Satyen Yadav, CTO, Digital Solutions and Analytics, Boeing
A broad and evolving term, Digital Experiences pans the range of interactions customers have with a company’s products, services and operational processes on every digital touchpoint. Customer expectations fora company’s digital services and operations are raising the competitive bar in every industry sector. As such,companies are rushing to transform themselves by becoming more digital. But what does digital transformation really mean?
Digital transformation is the use of technology to improve business performance across product development, manufacturing, operations, marketing and sales. Most importantly, digital transformation is geared toward delivering new and delightful customer experiences through digital mediums. Too often, digital experience gets equated with the new user interface (UI) elements such as digital content and design. However, digital experience is better characterized by the quality of all customer encounters with a company’s products, services and brand.
To compete with changes driven by digital transformation, companies must embrace a new operating model built around digital services that remarkably improves the digital customer experience. Accelerating a digital experience initiative through the introduction of new digital and mobile channels often helps companies lower costs and increase user satisfaction in the short run. Yet, this accelerated approach comes with the risk of the digital transformation initiative eventually failing if companies do not adopta systematic approach to designing their digital platforms.
Delivering a delightful digital experience requires a systems approach to designing digital services that incorporatesa few major characteristics:
1. Provide personalized, contextual experiences that improve over time. This means analyzing how a customer is interacting with company’s digital platform and modifying those interactions to improve the customer experiences. For example, Netflix recommendations works with the principle of the more you use the system, the better its consumer recommendations become.
2. Customers’ experience improves when they use more of a company’s digital services. For example, Apple customers enjoy improved digital experience as they use more than one Apple device, which supports underlying digital services such as AirDrop.
Digital transformation is the use of technology to improve business performance across product development, manufacturing, operations, marketing and sales
3. Digital experience must be delivered through all desired channels; furthermore, customers must be allowed to switch channels while still enjoying seamless experience and without losing continuity. For example, a shopping cart from an online store that follows users on multiple devices.
4. Ease-of-use of digital services is one of the most critical elements of digital experience. Particular attention must be paid to ensure that there are minimal steps required by customers to access digital services, and that any required steps are intuitive.
Another critical, yet often overlooked component of digital transformation initiative is lack of comprehension that the customer experience is more than just digital content or intuitive user interfaces. A good digital experience is determined bya robust system design consisting of digital service layers that provides the underpinning of the digital experience.
For instance, it is important to consider latency, availability and mobility access of digital service. Incrementally increasing levels of value delivered to the user is an extremely important aspect of overall digital experience expected by customers. Additional challenges emerge with providing digital experience in highly regulated industries such as insurance and financial services because digital transformation efforts must confront changing global regulations, data sovereignty and regional data accessibility.
Embracing a system thinking approach to developing a company’s digital experience is essential to remaining relevant and competitive in today’s rapidly transforming market-place, where digital products and services are necessities. Leveraging the fundamental principles of a successful digital experience system discussed above could lower the risk of failure associated with digital transformation initiatives.