Customer expectations have undergone a seismic shift. ‘Brand loyalty,’ once at the forefront of customer behaviors, has significantly waned in favor of a new loyalty—one that’s tied directly to technology. In fact, 57% of customers agree: they will not buy from businesses that don’t prioritize digital innovation. While businesses used to offer a service built around their own internal capability, savvy customers are now at the helm, providing businesses with a distinct set of instructions on what they expect out of their experience.
To build innovative customer-centric experiences, businesses everywhere are undergoing a digital transformation—a complete re-imagination of how they operate in a digital-first society. At the heart of a successful digital transformation is the right strategic framework. Here are five pillars of a lucrative digital transformation framework.
5 pillars of a lucrative digital transformation framework
Businesses seem to be tripping over themselves trying to offer a better customer experience than the next. However, only the businesses guided by a sound foundation and framework emerge as innovation leaders. A successful digital transformation requires more than a fancy mobile app, but a completely fresh lens on how you view your organization as a whole.
Let digital lead the way
There are four powerful digital tools leading the charge towards innovation:
- Prevalence of mobile: Still hammering on an archaic PC-based portal as the only way for customers to access their accounts? If so, they’re already researching alternatives. Customers are no longer tethered to their desks, and want to work with you from tablets and mobile devices. How can you offer the types of digital experiences customers crave?
- Dominance of social media: Social media used to be a side dish of society, but it’s now emerged as a central main course. Whether your target customers use LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or TikTok, they expect your core offering to link up with your social media activity.
- Cloud accessibility: Customers no longer want to visit a bank branch to open an account, trudge to the Registrar’s office to change their class schedule, or lose progress on a favorite game when logging in from a new device. Your entire experience and breadth of customer data needs to be available on any medium from anywhere in the world.
- Omnipresent analytics: Experts estimate that 80% of data captured by a business goes to complete waste. A successful digital transformation framework upends this stat by collecting data in useful ways that help curate and fine-tune the customer experience.
By embracing these new technologies, you can ensure your digital transformation meets the demands of the modern consumer.
Focus on the customer
Customer patience for slow, meandering interactions has plummeted to an all-time low. Customers are no longer willing to wait in the wings as your business scurries to catch up to their expectations—only 3% of customers will stick with a company that serves up a confusing customer experience.
Customers crave convenience. One example is digital transformation in banking. Gone are the days where people are willing to carve out a Thursday afternoon to walk into a branch for an hour-long meeting with their local banker. Using mobile apps on the bus or in their living room, customers can now open new accounts, apply for loans, or transfer money internationally.
In order to overhaul your customer experience, you need to think from the customer’s perspective instead of that of your organization. How do customers want to interact with your product? Where are they physically when they need to use your services? How long does it take for your organization to answer their questions or concerns? Put yourself in your customer’s shoes to build the types of experiences they’re truly looking for.
Look at the big picture
‘Omnichannel’ was a roaring business buzzword, but too many businesses made the mistake of thinking customers cared about a long list of ways they could interact with an organization. Businesses began to scatter a bit of their focus everywhere, without understanding the truth—customers don’t care if you’re on any other channels than the one they’re trying to reach you on. For instance, a customer tweeting furiously doesn’t care if your customer service team is linked up to Facebook. They want a Twitter direct message that instantly addresses their question or concern.
Customers want a powerful experience on the precise channels that they are using. Explore ways in which you can meet customers where they are, and create a robust plan around those important channels.
Connect all of your digital efforts
A successful digital transformation framework requires a bird’s-eye view of your organization. It isn’t about how well-oiled a specific department’s operations run, or what services a single team can deliver. You need to have a look at how all aspects of your organization interconnect with one another, and how they ultimately paint the customer journey.
Examine every stop along the customer journey and ensure each talks to one another.
In the banking example, customers don’t want to learn to navigate one platform for checking account services, log in to another for loan applications, or feel forced to open a completely new window to access credit card options. Imagine if a food delivery platform required you to re-input your billing information for each restaurant on its platform. Successful digital transformations link all of your services together to offer a streamlined, well-oiled customer journey from start to finish.
Expand your talent pool
When it comes to adopting new technology within an organization, the old adage often stands true—old habits die hard.
Humans are creatures of routine, and to bust out of this model, you must build it into your digital transformation framework. Consider what departments might need new staff, how much training you’ll have to offer current team members, and what ‘champions’ you can adopt to carry the torch of your new innovations. New initiatives require a fresh lens, so be sure to stack your team with the right talent.
Bonus: Adopt a spirit of exploration
‘Digital transformation’ isn’t a one-time exercise. It requires a refreshing sense of agility where your team is constantly ideating and evolving your toolset to create the most optimal customer experience. Never strive to simply create a comparable experience or ‘one up’ your competitors—a new spirit of exploration helps you capture inspiration from outside of your own industry and exceed customer expectations with remarkable new digital innovations.
When most businesses find a successful operating routine, they stick to it, but modern customer expectations fissure a business’s ‘business as usual.’ The shift to a customer-centric focus has introduced a new ‘musical chairs’, where customers are more likely to switch to a competitor than ever before. The exodus has created a $6.2 trillion market of emancipated customers searching for cutting-edge vendors that offer the digital experiences they demand. New preferences, demands, and trends have created a new playing field, where the ‘old tricks’ no longer yield profitable results. By using these five pillars to create your own digital transformation framework, you’ll have the foundation you need to infuse your organization with innovations that lure customers, boost your bottom line, and power the future.