July 5, 2022

How Digital Transformation Is Driving Customer Experience

The world is racing toward digital transformation. Companies that don’t make the leap run a real risk of being left behind. According to Statista, approximately 90% of businesses will need to make changes to their model to remain competitive.

We see this with businesses of all types. Startups are inherently more digital than traditional or established businesses. They’re lean and have likely started with a digital mindset. On the other hand, at the enterprise level, the digital experience may start as a growth opportunity. However, to remain competitive with more agile startups, enterprises must also begin using digital transformation to improve the customer experience.

To that end, Forrester shares that by investing in customer experience, companies can “grow revenue faster than CX laggards, and results in “increased retention, higher cross-sell and upsell potential, more new customers…” But how?

Digital transformation is not about going digital for the sake of going digital

Before diving any deeper into digital transformation, we must drive this point home. It’s unwise to take on digital transformation initiatives simply because everyone else is doing it. Instead, it’s about delivering a better experience and solving for your customers’ needs–whether that means enabling self-service or simply optimizing the journey.

Creating a meaningful digital transformation that minimizes time to value requires defining a specific goal. In keeping with a Product Mindset, 3Pillar recommends clarifying the “why” of every digital transformation initiative. To that end, we often drill down deep with our clients to understand their reasoning to define specific problems we can solve for in each release or iteration.

Bruce Steele, SVP of Solutions and Technology at 3Pillar Global says, “We’ve seen several companies where leadership made cloud migration a priority without first spelling out the desired business outcomes and benefits of planning and prioritizing the work. This yielded a disjointed implementation where maximum value was not realized. Software was modernized to microservices without a good deployment plan, which simply increased non value added technical debt. We encourage our clients to plan both the design and implementation to align investments that will maximize return in the form of improved user experience, cost benefits, and an improved security posture”.

Digital transformation is all about the customer experience

Digital transformation isn’t set-it-and-forget-it. It’s about adopting a product mindset and applying it to your business.

According to Dave Orecchio from Bristol Strategy, “Digital Transformation is a process which acknowledges that the digital landscape will always be changing and that consumer’s expectations will evolve alongside the landscape’s ability to deliver ever superior results.”

And with Gartner sharing that “76% of CIOs report increased demand for new digital products,” it’s clear that digital transformation creates the experience customers crave.

Digital transformations solve customer experience disconnects

Without customers, you don’t have a business. When your business provides an inferior customer experience, your customers are more likely to jump ship. At a minimum, you’ll face decreasing loyalty, which opens the doors for competitors to swoop in and wow your audience.

Marc Noë from EY elaborates, “Digital is really about driving enhanced experiences for your customers, however you define a customer.”

A full-scale digital transformation of your customer experience requires UX research, or mapping out the customer journey and gathering data. To that end, 3Pillar recommends prioritizing the development of your customer journey roadmap. At the heart of this is talking to real customers to get their feedback and paying attention to reviews and testimonials. In addition to your own reviews, watch your competitors as well to discover threats and opportunities.

From there, analyze the information, map the customer journey, and identify your goals and timeline for improvement. And, of course, you’ll want to review the results, paying attention to qualitative data, like customer feedback and quantitative data, including user metrics.

Creating a digital-first culture

While customer experience should drive digital transformation and vice versa, your entire organization must be on board as well. A digitally-driven company culture starts with ensuring that all teams have a product mindset to solve internal and external disconnects.

To that end, everyone must commit to principles common to Agile methodologies:

  • Adapting to client needs and new information
  • Collaborate by continually building relationships and evolving knowledge
  • Iterate by delivering value incrementally and learning

No business can exist in a vacuum. Everything about your business, from products and services to organization, must be able to adapt to the changing marketplace that’s evolving globally.

Digital transformation and customer experience go hand in hand

Digital transformation allows enterprises to adapt to a changing environment quickly to minimize time to value and, ultimately, delight their customers. Companies wishing to be part of the future need to focus first on discovering what their customers want. From there, it’s about finding the right solution for each problem. Ultimately, effective digital transformation is incremental and involves iterating to minimize time to value and striving for continuous improvement.

3Pillar Global is committed to helping companies embark on digital transformation and customer experience enhancements. If you’re ready to explore how you can take your company to a digital mindset, we’re ready to help. 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.