In the past month, we discussed the pillars of the digital transformation—shifting our focus from technology to the behaviors that drive the digital transformation. I believe that the complete transformation is only possible if the right kind of organization is built, an organization that believes in the possible. To build these organizations, every organization needs to fully understand the meaning of each pillar. There is no pillar that is more important than the next. Just like in a building, you need all the pillars to stand tall. So, let’s first get a deeper understanding into how experiences drive the digital transformation.
How Do Experiences Drive the Digital Transformation?
Customer experience or CX is the most critical experience a business should be striving to improve. It is one of the main forces driving the transformation towards completion. Why? I believe it is simple. We, as individuals, have embraced technology and the IoT in our everyday lives. We expect companies to do the same.
Customers are in control. One bad interaction with customer service, an outdated platform or even something as simple as website speed, may cause them to find the product they want elsewhere. Think about the last time you were shopping for something and got frustrated. Did you stick with the original store or find the product someplace else? This is part of the reason that Amazon is so successful. Their customer experience is off the charts.
Competition is at an all-time high, which makes it even more critical to offer an experience to remember. Instead of creating a new product or adding new technology, businesses should focus on making their customer experience the best over anyone else.
Customers are craving something deeper than face value products. They are craving connection with businesses, prior to even making a purchase. Because of these dynamics, businesses must understand every part of the customer journey and the customer’s expectations before adding more technology to their repertoire. Once a business discovers the customer’s expectations, they will then be able to adopt technology that will drive change. You can’t know where to go if you don’t have a map. Understanding experiences will drive the digital transformation in your organization.
The Challenges Involving the Customer Experience
In order to fully see how experiences drive the digital transformation, your organization must overcome a few challenges. Every digital transformation will face a myriad of rough patches, some that are specific to each organization, but these are the few challenges that I’ve seen organizations face time and time again.
- Lack of strategy. According to Accenture, there is often confusion about who is to create the customer experience strategy and what exactly goes into it. The idea of ownership bounces between the CIO and the CEO, and it trickles down into different departments as well. Does sales own the CX strategy or does marketing? Lack of strategy for your customer experience initiatives will ultimately impact your transformation. This internal breakdown should be solved first. Make sure everyone is on the same page. Define roles. Get specific. Let employees ask questions. The strategy will follow. Experiences drive digital transformation in organizations that understand who has ownership.
- Embracing change. Often, businesses do not have the right pieces in place to effectively embrace the changes that a new digital strategy will bring. Sometimes it is the organization of the business, sometimes it is the technology they use and sometimes it is the internal processes that must be altered. Before you can properly execute a new strategy, you must prepare your organization for change. Change your processes, rethink organizational structure and create a new budget for your tech requirements. Preparation is key to overcoming this challenge.
- Success measuring. What happens if you implement the perfect strategy, but don’t have the proper metrics to measure that success? Unfortunately, you won’t know if it was the perfect strategy or the worst. Although implementing a new digital strategy is critical, it isn’t worth it without measurements and digital metrics. Do not implement the new technology without first considering your analytics.
These, of course, are just a few challenges to overcome. There will likely be more in your organization. The key to overcoming most roadblocks is communication. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen transformations fail all because people within a company didn’t talk to each other. If you want to see how experiences drive the digital transformation in your organization, make sure your lines of communication are open.
Can Your Business Come Out on Top?
Yes, it can. It will take some careful planning and a mindset switch within your business. How can you ensure that your business remains stable, competitive and focused on the customer experience?
- Leaders and stakeholders throughout the business will need to join forces and work together. You cannot create a firm digital strategy in pieces. It simply won’t work that way.
- Clear goals should be set and communicated throughout the entire organization. The new digital strategy will bring about many changes in culture and processes. Make sure that all decisions made align with your goals.
- You must be able to accept and learn from mistakes. As a business who wishes to focus on experiences, you will need to accept the imperfection of innovation.
Experiences drive the digital transformation in a big way. It is pushing businesses to start innovating, creating and measuring digital strategies that will change the future of business as a whole. You don’t want to be left behind.
The original version of this article first published on Forbes.