Much is made of digital transformation, as a tool to drive customer convenience, loyalty, and reduce costs; but where do you start, and does everything have to be digital? Here Peter Fisher, CX expert, suggests anchoring your digitisation strategy to three core concepts – digital as game changer, digital as channel extension, and digital as facilitator – emphasising an intelligent approach that applies digital transformation only where it is additive and in the long-term interests of customer and company alike.
Expert by Peter Fisher, CX Expert ,
Digital transformation of the customer experience has established itself firmly on the development agenda. However many organisations are still not quite sure what is the best strategy in order to transform the digital experience or even if it is something they need to address.
Before embarking on a development programme, it must be remembered that digital will not suit every customer touchpoint. A key part of developing the overall customer experience is, via insight, to establish a good fit between customer expectations and an organisation’s actual delivery. The same is true for the digital experience – just because a part of the experience can be digitised doesn’t mean that is the customer’s preference. And of course different customer segments may have differing views.
A good example is my recent purchase of a TV. My research was conducted by a combination of online and retail visits and the ordering via online click and collect. However the brand, in this case LG, had realised that the real moment of truth came once you got it home and plugged it in. On the front of the TV was a large, old fashioned sticker which invited you to call should there be any problems with set up. No digital experience was suggested – LG wanted this troubleshooting touchpoint to be with an expert at the other end of the phone.
So once an organisation has decided which parts of the experience to digitise, there are different ways of getting there. The first route: Digital as a Game Changer, is best exemplified by Airbnb, Uber etc. They disrupt the existing model and are rarely developed by an existing organisation currently operating within that sector.
The second route: Digital as a Channel Extension is where the majority of investment is currently seen. Numerous excellent examples exist across virtually every sector. Within retail, John Lewis is a perfect example; all the banks now have good digital channels; and airlines realised the importance of this route a number of years ago. The common theme here is that the digital channel is seamlessly integrated with the other channels. However, development for this is lengthy and expensive, particularly the enabling of a seamless transfer across the different channels.
A third, often not-fully appreciated strategy, is Digital as a Facilitator. This approach harnesses cloud based digital solutions which can be quickly and easily integrated into an organisation’s processes. Many of these will be familiar by their functionality or brand name. For example Salesforce.com is the best known CRM tool, Liveperson one of the most successful chat suppliers. In addition, a variety of solutions exist to manage and resolve customer queries (e.g. nanoRep), saving time, cost and effort within an organisation’s contact centre.
These cloud based SaaS solutions can transform the digital experience without major investment (you pay a licence fee depending on usage) and without the need for significant IT change as the service sits outside the organisation’s IT environment and is accessed via an url. Best of all they are proven systems currently being used by major corporations around the globe. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel!