Take the Opposite approach to Digital Transformation
“The one constant of change is that it’s always for someone else...except it's not.”
Today's customers demand to be recognized across every channel, whether online or offline. They don't care about which part of the company they are dealing with, to them, there's only one brand. Yet, companies continue to give customers a disconnected experience, with sales, service and marketing each working to engage the audience on their own, without coordinating their efforts. It makes customers frustrated, disengaged and disloyal. In a 2013 research study by Oracle, 89% of customers said they had switched brands due to a bad customer experience.
The convergence of technology and behavior is only accelerating and the butterfly effect it causes is transformative and disruptive. Markets are shifting to such extent that they open the door to innovation with new products, services and ways of doing business becoming the norm as a result. All of this is (and has been) playing out at the expense or demise of those who continue down a path of business as usual. The need to change is no longer something for everyone else, it is the first step toward one of the most important movements in business evolution today…digital transformation.
At Altimeter Group (now a Prophet company), I have lead, along with my colleague Jaimy Szymanski, several research studies on the subject. As part of this work, we’ve interviewed many executives who are leading transformation to document the challenges they face, the opportunities they uncover and more so, what it is they do to navigate the complexities of uncertainty, bureaucracy, politics, skepticism, fear, etc., to make progress. Along the way, we’ve observed a series of patterns that help executives make the case for change, earn support and also the little (and sometimes big) steps that lead to digital transformation. These learnings have been assembled into a new report, Eight Success Factors of Digital Transformation: How businesses are taking an O.P.P.O.S.I.T.E. approach to business as usual. It is now available for download.
Change always starts with one step and more often than not, I found that zeroing in on the digital customer experience uncovers areas of immediate opportunities to learn, experiment and eliminate existing hurdles and points of friction in the customer journey. Altimeter's "OPPOSITE" framework is an acronym that represents the best practices guiding transformation efforts around the digital customer experience.
They apply to eight key areas of focus:
- Orientation: Establish a new perspective to drive meaningful change.
- People: Understand customer values, expectations and behaviors.
- Processes: Assess operational infrastructure and update (or revamp) technologies, processes and policies to support change.
- Objectives: Define the purpose of digital transformation, aligning stakeholders (and shareholders) around the new vision and roadmap.
- Structure: Form a dedicated digital experience team with roles/responsibilities/objectives/accountability clearly defined.
- Insights & Intent: Gather data and apply insights toward strategy to guide digital evolution.
- Technology: Re-evaluate front and back-end systems for a seamless, integrated and native customer (and ultimately employee) experience.
- Execution: Implement, learn and adapt to steer ongoing digital transformation and customer experience work.
For companies looking to jumpstart their digital transformation efforts, this report provides a blueprint for stakeholders across the organization to come together, create a shared vision and take the first steps towards thriving in the new digital reality. Change starts with you.