking companies have been doing this over the last 10 years. Digital transformation is about using technology to solve traditional problems whilst enhancing customer experience.

Let’s look at the 10 steps to digital transformation.

1. Focus on your customer

Your customer should be the primary focus of your digital transformation. Work from the outside in rather than prioritising your product or service. Ask yourself, how can you make a customer’s life easier?

Think outside the box by using a design thinking approach. It helps you understand and analyse the problems your customers are having, reframe those problems in human-centric ways and develop ways to solve them.

As a result, you can identify solutions that were not immediately apparent.

We worked with 3FiveTwo Healthcare to develop Smartcare Doc, an app that allows doctors to work remotely with their patients using video appointments. One of the biggest issues that doctors face is time, so we developed a solution to improve their time efficiency and allow patients to fit appointments into their own schedules.

You can improve your product or service by understanding how users interact with it and redefining problems to identify solutions, all centred around the customer.

2. Optimise your organisational silos

Some companies use organisational silos to separate employees or departments and ensure everyone knows their role. But business suffers when those separate departments aren’t on the same page and do not communicate effectively.

The culture within your organisation is so important. You don’t need to pull down your internal silos, but there needs to be cohesion across the board with all areas of the business working in sync.

organisational silo

Everyone from the top down needs to be on board with your vision. There’s no room for luddites in a digital transformation.

Everyone needs to be customer focused and be allowed to express ideas on how customer experience can be enhanced.

3. Implement change management

Change will always be met with some form of resistance. Digital transformations are no different and they often fail because employees don’t get behind them.

Covid-19 has accelerated the necessity for digital transformation and companies now have to implement strategies to help people adapt to the new normal and align any changes with a modern, dynamic working environment.

Change management should be one of the first things you implement. You can use the design thinking technique again because of the broader human issues that can arise from digitisation. Dealing with those issues is key to getting everyone in your organisation on board. 

Your employees need to be aware of the changes a digital transformation will bring to make sure everyone is moving in the same direction.

4. Transformational leadership

Once employees are aware of the changes, it’s up to the leaders in your company to get them on board. They have to become digital champions who will drive the rollout of the transformation by focusing on customers and employees’ needs rather than their own.

It’s up to your leaders to motivate and inspire employees to embrace the changes that will ultimately shape the future success of the company. 

5. Use data and insights

There’s more to becoming a data-driven organisation than simply installing a few apps. Data will be a key part of your business strategy and Analytics should inform fact-based decisions at all levels of your company.

Leverage data to automate the decision-making process. Use insights to find out where your customers/visitors are coming from, what content they’re consuming, what resonates and what doesn’t. Take advantage of AI and automation opportunities to increase your productivity and provide a better customer service however don’t forget the human touch.

Data is an accelerant towards digital transformation and companies that fail to adopt it risk watching from the sidelines as their competitors flourish.

6. Integrate your systems and processes

Data is key and data systems need to be streamlined as a result.

The systems need to work together across your whole company to give you a 360° view of your customer or client journey, which is built over time based on data.

Using different systems or processes reduces efficiency, increases the probability of mistakes, requires more training for staff and impacts on motivation.

A holistic view of your data and insights requires integrated systems.

The reason why retail banking is struggling is due to the sheer amount of legacy fragmented systems that power the business. These systems have been designed from the business perspective rather than the customer. As a result, there is immense frustration from the customer.

7. Employee experience is key

A focus on continually improving the employee experience through your workplace culture is essential for growth and high performance.

Aim to provide your employees with solutions of the same quality your customers would expect. Your employees need to be engaged and empowered to perform at a high level.

We’ve developed a ‘Slack’ team culture at Origin where we use digital tools to stay in constant communication with everyone in our organisation. It’s an environment where everyone’s ideas are welcomed and creativity can thrive. We can easily share knowledge at all levels, manage and interpret data and help people do their job better. This has been especially important over the past few months where we have easily adapted to remote working.

We also work with some outstanding companies who are extremely focused on their employee experience and driving a culture of high performance. We worked with Danske Bank, for example, to develop Danske Life, an app to empower their staff and create an experience which is engaging, enjoyable and efficient to use.

Employee experience is a key part of the digitisation. Transformation can only happen when everyone is pulling in the same direction.

8. Optimise your supply chain

China was the first country affected by Covid-19 and its supply chain suffered as lockdown was implemented. This has impacted businesses all over the world, including some of our own clients.

The pandemic provides brands with an opportunity to unlock the full potential of digitization to improve the performance of their supply chains.

Ask yourself, could you use more local supply chains as companies adopt modern, digital technologies?

Wherever your supply chain originates, improving its performance isn’t just a case of installing new software or systems. It requires collaboration at all levels of your organisation. Your team needs to work together to identify and solve problems, share information and make decisions.

9. Evolve your products and services

Digital transformation will change the way you deliver products or services. It may even change the products and services themselves. 

Digital products are key to improving customer and employee experience, especially in a post-Covid world. If they don’t feature heavily in your business plan, you’ll probably go backwards while your competitors progress.

When building a digital product, consider the problem you’re trying to solve or the opportunity you’re trying to seize. Find out if enough people value the problem to make the product viable.

There are three steps to improving your chances of success once you’ve validated your idea. Find out more in our blog, The Fundamentals of Building Digital Products.

Digitisation will also affect your processes. Companies have had to adapt fast because Covid has accelerated the digitisation of all aspects of business. 

But this opens up opportunities. We’ve seen with a number of our partners that e-commerce has thrived during lockdown. It’s an aspect of business that will only continue to grow in a post-pandemic society. Food delivery is another industry that has experienced unprecedented demand.

It’s about identifying opportunities and putting plans in place to take advantage.

10. Personalise your service

Digitisation offers businesses to provide a more personalised service to become more customer-centric. 

Make the most of your data and analytics to understand your customers. Use insights to inform your strategy and provide a unique experience to every one of them.

In a digital world, you’re not just competing with your rivals but the best online experience your customer has ever had.

Stay ahead of the curve

A digital transformation has to be driven from the top. Your leaders need to champion the change and inspire employees to embrace it.

Digitisation provides you with opportunities to personalise your service, evolve your products, streamline your internal processes and, most importantly, focus on your customer.

For example, we worked with Cancer Fund for Children to provide recommendations on how digital tools and processes can help them work better. They wanted to stay ahead of the curve.

The acceleration towards digital solutions will only grow and therefore vital that brands use this opportunity to adapt to changing demands.

Change starts here

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