“The one constant of change is that it’s always for someone else…except it’s not.”

Today’s customers demand to be recognized across every channel, whether online or offline. They don’t care about which part of the company they are dealing with, to them, there’s only one brand.

Yet, companies continue to give customers a disconnected experience, with sales, service and marketing each working to engage the audience on their own, without coordinating their efforts. It makes customers frustrated, disengaged and disloyal; in fact, one survey found that one third of Americans consider switching companies after just one poor experience.

The convergence of technology and behavior is only accelerating, and the butterfly effect it causes is transformative and disruptive. Markets are shifting to such extent that they open the door to innovation with new products, services and ways of doing business becoming the norm as a result.

All of this is (and has been) playing out at the expense or demise of those who continue down a path of business as usual. The need to change is no longer something for everyone else; it is the first step toward one of the most important movements in business evolution today… digital transformation.

Leading Digital Transformation

At Altimeter, a Prophet Company, I have lead several research studies on digital transformation. As part of this work, we’ve interviewed many executives who are leading transformation to document the challenges they face, the opportunities they uncover and more so, what it is they do to navigate the complexities of uncertainty, bureaucracy, politics, skepticism, fear, etc., to make progress.

Along  the way, we’ve observed a series of patterns that help executives make the case for change, earn support and also the little (and sometimes big) steps that lead to digital transformation.

8 Factors for Successful Digital Transformation

Change always starts with one step and more often than not, I found that zeroing in on the digital customer experience uncovers areas of immediate opportunities to learn, experiment and eliminate existing hurdles and points of friction in the customer journey.

Altimeter’s  “OPPOSITE” framework is an acronym that represents the best practices guiding transformation efforts around the digital customer experience

1. Orientation

Establish a new perspective to drive meaningful change. If your organization is built on the “inside out” model, meaning that it is organized around your internal processes and functions, update to focus on customer needs, wants and priorities

2. People

Understand customer values, expectations and behaviors. This requires digital transformation buy-in at all levels— all employees and leadership— so that the entire organization is aligned with digital goals and strategies.

3. Processes

Assess operational infrastructure and update (or revamp) technologies, processes and policies to support change. Start with the contact center, which is a key platform for delivering great customer experiences, and make it collaborative, unified, and intelligent

4. Objectives

Define the purpose of digital transformation, aligning stakeholders (and shareholders) around the new vision and roadmap. Set goals for your digital transformation— what specific areas do you hope to improve through digital? What kind of metrics are you hoping to achieve? Setting quantifiable KPIs can help ensure that you meet your digital transformation objectives.

5. Structure

Form a dedicated digital experience team with roles/responsibilities/objectives/accountability clearly defined. Ensure the entire team is aware of objectives and processes so that you are centered on purpose.

6. Insights & Intent

Gather data and apply insights toward strategy to guide digital evolution. Data can help you streamline experiences across customer journeys, no matter how they interact with your brand. Data can also help you evaluate the results— brand relevance, increased revenue, and more— of your digital transformation

7. Technology

Re-evaluate front and back-end systems for seamless, integrated and native customer experiences and, ultimately, employee experiences. Use technology to promote trustworthiness and meet ever-increasing customer expectations. Ensure your content and communications are platform-proof so that algorithm changes do not interfere with customer experiences

8. Execution

Implement, learn and adapt to steer ongoing digital transformation and customer experience work. Evaluate the state of your transformation frequently so you can make adjustments if necessary.

When planning and implementing a digital transformation strategy, keeping “OPPOSITE” in mind can help your organization be successful.

Final Thoughts

For companies looking to jumpstart their digital transformation efforts, these factors provide a blueprint for stakeholders across the organization to come together, create a shared vision and take the first steps towards thriving in the new digital reality. Change starts with you.

Learn more about creating and implementing a successful digital transformation strategy.

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