Digital Transformation: What is it and why should you care?

October 27, 2017
Andrea Lowe, Marketing Content Writer

Digital transformation is one of the latest marketing buzzwords to inundate the business world, and, like a lot of marketing jargon, it’s ambiguous enough to cause confusion for many organizations. Further complicating things is the fact that seemingly every article, expert, and advertisement today are hounding companies to embrace digital transformation now or risk being made obsolete – and as they scramble to fall in line, a number of these companies are unclear about what exactly it is they are trying to embrace.

Because digital transformation can mean different things to different companies, a Google search will offer a host of definitions, but, at its core, digital transformation is the process of using technology to create personalized, predictive and effortless customer experiences across devices and channels. Breaking it down even further, it means using technology, such as artificially intelligent chatbots, to streamline and automate your channels, making it as easy as possible for customers to use their channel of choice (mobile, tablet, desktop) to interact and complete their journeys with you, free from hiccups, hassles, or headaches.

And the good news? It’s much simpler than it sounds, as long as you approach your digital transformation with a defined vision and a clear roadmap.

Your roadmap can look something like this:

  1. Identify and analyze your customer journeys: Collect and review data to determine where customers are becoming frustrated and which journeys you should automate first.
  2. Select a channel strategy for the journey: What’s the best way to improve the journey? How can you eliminate the frustration? Is the journey a candidate for self-service? Design the experience from start to finish, automating as much as possible.   
  3. Evaluate your current technology: What technology will you need to deliver optimal experiences based on your journey strategy? Look for technologies you can deploy across multiple channels.
  4. Automate the journey: Once you’ve designed the journey, test it in a sandbox before making it available to a broad customer base.
  5. Measure, analyze, and optimize: Once your journey is deployed, continue to collect data and tweak as necessary to improve the journey as it evolves. 

From start to finish, your goal should be to avoid having customers experience journeys like this:

customers experience journeys
And instead, provide customers with satisfying experiences like this:
customers experience

Why Should You Care about Digital Transformation?

Short answer: You have to. Companies who don’t digitally transform to offer customers the experiences they expect will be left behind, replaced in the blink of an eye by companies who transformed to provide seamless experiences. To put it another way, why would you choose to be a Blockbuster when you could be a Netflix? Though it might feel like a massive undertaking requiring a momentous shift in organizational thinking, you aren’t being asked to reinvent the wheel – the tools and technology already exist to help you transform, you just need to implement them in a way that works for you and your customers.  

To help keep your digital transformation journey on track, we’ve outlined some common misconceptions you’re likely to face along the way and provided the truth about the process.

FICTION: If you build it, they will come. When approaching their digital transformation, many companies believe they can do the legwork, build and improve the channels they want, and voila! the digital transformation is complete and it’s nothing but happy customers from here on out. 

FACT: Your digital transformation is an ongoing process that should be continuously monitored so you can adapt and improve your experiences as customer journeys evolve. 

FICTION: Adding multiple channels will only add more costs.

FACT: When done right, costs will actually decrease as customer experiences are moved to lower-cost channels. What’s more, omni-channel platforms provide consistent, enjoyable experiences for customers regardless of their channel of choice and they can connect to your existing infrastructure.  Delivering satisfying experiences across all channels will keep current customers happy and attract more customers, in turn, driving up revenue. 

FICTION: It will take years to notice the benefits gained from your digital transformation.

FACT: Noticeable progress and savings can actually be seen within months. For example, just one year after deploying a smart chatbot as part of a digital self-service strategy, a large multinational energy provider improved customer satisfaction by more than 30% and saved $1 million by reducing the number of calls and emails going to human agents.

FICTION: Taking an iterative approach means you don’t need to worry about maturity.

FACT: Developing a maturity model will help ensure your transformation stays on track. Your maturity model should implement your digital transformation incrementally until all customer journeys are transformed and optimized.

FICTION: Your primary focus should be on adding new channels.

FACT: Your focus MUST be on customer journeys, not channels. This will help ensure you are adding new technologies and channels only when and where they’re needed.

Get started on your digital transformation today - learn more about how to achieve rapid, measurable success in our eBook, Transforming the Digital Customer Experience

Andrea Lowe, Marketing Content Writer
Andrea Lowe, Marketing Content Writer

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