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The role of CX in digital transformation

By Marcus Lambert

Customers are changing the world with their rising expectations, and every company must respond and adapt to these changes. With 70% of digital transformation efforts failing, now is the time to deliver on expectations linked to customer experience.

For the last few years, business leaders have busy ramping up their digital transformation strategies. Much to their chagrin, many quickly discover that it’s a journey, not a destination, and requires a little more thought than updating a few websites and in-house applications.

Many also find the pace of continuous change to be exhausting, and this is just one of the reasons why around 70% of digital transformation efforts fail. Others are guilty of watching from the side-lines; dismissing the trend as yet another buzzword.

Every business must accept that customers are changing the world with their rising expectations, and every company must respond and adapt to these changes. Making digital transformation projects about you and your brand, rather than delivering on expectations linked to the customer experience is no longer an acceptable mistake.

It’s incredibly easy to be seduced by the shiny allure of technology and a new range of digital systems. Your journey should always begin with the problem first to avoid baselessly employing yet another tech solution. Ultimately, every digital transformation project should be driven by the customer, rather than technology.

Every stage of the customer experience has become the new battleground. As the experience economy continues to thrive, many believe that experience has become more important than the product. The challenge to keep your brand digitally relevant will involve you joining up the dots through every stage of the customer journey. Building experience into your product roadmap helps structure releases to appeal to users, providing a built-in incentive to update an application.

Uniting every device, customer and location, along with multiple combinations, is just the beginning. With Amazon and Netflix, consumers can drift seamlessly from device to device and enjoy the same personalised experience. This has become the benchmark for every future interaction with your brand too. Miss the benchmark and you will miss out.

“The last best experience that anyone has anywhere becomes the minimum expectation for the experience they want everywhere.”
– Bridget van Kranlingen 

None of this will be a surprise. As consumers, all of us increasingly manage our entire lives from our smartphone. But entering the office on a Monday morning can sometimes feel like stepping back in time when comparing the B2B experience with the B2C world we too often encounter at work.

Our personal experiences are blending the worlds of B2B & B2C to create a unified person-to-person (P2P) approach. Despite witnessing this first hand, 80% of enterprises across all industries are still struggling to drive customer experience initiatives forward.

The problem is we all know that to improve the customer experience, we need to provide customers with relevant information on the right device at the right time. That’s the easy part. However, data silos and the temptation to go back to the old way of doing things are slowing down progress.

Legacy thinking is as damaging to a business as old, out of support software applications. For your digital transformation to be a success, you must upgrade the mindset in your corporate culture and not just the technology in your business.

As a business leader your people are your customers too, so don’t leave them behind. Your employees hold the keys to adopting and making any new solutions a success. Your ability to innovate and deliver the increasingly expected wow factor to your customer will depend on the maturity of your organisational culture.

There is an increasing realization that a successful digital transformation will begin with a cultural change. Only then can you set out to understand and solve your customer’s problems. Finally, when you have everyone on board to solve the same issues, should you begin to explore how technology can bring your unified vision to life.

When thinking about CX and digital transformation, it’s easy to forget the human element that delivers success. Many also make the mistake of implementing new technology to replace people and cut costs. However, a hybrid approach where people and technology leverage the best of both worlds by working seamlessly together is what delivers real progress.

Technology will continue to change our world. But every digital transformation strategy must be built with the evolving needs and expectations of your customers in mind. Only by understanding their needs and friction points can you begin to transform valuable insights into new offerings that delight rather than frustrate them.

With a wealth of metrics and algorithms at your fingertips, it’s easy to get lost in analysis paralysis. But, if you dare to step away from all of the technology and data, it’s your customers who are making decisions around when, where, and how they choose to interact with your business. CX should play a central role in your digital transformation efforts. If it isn’t, why are you even doing it?

What lessons have you learned along your digital transformation journey? Please share how you are leveraging technology to connect with your customers on a human level by tweeting @omobono_digital.

We are the digital experience company for business brands.

In today’s connected world, experience is brand.

So we help you create better experiences for your customers, employees, partners and stakeholders. Ones that work in empathy with them to achieve their goals, engage and delight them, and build brand loyalty.