Digital transformation: helping your business thrive in the digital world
Digital transformation has been a growing topic worldwide as companies realise the need for them to harness the power of digital technology and tools, to satisfy the increasing demand of the customers for seamless experience and timely responses.
For a small and mid-sized business, it is a unique opportunity to challenge bigger competitors and "eat the big fish". This is an exciting project that we will help you deliver pragmatically, at pace and cost-effectively.
The digitisation of information, data and media, and the revolution in communication (internet, mobile, IOT, ...) has shrunk time and distance: we all exchange with people or purchase goods and services on the other side of the world in just a click.
It has fostered disruption in most of the business sectors with the emergence of new "digital" competitors ; and increased demands from customers who expect instant gratification in purchase, delivery and customer service. In other terms, digital transformation is about gearing up the organisation to adapt to the pace and competitive pressure.
Jack Welch explained the disruption: "If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near".
If anything, the current covid-19 sanitary and economic crisis emphasizes the need for all businesses to adopt the best practices to improve their productivity and efficiency.
A mistake many companies make is trying to buy their way out of disruption by embarking into complex and expensive technology projects. Doing so generally mobilises precious resources such as money and management time away from improving the product, customer experience and company visibility, and adds even more complexity to the organisation. As a result 85% of digital transformations fail, leaving the companies more vulnerable than before.
A digital transformation is primarily about culture and ethos: to master speed you need to focus, learn and adapt. It will be supported by digital tools and processes, relevant to your business and priorities.
Purpose, simplify, focus
As organisations grow, so do the overheads, product ranges, internal meetings, processes and reporting, and, generally, complexity.
Complexity comes at a cost, both in terms of operating costs, but even more in agility and pace. Digital organisations are ruthless when it comes to purpose and prioritisation: they are very clear about what is their mission statement and what their focus is, with the key projects and products they will devote most of their energy.
Introducing another famous quote, by Antoine de St Exupery: "Perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add but when there is no longer anything to take away". For any business, doing less but better and faster is the best response to adjust to pace.
It starts from being very clear about where you can win in the market, why your customers choose you over the competition, which processes, skills you need to invest in, what are your core values. This will form a much stronger platform to communicate to acquire new customers and grow your business.
Our approach is very simple: it relies on bringing together two critical pieces of information:
your revenue and margin,
who your competitors are and the opportunities of growth in the market (market map)
This will form the basis to define an effective marketing strategy for your business, prioritising the actions based on your activity, your market, your audiences and your goals.
It also means, and in 2020 even more, about deciding what not to do, either stop doing activities which don't contribute to the main goals, outsource activities which are not core business, and use contractors for skills and resources required for a project only.
Align your organisation and build an efficient culture
Pace is best achieved with an aligned organisation and healthy communication and processes.
A clear vision and focus will go a long way to align the organisation, but a digital transformation also requires creating a "winning team" culture, by removing the internal friction, and creating effective communication and project culture.
As different parts of an organisation focus on complementary activities, it is critical to identify where the performance indicators can clash and produce tensions which can consume some significant energy, and move the attention of the organisation away from the real priorities that are customers and winning over competitors.
Culture in digital organisations is based on facts, "constructive challenge" and collaboration. Constructive challenge is always aimed at improving a proposition, not undermine an individual. It therefore needs to be formed based on facts and data as opposed to unsubstantiated opinions. It is consistent with a view that if an organisation has hired talented individuals, the collaboration within the team will lead to better solutions.
Customer focus, collaborative approach, constructive challenge and data driven decision making process are essential traits of successful organisation in the digital age.
Become a truly customer centric business
The digital revolution abolishes the distance between a business and its customers. It also reduces the distance between a business customers and its competitors.
It is therefore indispensable for any business to ensure that it leverages all the modern technology to capabilities to enable the customers to communicate using their favourite channel (online, voice, physical when appropriate) and provide a timely and accurate response demonstrating a genuine interest and recognition.
The 3 pillars of an effective customer centric business are: customer experience, customer feedback and effective communication (crm).
The customer experience consists in delivering an intuitive buying and consumption process by providing the right information and assistance at each step of the journey for a customer. This requires for the business looking at its services from a customer stand-point, identify all the questions that a customer may ask about the description of the offer, conditions, validity, delivery, … and providing clear and appropriate answers.
It also requires anticipating pain points and disruptions and offer simple remediation courses of action when issues arise: you recognise a good customer service when things go wrong. It is also a powerful way to win long-lasting loyalty from a customer
Customers are keen to provide feedback when asked, as they recognise the opportunity to improve the product and experience they have with your business. The insights you get can be priceless to build new features or address opportunities to delight your customers. It provides factual insights to your business when discussing the next round of improvement. Feedback is the breakfast of champions.
At last CRM is often dumbed down in newsletter. But the aim of a customer relationship management program is to build a robust understanding of both the customer segments, their purchase cycle and their lifetime value to inform and design a relevant response to any interaction. Whilst broadcasting new products, services or promotions can be pertinent at times, the communication too has to be customer centric: often listening is more important than talking.
Embed best digital practices
Data and digital technology can fuel your digital transformation program by boosting your productivity, improve your customer loyalty, and power each and every marketing channel.
They are not silver bullets but a means to an end, supporting tools and methods to facilitate the definition of your focus, the organisation alignment, embracing the customer centricity, and creating a data-driven learning business.
The digital tools and process cover:
data collection, integration, processing and visualisation
workflow and communication
The digital transformation will ensure that your organisation:
has solutions in place addressing cost-effectively all the critical aspects for your business.
is trained to make an effective use of the technology
is focussing on getting the basics right first rather than delivering a disastrous white elephant