Time for change – Accept it!

In an era of “digital Darwinism” where technology and society are evolving faster than businesses can naturally adapt. In this era, business models rapidly evolve and customer experience is often indefinable. This sets the stage for a new era of leadership, a new generation of business models – “accept and change” or “die”.

Businesses need to realize that they have to invest in change to keep up with and ultimately to survive (if not to lead) in a new era of connected markets. Hence businesses have to pass through the digital transformation processes to integrate and improve the customer experience. Digital transformation is all about changing the way business is done.

The behavior and needs of Digital customers are different than traditional customers. Hence traditional customer strategy will not work in the new era. One of the key success factors for businesses in the digital transformation process is to understand the digital customer experience.

Disruptive technologies will influence the behavior of (digital) customers and which in turn force organizations to embrace the changes for survival.

Digital transformation is driven by the evolution of customer behavior and by technology. SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics & Cloud) is the force to trigger changes than initially anticipated. Hence, understanding and mapping the customer experience is becoming critical in guiding transformation efforts.

Why transformation?

The answer can be given in one word … relevance. Technology forced consumers to change their behavior… consumer behavior is evolving as a result of technology. There are three options available to Businesses:

1. Compete to get ahead of it (Result: leader … Winner/Survivor)
2. Perpetually react to it (Result: laggard… Opportunity lost)
3. They belittle it (Result: suicide…out of business)

The most problematic aspects around digital maturity are Technology … It is on both sides … at the problem side and at the solution end as well.

Digital transformation is the most important movement facing businesses today. It is forcing businesses to look beyond the world as they know it, observe how things are changing on the outside, to change transform philosophies, models, and systems on the inside.

What is transformation?

“Simply defined, digital transformation the intentional efforts to adapt to this onslaught of disruptive technologies and how it’s affecting customer and employee behavior. As technology becomes a permanent fixture in everyday life, organizations are forced to update legacy technology strategies and supporting methodologies to better reflect how the real world is evolving. And, the need to do so is becoming increasingly obligatory.”

What is the objective?

One of the very important objectives of the transformation process is “improved customer journey” – which improves conversions and outcomes.

What is the outcome of transformation?

Digital transformation is not a whim or trendy name … It’s not about technology implementation only … Organizations really need to change from the inside out. During the transformation process, it is very critical to identify and integrate digital touchpoints.

In this process, the role and objective of various functions like marketing, sales, service, IT, entire supply-chain, corporate communication, legal, finance, etc. will undergo a change. Also, it is important to find out the way how this disparate team will work in harmony; hence harmonization is part of the transformation process. It’s a process of adopting new consumerism.

Originations that perfect customer journeys reap enormous rewards, including enhanced customer and employee satisfaction, reduced churn, increased revenues, lowered costs, and improved collaboration across the organization.

Many organizations excel in individual interactions with customers, but they fail to pay adequate attention to the customers’ complete experience on the way to purchase and after.

Is it relevant in India?

Why do businesses need to change and go through digital transformation processes in India?

1. By 2020, the average age in India will be 29 years. In the next few years, the country’s middle-class population is expected to be more than 300 million approximately.
2. India is the second-largest country in the world having a maximum number of mobile phone users. Its high-end smartphone market grew by 300% with more than one million rural users accessing the internet through data connections on their mobile phones.
3. The average Indian users spend more than 100-120 minutes on social media platforms and 77% access these on mobiles. The projected user base of social networks is 600-700 million people by 2020.

This is an opportunity to leverage technology with defined business strategies and goals.

Organizations need to combine top-down, judgment-driven evaluations and bottom-up data-driven analysis to identify key journeys, and then engage the entire organization in redesigning the customer experience. This requires shifting from silo-based to cross-functional approaches and changing from a touch-point to a journey orientation.