In the growing hype that surrounds all things digital, the idea of a “digital transformation” has taken on a life of its own. What jumps to mind are snapshots of an organization reaching out via new, digital channels to engage customers. In the 24/7 world of social media, the customer experience is a game to be perfected—how quickly, how effectively can your organization respond to a customer’s wants and needs? Are you prepared to be increasingly engaged with your customer on all fronts, especially on those particular touchpoints (like social media) where you customer already is? While these are all examples of digital transformations, a full scale digital transformation has a much greater impact on the rest of your organization.
Beyond the Buzzword
Undeniably, finding better ways to engage with your customers across platforms falls under the category of “digital transformation.” By leveraging the myriad opportunities that digital has to offer, your organization is adapting its engagement policy in an effort to become increasingly customer centric. However, this is far from the only thing that a full scale digital transformation entails. What happens when the operational side of your organization can no longer keep up with the raised expectations that come along with superior customer service? Is your “back office” prepared to follow through on every promise that is made? Imagine the following scenario – You work for an insurance company. In line with your new, customer-centric digital strategy, your organization monitors social media to learn more about your customer’s needs before they even have to ask. By compiling the data brought in from different channels, you notice that one of your customers is going on vacation – and you see this as on opportunity to offer them travel insurance to provide coverage for trip cancellation, travel delays, lost luggage, and medical emergencies. Thrilled by the proactive service of their insurance provider, your customer signs up immediately. Flash forward: In spite of their disappointment in a vacation disrupted by hurricane, your customers were glad they booked travel insurance with you. Now they have come to collect – but for some reason, there is no record of them booking travel insurance. While you had logged that information on the “front side”, the data had never been stored and transferred to the claims office, resulting in confusion and frustration for everyone involved. As a result of sub-standard internal operations, you lose customers, and your brand takes a hit when they complain about their poor treatment across those very same channels you used to find out they might need travel insurance in the first place.
The Real Impact on Your Organization
It is difficult to measure the total impact of digital on your organization. It depends upon a complex variety of factors, such as the ability to clarify digital strategies, develop new capabilities, and transform culture to adapt to the digital world. But one thing is certain—the digital world is impacting organizations on a level deeper than simply what the customer can see. And if you want to be able to follow through on the expectations created by your top of the line customer service, a full scale digital transformation is needed. What does digital transformation mean to you?