However, digital transformations sometimes fail dramatically. There are three main reasons for this:
- The transformation was cosmetic and did not change the essence of the company;
- Technology was an end, not a means;
- The customer was regarded as an (annoying) afterthought.
Reasons 1 and 2 actually both stem from reason 3. Your company will only be able to handle permanent change if you really understand your customer.
The customer takes centre stage
Digitisation has shifted the power to the customer. Ultimately, customers decide the direction of every change.
Whoever is best at understanding customers will have the best chance of acquiring them. And whoever truly understands their customers will also see the changes coming and can sometimes help to shape them too.
As a result, technology is something which you use to understand your customers better, to win them over and constantly improve your service. Every process in your company must be geared towards this. This will allow you to make every interaction with your company – and your company itself – the best in class.
Technology and processes require many different resources. In order to be the best, you will need to make a tough decision: who do you want to be the best for? If you don't make this decision, you can only be "half best" and someone else will run off with your customers.
So choose the customers you truly wish to serve. And with each step you take, ask yourself these radical questions from their perspective:
- How would these customers want their interactions to look?
- Which processes are required for this?
- How can technology facilitate this and make the process run more smoothly?
This is the core of digital transformation.
Adopt a radically customer-centric approach and your company will learn how to embrace change. After all, it is the customers who steers and determines the force of change. This is the only approach that will ultimately allow you to be at the forefront of this change.
And whoever manages to do this will come out on top.