Involve your team in digital transformation, leverage data and grow your business

April 07, 2021

Victoria Bergin

Victoria Bergin

Director Digital & Customer Experience, Versent

How is your business faring in the COVID crisis? Doubtless, you’re facing a host of unexpected challenges. Many businesses are suffering, forced to consider staff redundancies, or facing acquisition.   

Leaders are wearing many hats, trying to handle dual roles, and often being left without the resources they need to drive change. There are also new challenges for employees working remotely, and that poses its own set of challenges around remote systems, process, culture and team engagement.   

Business model reinvention is essential for success at this time, so many enterprises are in the middle of their digital transformation process. Importantly, this process is cyclical, not linear, because right now, companies that don’t constantly iterate get left behind.  

Let’s consider some of the important but often overlooked key success factors when considering how to approach a successful digital transformation.   

People find adjusting to change difficult.

Merging processes, data governance, and back-end systems are critical aspects of reshaping and modernising an organisation. But what about the human factor?  

A key element of digital business transformations for the C-suite to consider is the impact on company culture. This impact can vary greatly, and a team that isn’t aligned to a single vision or business goal can’t truly work cohesively. Although the long-term gains from technology investment are easily quantifiable, there’s still a lack of attention to the paradigm shift required to help employees adjust.   

One of the keys to digital transformation success is solving the challenge of building high performing cohesive teams along with the operational processes to back them up. There’s a massive emphasis placed on the end-users and commercial benefits of building or purchasing new platforms. But the requirements for service design and team enablement are often ignored in the transformation process. Training, consultation with teams and proactive involvement are vital.

Customer data is a growth driver.  

We all see brands like Uber and Spotify winning, so it’s worth looking at the reasons for their success. These tech-driven businesses have a three-pronged strategy: they’re solving a fundamental customer problem; innovating a platform that meets the user’s requirements; and using customer data to evolve constantly.   

In essence, emulating the Uber/Spotify formula seems simple: collect data about your customers to offer them a more relevant and engaging experience, and in turn, grow your business. But most large, long-established organisations have customer data that sits dormant in siloes, so there’s no dynamic view of customer activity.   

There are two key considerations when activating your customer data through the wider business. Firstly, there must be an overarching company vision and strategy around what value you want to add for your customer, not simply around commercial growth.   

Secondly, there needs to be a clear plan to use data to engage customers, retain them and gain insights that will constantly evolve their customer experience.    

Analysing customer data for insights means that your business is lead by the customers’ needs reflected in the data, not just commercial drivers. One essential fact that’s often misunderstood is that there is no “one typical customer.” The way customers engage with your brand can be vastly different. The journey and engagement path for different customers varies enormously. So, getting to know your customers, segmenting them and creating unique propositions, pathways and experiences for them is critical.   

The personalisation level that customers now expect means that if you have a single view of “the customer” across every stage of their journey, you will inevitably lose many prospects.   

Planning = performance.

It’s essential to tackle your digital transformation strategy at your own pace and ensure that the goals are achievable for the whole business, as every iterative change will impact your wider team.   

Without a cross-functional transformation roadmap, problems will arise with business units creating their own plans with no awareness of other business sections. One characteristic of a high-performing transformation team is collaboration, both internally and with external consultants.   

Training your team to win.  

If you invest in a new digital platform, but your team isn’t trained on using it correctly, its value is severely diminished.  For example, your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform is only as valuable as the data that’s in it. It’s vital to capture implicit data from all channels then link this to customer identities, so you can measure engagement and propensity to purchase. All of these elements, when working together in unison, can create a great performance model.   

If you’ve established workflows with the marketing and sales team and there’s a solid internal process feeding your CRM platform, then it works. Enabling your team to use personalisation, optimisation and marketing automation properly can dramatically increase overall customer satisfaction.  

It’s not just a transformation; it’s an evolution.

Enterprise-level digital transformation takes time, expertise and significant investment.   

Many companies may not be able to execute all the elements in a short sprint to reach their business goals. A solid roadmap and partnership with an expert consultancy are critical to a successful transformation.   

An expert digital transformation consulting partner will help you prioritise and validate the elements that are foundational for growth. If you work with a partner that takes the time to understand your business, they’ll be able to map out a steady evolution that’s aligned with your goals and achievable with your current team. This process should give your team the ability to think about the customer first and optimise their workflows autonomously. 

Everyone needs validation.

Many enterprises will spend millions renovating their technology, then realise that the technology was never the biggest problem in the first place. Technology validation needs to extend beyond business modelling. Customer testing may reveal that it’s not the mobile or web experience that’s preventing customers from engaging, but actually, the product or brand position isn’t relevant or compelling.   

The link between product, marketing, sales and technology needs to be recognised because ultimately, it’s these elements working together that will result in success. Testing a platform or product should involve back and front-end users and all customer base segments, as each will have different requirements.   

A well-planned transformation, done with the right partner, is valuable no matter what stage of evolution your business is in. Work on solving the real business challenges you face and ensure that you take your team along with you as you complete the process.  

The trick to successful digital transformation is to make the complex simple and help your team stay focussed on the customer, not the company’s mechanics.

Start your journey to digital transformation success.

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