In business, as in life, the only constant is change. And this has never been more true as the pace of technology has accelerated change in every aspect of work and life. In 2010, there were 2 billion internet users around the world (about 29% of the population). Today, that number is over 5 billion—a staggering 64% of the world population.
Technological advances and changes in user needs and behavior in response to the pandemic have driven rapid adoption and proliferation of digital devices, products, and services for both consumers and businesses. In fact, the number of internet of things (IoT) devices worldwide is forecast to nearly triple from 9.7 billion in 2020 to more than 29 billion devices in 2030.
Businesses need to be fluid and agile enough to keep up with technological changes.
A large portion of your customer base has grown up with smartphones and tablets. And they spend a significant amount of time online every day. Understanding how this tech-savvy customer base interacts with their mobile devices can help you to transform your business model to meet their expectations.
What is digital transformation?
One thing that COVID-19 has taught us is that to survive, companies need to transform how they do business. You may have seen it in action with some of your favorite restaurants. Instead of shutting down because customers couldn’t enter the building to eat, they adapted to exclusively taking mobile or online orders and offered curbside pickup or home delivery.
Basically, digital transformation is implementing technology (such as a mobile food ordering app) to change how you do business.
But digital transformation is not just about applying technology to your business model. It’s about completely changing your business strategy, processes and procedures, and maybe even your corporate culture. It’s about creating new business models based on new and emerging technologies rather than simply applying technology to your existing business model.
Why is user-focused digital transformation important?
Why should you look at digital transformation through your customers’ eyes? In short, it’s good business. In fact, 63% of organizations say delivering an excellent customer experience defines success as a digital business. That’s because user-focused digital transformation drives revenue, product quality, customer satisfaction, and net profit margin. A recent Deloitte study found that companies that invested in several key digital pivots had more success adopting agile, adaptive business models—all driven by customer-focused innovation.
Creating a user-focused digital transformation strategy
Without customers, you won’t have a business that can sustain itself. So it’s important to focus on what your users want, need, and expect so that they continue to give you money for your products and services.
Always think of the customer experience
As you plan your digital transformation strategy, keep your customers in mind. Recognize that they are almost always connected, are very comfortable with technology, and understand what their handheld devices can do for them. Think of ways to connect with them digitally first. According to a recent survey conducted by Harvard Business Review, 71% of brands are looking to alter their customer experience (CX) data strategy based on changes in customer needs.
You have much more power and flexibility when you understand your customers and create customer-focused experiences that meet their needs and expectations.
Personalize the customer experience
Believe it or not, customers like their interactions with your business to be more personal. Like being a regular at a local restaurant where all the employees know your name, consumers like it when their online experience is personalized. One example of this is using collected data to make purchasing suggestions.
In fact, 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions. And 76% get frustrated when this doesn’t happen. A user-focused, personalized customer experience includes tailoring offerings and outreach to the right person at the right time with the right targeted experiences. Companies that excel at this generate 40% more revenue from those activities than average.
Reimagine the customer journey
To understand the need for businesses to reimagine the customer journey, let’s look at the music industry.
Years ago, you had to physically enter a store to purchase a CD. Then you had to drive home and place it in a CD player to listen to it (unless you were lucky enough to have a CD player in your car). There was no sampling the music before buying. It was packaged and shrink wrapped. So as you listened for the first time, you hoped that you would like more songs than just the hit you heard on the radio.
Today’s music consumer expects to hear not just a sample but a full song instantly on a variety of mobile devices. Ad-supported and subscription-based streaming music services let you add the song to your “favorites” so you can listen to it whenever and wherever you want. Plus, these services use your listening and download data to recommend new music and artists you might like. All of this gives the consumer more options and a much better interactive experience.
Consider your own customer journey and the ways you can adapt it to be more user focused.
Create an agile IT environment
Today’s business is conducted in the cloud. If you haven’t adopted a cloud strategy yet, you need to do it now. Cloud technology is critical to your digital transformation strategy because it:
- Gives you more flexibility/agility: You can upscale or downscale services automatically to keep up with constantly changing customer demands.
- Is more efficient: Development teams can get new apps and services to market more quickly without worrying about underlying infrastructure. Frequent updates and releases keep customers happy.
- Is secure: The cloud is maintained off-premises and security patches and updates are applied more often with no disruption in service.
- Saves you money: You don’t have to worry about expensive equipment upgrades and can spend more time concentrating on customer needs.
Provide a seamless, multi-channel experience
Technology has enhanced the way people shop. No longer do you have to wander up and down every aisle of a store to find a product. As you are walking around, you can open the store’s app and find out if they carry the product, if there are any in stock, and on which aisle they can be located.
If they don’t have the product in stock, you can find out if the store has any at a different location or if it's available online. Or, you can order one and have it delivered or pick it up when it comes in. If the store doesn’t carry what you want, you can use the app and social media to leave feedback, ask questions, get support, and make suggestions.
These different interactions with various channels make it easier for you to develop a more personalized profile for your customers so you can create a customer-focused experience that will keep them coming back for more.
We live in a fast-paced, digitally connected world. A user-focused digital transformation can help you to keep up with rapid changes in customer buying habits and patterns. Creating a pleasant customer experience will build consumer trust as you offer products and services that meet expectations and solve customer problems. Showing customers that you understand them will keep them happy and keep them coming back for more.
Once you have your plan for making your digital transformation user focused, review these recommendations for reducing IT complexity during digital transformation.Read more
Lucidchart, a cloud-based intelligent diagramming application, is a core component of Lucid Software's Visual Collaboration Suite. This intuitive, cloud-based solution empowers teams to collaborate in real-time to build flowcharts, mockups, UML diagrams, customer journey maps, and more. Lucidchart propels teams forward to build the future faster. Lucid is proud to serve top businesses around the world, including customers such as Google, GE, and NBC Universal, and 99% of the Fortune 500. Lucid partners with industry leaders, including Google, Atlassian, and Microsoft. Since its founding, Lucid has received numerous awards for its products, business, and workplace culture. For more information, visit lucidchart.com.
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