Why should your organization care about digital transformation?
Short answer: You have to.
Customer experience is now paramount, and companies who aren’t actively focusing on enhancing their CX through digital transformation will be left behind. It’s no longer a matter of if, but when.
By now, most companies are well aware they need to transform – a recent Gartner survey found that execs across all industries rank digital transformation a top business priority – but many also reported they’re struggling to move from experimentation to scaling.
We understand the struggle – undergoing a digital transformation can feel like a massive undertaking, but it doesn’t have to. The right approach can transform your company from a Blockbuster to a Netflix in no time. To help you get started, we’ve outlined five simple steps that will increase your chances of success.
Step 1. Define your Vision
Before you get started on the path to digital transformation, it’s important to pinpoint what it is you want to transform. What areas of your customer experience are you trying to improve and how do you plan to improve them? How do you want your customers to interact with you?
Your transformation should empower your customers to choose their preferred communication channel (i.e. mobile, desktop, social media) and provide a seamless experience throughout, no matter which method they prefer or how often they switch channels during their journey. Your goal should be to automate as much as possible to allow customers to serve themselves (according to Forrester, 72% of customers now prefer this experience) but also allow them to easily connect with a human agent if they aren’t finding the answers they need.
Step 2. Define your Journeys
Now that you’ve defined your vision, review your data to gain a solid understanding of which customer journeys need improving. Think about the entire journey, from pre-purchase research to post-purchase service engagements. How are you attracting customers to your channels? How will you engage them once they’re there? Is the journey as seamless as it can be? Once they’ve been converted, are you providing the right follow-up services/experiences?
Start by looking at how your customers interact across touchpoints. Compile your data, identify what’s working well and what isn’t. Is there a relationship between engagement patterns and journey abandonment or complaints? Visualize where customers drop off during their journey, and identify the root causes of these issues. Does a journey need to be simplified? Should it transfer to an agent immediately? How can you prevent any future frustration?
By understanding what your customers’ journeys are all about – and providing the self-service tools that enable them to easily complete their transactions – you will keep them happy and loyal.
See why seamless customer experiences are key to building lasting relationships.
Step 3. Map the Transformation
You’ve defined your vision and your customer journeys - now it’s time to map out your transformation. All steps on your digital transformation journey are connected, so having a clearly defined roadmap won’t just help you build a solid maturity model, it will ensure you’re choosing the best solutions for your customers. Keep your roadmap flexible; think about it from a journey standpoint, not a channel standpoint, and be sure to consider three different perspectives: customer, technology, and business. Your end goal should be complete integration of all channels and providing your customers with access to the right experience, no matter their journey.
The following is a high-level overview of how you can implement an incremental digital transformation journey.
Level 1: Engagement is focused on one-off transactions with customers and channels are siloed with little to no integration. Customer conversations aren’t maintained across channels, forcing them to repeat themselves.
Level 2: Siloes are starting to be removed as channels are integrated. Customer conversations can now flow uninterrupted between channels without having to start over.
Level 3: You can now begin to anticipate customer needs and continue conversations across all channels.
Level 4: All customer journeys are now transformed and optimized. AI and machine learning are being used to continuously learn customer needs and preferences in order to deliver convenient and satisfying experiences.
Get a step-by-step breakdown of an incremental digital transformation journey in our eBook. Download it today.
Step 4. Understand the Technologies that Transform Customer Experiences
Before you start implementing new technologies, take another look at your customer journeys (are you starting to see a pattern here?) Build a framework based on these journeys (i.e. what questions should a chatbot answer? When should chatbots transfer customers to a live agent? How can you ensure transitions are seamless and won’t require the customer to start over, etc.)
Once you have your journey framework in place, you’ll be better equipped to add the technologies needed to meet your customer experience transformation goals.
Remember, new technologies often require artificial intelligence and machine learning platforms. Try to leverage the ‘build once, deploy anywhere’ approach, using the same business logic across all your channels instead of developing separately for each. Technologies should ensure journeys are personalized, intuitive and seamless – customers should not have to repeat themselves if/when transferred to a new channel.
Automating Journeys: The Practical Approach
Having trouble determining which journeys to automate? Your data can offer great insight. Start by breaking down tasks based on complexity and how much value they offer your customers and your business. Consider automating aspects of some journeys and transferring to a voice agent once the customer crosses a predetermined threshold. Customer Journey Analytics software can help you quickly and easily analyze journeys, identify leakages and opportunities for improvement and implement the right solutions.
Simple Tasks - Fully Automate
Complex Tasks – Mixed Automation
Step 5. Ensure Corporate Alignment
Digital transformation isn’t its own initiative – it must be aligned with your overall business strategy. Before you start anything, get your Board on board. Executive sponsorship will make the process much easier. Link organizational teams and be aware of changing mindsets. Your digital transformation will be new to many people, and some will be slower to adapt than others. Openly communicate your plans to ensure all team members are aware and on board with your digital transformation goals.
Remember that you aren’t reinventing the wheel. Learn from what others have done, and most importantly, make sure your strategy is future-proof. Get more detailed advice on how to transform your customer experiences in our eBook, Transforming the Digital Experience: How to Achieve Rapid and Measurable Success.