Digital transformations fail because they don’t take CX seriously

Omobono on the new metrics required for assessing the success of UX experiences

The majority of digital transformations are failing. Why? Marcus Lambert, chief technology officer at Omobono, argues that it is down to a failure to take customer experience (CX) seriously. Customers’ rising expectations demand more from every product, service and experience. Digital transformation should be focused on meeting those demands.

With 70% of digital transformation efforts failing, now is the time to deliver on expectations and improve CX.

For the last few years, business leaders have been ramping up digital transformation strategies. Much to their chagrin, many have discovered that it’s the journey that counts, not the destination – which often requires a little more thought than just updating a few websites and in-house applications.

The pace of continuously-changing digital offerings is exhausting and explains just one reason why so many digital transformations fail. Another is that some marketers are guilty of watching from the sidelines, dismissing the digital transformation trend as yet another buzzword.

Businesses need to adapt to shifting customer expectations. It’s no longer acceptable to make digital transformation projects about you and your brand. We must deliver on expectations linked to customers’ experiences.

Journeys are experiences

It’s too easy to be seduced by the shiny newness of technology and its range of digital systems.

But we must begin instead with the problem to avoid baselessly employing yet another tech solution. Every digital transformation project should be driven by the customer, not technology.

Every stage of the customer’s experience has become a battleground. As the experience economy continues to thrive, many believe that experience has become more important than the product itself. The challenge to keep your brand relevant will involve joining up the dots through every stage of the customer journey. Building experience into your product roadmap helps structure releases to appeal to users, providing a built-in incentive to update an application.

Matching the best, in B2B as well as B2C

Uniting every device, customer and location (in multiple combinations) is just the beginning. With Amazon and Netflix, consumers can drift seamlessly from device to device and enjoy the same personalized experience. This has become the benchmark for every future interaction with your brand. Miss the benchmark and you will miss out.

None of this will be a surprise. As consumers, we manage our entire lives from our smartphones. But entering the office on a Monday can sometimes feel like stepping back in time when comparing the B2B experience with the B2C world.

Our personal experiences are blending the worlds of B2B and B2C to create a unified person-to-person (P2P) approach. Despite witnessing this first-hand, 80% of enterprises continue to struggle to drive CX initiatives forward.

What’s holding us back?

We all know that to improve CX, we need to provide customers with relevant information on the right device at the right time. That’s the easy part. But data silos and the temptation to go back to the old way of doing things are slowing progress.

Legacy thinking is as damaging to a business as old, out-of-support software. For digital transformation to be a success, you must upgrade the mindset in your corporate culture, not just your technology.

As a business leader, your people are your customers; don’t leave them behind. Employees hold the keys to adopting and making new solutions a success. Your ability to innovate and deliver the increasingly-expected wow factor to customers will depend on the maturity of your organizational culture.

There’s an increasing realization that successful digital transformation begins with cultural change. Only then can you set out to understand and solve your customer’s problems. When you have everyone on board to solve the same issues, you can begin exploring how technology can bring your unified vision to life.

What P2P really means

When thinking about CX and digital transformation, it’s easy to forget the human element that delivers success. Many also make the mistake of implementing new technology to replace people and cut costs.

A hybrid approach where people and technology leverage the best of both worlds by working seamlessly together is what delivers real progress.

Technology will continue to change our world. But every digital transformation strategy must be built with the evolving needs and expectations of your customers in mind. Only by understanding their needs and friction points can you begin to transform valuable insights into new offerings that delight rather than frustrate them.

With a wealth of metrics and algorithms at your fingertips, it’s easy to get lost in analysis paralysis. But, if you dare to step away from all of the technology and data, it’s your customers who are making decisions around when, where and how they choose to interact with your business. CX should play a central role in your digital transformation efforts. If it isn’t, why are you even doing it?