How Digital Transformation Is Driving Organization To Be Customer Focused

Anees Merchant, Senior Vice President, Blueocean Market IntelligenceBusiness as usual is not the same as it was in the pre-digital era. With the rise of mobile, and other digital technologies, the customers are more em¬powered than ever before. They are interacting and engaging with the businesses across multiple channels more than ever. These evolving connections between technology, people and businesses is generating multitude of data and enormous information. As the interaction and data points increase, the business is no longer only about the product; it is expanding towards service delivery and bettering the customer experience. For most companies a great product is no longer the only differentiator. The companies have to emerge with customer first approach and customer centric strategies to stand out in the market.

Being customer focused organization requires adapting fundamental cultural change powered by digital technologies across all levels and functions. Based on the level in the organization the digital drive is being pushed from, the companies can really go down the path of failure if do not take into account the key aspects of this journey. Some of the key aspects of this journey are:

1. Gaining Deeper Customer Understanding:
It is vitally important for leadership to understand that customer focus has growing influence on the organizational success. The very first fundamental aspect for implementing this is by deriving customer insights from the information generated through multiple data points across the customer touch points. This means capturing and analyzing the information for making data driven decisions that keep customer experience as a priority. The priority is to understand the strengths, and also the weakness across the customer journeys and drive improvement areas to enhance the over all experience rather than a mere touch point. Organizations don’t need to look outside to gather data on how do customers feel about their brand or products / services, each interaction points reveal enough information to provide consensus.

2. Working towards creating a truly customer-focused organizational culture: This requires companies to change the processes, mindsets and visions to include customer success as a compelling differentiation for their existence. The organization ecosystem as a whole should be oriented towards delivering enhanced customer value. Leaders of the organization should be motivated and lead the change from front to drive organization to meet the overall customer
success. Organization should strive on defining a single measurement that defines customer success for it. The strategies of truly customer focused organizations relies on interdependent and co-working across department that are motivated for delivering consistent, systematic and timely response for addressing customer queries, issues with thorough engagement. Breaking down of internal silos with a customer focus as a driving force delivers superior customer experience. The single success metric should be aligned to each and every department and also to each individual within the organization hierarchy.

Businesses with a customer first focus create thriving communities and gain clear insights about what do their customers want and expect from the company

3. Collective ownership of digital strategies: Digital platform is the key to enhance customer experience and enable organizations to be customer oriented. The current state in many organizations is that there is no clear census on who in particular should own and drive the digital strategies. Ideally it should not be limited to just a CEO or any other CXO, but all the C- level executives should be practice customer centric and digital leadership and collectively drive the digital strategies across all levels of the organization. It also means the collective accountability of the measurement metrics of all the cross-channel touch points. This can be achieved only through cultivating a customer centric culture. Right from the content strategy, managed services, front end and back end services and performance analytics metrics should be implemented with customer centricity across departments.

4. Data explosion enabling customer insights: The adoption of digital platforms and technologies is bringing new and increasing data sets for the organizations. These new and enhanced data sets are enabling organizations to understand customer perceptions, behaviors, needs and wants. This in¬formation empowers organizations to know at which stage is the customer from a buying journey and what is his overall experience even without ask¬ing them.

5. Nurturing the Customer and Brand Relationships: Nurturing of the client relationship comes through engagement across various data points while giving customer a say in the innovation, change and reinvent the organizational purpose. It needs a highly inspiring leadership to unleash this potential of developing compelling value prepositions for overlooked customer values in the business markets by identifying opportunities for innovation for differentiation. Most people do not want just a product but crave for business that they feel is invested in them. Customers are willing to pay even more for such engagement. Companies can generate better customer loyalty by fostering better customer engagement.

6. Culturing and harnessing Power of Communities: Creating community culture is one of the best ways of incorporating the Voice of customer and harness the benefit of generating dynamic responses. Businesses with a customer first focus create thriving communities and gain clear insights about what do their customers want and expect from the company. Such organizations also leverage the technology to deliver seamless and consistent Omni-channel experience. Keeping a sharp eye on what are customers are saying and responding timely has resulted in dynamic shift of processes, led to key innovations and changes that has not only won the customer loyalty, added to the bottom-line but also increased the word of mouth and increased customer base.

As we see from above factors, the digital transformation has empowered the customers and increased account-ability of the organizations towards their clients. The digitization has forced the companies to take the customer first approach through various digital means like Improving Online Experience, and facilitate ‘Engagement through Interaction’.