May 3, 2023

Digital Transformation Strategies Through Customer Experience

While modernization for the sake of keeping up with the Joneses—or in this case, the Samsungs and the Apples—is never wise, there is a valuable reason for undertaking digital transformation. Companies that don’t modernize can quickly find that digital trends are moving the customer journey forward. As trends change, customers are expecting value driven products that can answer needs. The customer experience in digital transformation can be a brand differentiator.

Digital transformation is the way of the future. According to InfoTechLead, “Global spending on the digital transformation (DX) is forecast to increase at 17.6 percent to $1.8 trillion in 2022.”

An investment in digital transformation should be undertaken with caution and focus on solving specific challenges, namely operational agility and digital customer experience strategies. The begging question is how to improve digital customer experience with the latest trends in technology? A company that undergoes digital transformation without developing its platform while keeping the customer’s ease of use in mind will lose out to competitors who prioritize digital customer experience over other operational efficiencies. Creating a solid foundation for modernization strategies can help businesses better understand customer needs as they relate to produce and service offerings that set them apart in the industry.

While public television stations might seem like a surprising example of digital transformation strategies, PBS has successfully withstood the streaming revolution by going digital. As a result, consumers are able to experience the much-beloved—and award-winning—programming across a wide range of platforms and devices.

Today, we’re exploring the main areas of digital transformation strategies through the lens of customer experience. This angle will allow you to learn how to unpack success for your company in an ever-changing digital marketplace.

What is a digital transformation strategy?

Digital transformation is the modernization of your organization’s technology and operations. It follows that digital transformation strategy is the process of implementing tools or systems that update legacy platforms. In turn, this allows companies to adapt to growing changes in digital performance. It may relate to process improvements, new product development, streamlining workflows, or even improving customer experience with the use of technology. Digital transformation and customer experience work in tandem.

With that in mind, it’s important to note that many companies take on digital transformation strategies without considering their effect on customer experience (CX).

While operational agility can and should be a priority, failing to consider the CX implications puts your business at risk of falling behind.

A technologically modern business that is extremely difficult to use or requires a significant learning curve will lose out to companies with a simpler user experience.

Before the rise of GrubHub and DoorDash, people had two options for takeout. They could pick up food themselves or choose a restaurant with delivery services. Now, with the click of a button, we can order food from our favorite restaurants. What’s more, using these apps is just as easy as picking up a phone and ordering takeout—often even more straightforward. There’s no waiting on hold or trying to decipher the menu. It’s as simple as clicking on pictures of your favorite dishes and checking out. Your meal arrives 30-45 minutes later—or whenever you schedule it.

The customer experience journey can radically transform through strategic modernization. Developing tools that work in line with customer needs can offer solutions that marketplace competitors might not yet have considered. Consider a customer experience roadmap strategy for success.

Digital transformation strategies aren’t just about technology

Technology is constantly maturing and changing, along with current standards for modernization. This means that digital transformation strategies are less about adopting a specific approach than about priming your organization for agility, flexibility, and a premium customer experience.

Customer Strategist explains: “Incorporating digital CX strategy into a holistic customer journey plan can help companies move closer to frictionless, omnichannel customer experiences.”

With that said, being aware of trends can allow you to maximize efforts and understand what tools are available for you to remain competitive. Custom digital transformation is all about considering the end user and how your products or services can offer better performance. This means that part of remaining both relevant and competitive means picking and choosing which aspects of your business or digital product to modernize. Overhauling legacy systems can be costly. Strategic modernization requires careful planning.

Digital transformation isn’t something you can implement in a one-and-done big fell swoop. In fact, big bang modernization is a surefire recipe for failure. Instead, by taking a strategic and iterative approach, you can choose specific problems to solve with digitization. Allowing for implementing your digital transformation strategy on an incremental basis means that your organization will reap the benefits of modernization and do so significantly faster.

How to build a digital transformation strategy

According to Ian Ure in The Future Shapers, “Because digital transformation will look different for every business, it can be hard to pinpoint a single definition that applies to all.”

The same is true for digital transformation strategy best practices. Ask 4 different consultants and you’ll get 4 different answers about the best digital transformation strategy framework. Modernization is highly variable as it depends on the needs of the business and, ultimately, what the customer requires for improved usability. As with most strategies involving CX development, consider product goals, technical requirements, which translates to creating an entire product roadmap prior to launch.

According to The Enterpriser’s Project, “digital transformation will vary widely based on organization’s specific challenges and demands.”

In addition to prioritizing digital customer experience strategies, agility, and operational efficiencies, 3Pillar Global recommends considering implementing a digital-first company culture with a Product Mindset. Additionally, you’ll want to evaluate how you can improve employee efficiencies and productivity and use platform modernization to minimize time to value with every improvement. Enter data analytics. Data analytics, no matter the industry, can have an incredible input in how customer experience works and the requirements for moving toward platform improvements. Learn more about the role in data analytics improving customer experience here.

Ultimately, to our earlier point, take on modernization with a primary goal in mind. Goals may focus on customer retention, increased agility, or another specific purpose. To get to the heart of the matter for customer experience in digital transformation, consider questions like:

  • What can we do to make the greatest impact in the shortest amount of time and investment?
  • How does this change affect the customer experience?
  • What problem are we solving for?
  • How does this create value?

Creating your digital transformation strategy

Creating your digital experience strategy for customer experience improvements start with asking why. The objective should be focused on solving specific problems for customer pain points. However, your strategy doesn’t end there. Developing your digital strategies also needs to include mapping out the digital customer journey, focusing on efficient workflows, and remembering that non-digital experiences still exist—and—are important.

Once you have the whole picture of how your digital experience strategy works within your entire customer journey, you can begin tackling modernization within your organization.

3Pillar Global’s team of experts excels at helping clients develop effective digital transformation strategies that prioritize the digital customer experience alongside operational agility. To find out how we can help your organization, contact us today.

Special thanks to these members of FORCE, 3Pillar’s expert network, for their contributions to this article.

FORCE is 3Pillar Global’s Thought Leadership Team comprised of technologists and industry experts offering their knowledge on important trends and topics in digital product development.