We all have experience of how digital disruption has changed customer behaviours. Customers can research and price compare globally. They expect 1-click shopping and 1-day delivery. Now research conducted in 2015 by Stibo Systems shows these insights are at the heart of digital transformation programmes. Their survey showed that 74% of the businesses interviewed saw improving their ability to meet new customer needs as the key driver behind their digital transformation initiatives. In addition, over 70% of the companies were using some form of customer satisfaction or engagement metrics to measure the success of their programmes.
Customer needs disrupt business
Another key finding from the survey was that businesses under-estimated the impact of their digital transformation programme on their business. Over half of the companies discovered that problems with their data prevented them from getting the benefits from their efforts. This highlights the impact of the new customer landscape on businesses. From our experience, these gaps in data or poor quality data are, in part, due to customers breaking business silos, moving between online and offline contact as they want. For many companies, it is very difficult to link up data from an online account with data collected by sales teams or customer support staff. How do I know that the ‘Alice Munroe’ who purchased an item online is the same person as Alice who contacted customer support about the same item? Yet, the customer expects that the company knows this. They are not interested in the fact that this data is in two different systems managed by different divisions and with different rules for entering data.
Preparing for disruption
Companies planning to undertake digital transformation programmes, therefore, need to prepare for the disruption that responding to new customer needs will cause. It helps to think that you are reinventing your company as an agile, data-intelligent company that is structured to respond to customer needs, no matter what they are. If this is the starting point for your transformation programme, you are more prepared for the disruptions that come and be able to change them into your competitive advantages.