True digital transformation programmes take years to define and implement, cost millions, and according to Forbes, fail on up to 70% of occasions. In one way or other, businesses in almost every sector are now using digital tools to operate and connect with their customers. At one end of the spectrum, there are businesses that spun up a quick and functional D2C website to generate sales while physical stores were closed throughout the pandemic. At the other end, there are companies that have an intricately connected digital ecosystem designed to constantly learn about their customers and offer personalised experiences to keep them front of mind and coming back for more.
If you still think you need to undergo ‘digital transformation’ to maximise growth, here’s how we can save you a lot of time, effort, and expense. By dynamically transforming through innovation, you can enhance your digital experience for employees and customers to achieve that growth quicker than you may have expected. With the speed that technology changes nowadays, undergoing a lengthy project only risks the outputs becoming outdated before they’re even delivered. The key is to break it down into agile projects, learn and iterate as you go.
Here are our 4 tips to make sure you’re making the right changes to deliver the digital improvements you need for future growth.
Focus on the areas where you can have the biggest impact first
To understand where you should focus your efforts you can draw on a variety of data
Customer feedback, compliments, complaints, social media, online reviews – what are your actual customers saying about you?
What are your competitors doing that their customers love or loathe?
Employee feedback – what internal factors prevent them from giving the service you’d always expert?
What are the emerging trends in your sector that you can capitalise on?
Outside of your sector, are there brands implementing digital solutions to improve the lives of their employees or customers that you could bring to your own business?
For some businesses, that means a lot of quick fixes – for others, it’s solving 1 or 2 meatier challenges, which is why it’s really important that you establish your priorities and understand what changes will drive the biggest impact before potentially falling down a costly rabbit hole. Research and predictions based on data will help you validate ideas and build a business case for investment.
Take inspiration from your own experience
As a customer, you’ll have frequent experiences with brands that make you feel valued (and in some cases, not). You can use these experiences to benchmark against your own customer and employee journeys and see how well your own process matches up. Does it make you think you could be better? What would it take to be the best?
Whenever you have an opportunity to reimagine how people work, shop, bank, donate, stay healthy, socialise – basically do anything digitally – there’s an opportunity for innovation. And brand leaders will be looking at this constantly – not only to stay ahead of the competition but also to be seen as leaders in their sector.
There are the obvious examples of brands that have done this – Netflix, Amazon, Airbnb, and Uber have all disrupted sectors by understanding the customer need, and using technology to provide a solution. More recently, companies like JPMorgan Chase are seeing the value in technology investment and the importance of ‘cultivating a “learn-fast” culture’. As Lori Beer, Global Chief Information Officer said last year, “Cloud, AI/machine learning and blockchain are all exciting new technologies that are currently transforming the financial services industry. We’re already seeing some early breakthroughs and benefits of these technologies and will continue to witness these efficiencies as we move forward.”
There’s no perfect time to start, so just start
Often the biggest hurdle brands face is buy-in from the C-Suite – big projects cost a lot of money and often don’t see results until the whole ecosystem of change is completed. But it doesn’t need to be that way.
Once you know the areas where you need to focus your efforts, you lose the need to align every area of the business to one goal.
Even better, by making sure that the focus area is correct through validation, and dismissing any concepts that won’t help you achieve your goals, you can eliminate risk and make sure you’re on the path to success before you invest in any design and development. And once you’ve proved this process, implemented quick wins, and brought solutions to the market at pace, you will build confidence within the businesses, gain trust from the board and fellow employees, and be more likely to unlock further investment.
Test, learn and continually optimise
Forrester reported last year that “25% of brands are predicted to achieve statistically significant advances in CX quality” – so making sure that your solutions solve the challenges your customers face is necessary to at least keep up with the competition.
Early validation of digital solutions will ensure you’re heading in the right direction for your customer, and tracking your progress against measurable KPIs will make sure you’re on track with your business goals. If for any reason a solution isn’t working as expected, you’ll see the signs early enough to make changes without compromising your growth.
Innovation never ends and the brands who are proactive in optimising their digital solutions will reap the rewards of loyal customers and brand/employee advocates that are vital for the future of your business.
Get in touch if you’d like to hear about our approach to innovation and validation, which has already helped brands like B&Q, NatWest, and ASOS to create digital experiences that their customers love – with strategies that were validated before any investment was made in design or development.
We can help you to make sure you’re spending your time and budgets wisely by focusing on the digital solutions that will have the greatest positive impact on your business.