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How Companies Are Failing To Digitally Transform And Improve Their Customer Experience

Last Modified: 20/12/2017

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Digital transformation. While it may seem like a buzzword to some, many organisations are taking advantage of digital tools to help them improve efficiency and grow their organisations. The keyway it can achieve this is by improving customer experience.

Digital transformation allows you to improve the customer experience by enabling a more holistic approach, as many of the tools associated with digital transformation allow you to gather more information. This allows you to gain a better understanding of various aspects of your business. This can be translated to:

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  • Better mapping of customer journeys - Digital tools allow you access to more information so that you can better understand customers and how they interact with company touch points.
  • Increased use of customer journeys - Not all organisations make use of customer journeys. Digital transformation makes it easier to understand the tangible benefits by allowing you to quantify a customer’s interactions with an organisation.
  • Faster generation of insights - Whether you’re tracking how customers interact with your website or how many visits your retail store, digital tools allow you to capture information much quicker than other methods, making data more easily available.

A company that implements digital transformation correctly can improve their customer experience, increasing overall customer satisfaction. Unfortunately, many organisations are failing to implement their digital transformations correctly in order to improve customer experience.


The first way organisations are failing is their understanding of customer journeys. Brian Solis discusses how companies are taking steps to implement digital technologies but how many companies are approaching customer journeys incorrectly: 42% of them failed to begin initial research on digital customer journeys before implementing new social and mobile technologies. 

On the other hand, only 25% of companies have completed research on digital customer journeys in the last year and have a clear understanding of new digital touch-points.


Companies are also failing to implement the digital transformation process correctly simply because they approach digital transformation without a clear strategy. In the report Strategy, not Technology, Drives Digital Transformation, the authors highlighted these points around digital strategy:

  • Digital strategy drives digital maturity - When it comes to ensuring a company has digitally transformed processes, talent engagement and business models, only 15% of respondents have a clear and coherent digital transformation strategy.
  • The power of a digital transformation strategy lies in its scope and objectives - More established companies are implementing digital strategies that aim to transform the entire business, not just operations.
  • Maturing digital organisations build skills to realise the strategy - A digitally mature organisation understands that their employees will require specific skills in order to bring the strategy to fruition.

Another issue that affects companies is either a lack of urgency or too much urgency when it comes to digital transformation. Companies that lack urgency risk falling behind their competition, while companies that are in too much of a rush risk implementing digital transformation ineffectively. Companies that rush through digital transformation also fail to take into account the impact it will have on the organisation, particularly on employees who need time to adapt to digitally transformed processes, and how this will affect their customers.

Entrenched legacy technology is also a problem that affects digital transformation. Digitally transforming established companies and organisations, such as financial institutions, can be difficult due to the critical role their existing systems play, and the problems associated with transitioning systems that were designed in the pre-digital or early digital age. This entrenched technology will undoubtedly impact the customer experience, as customers will become increasingly frustrated with systems that do not match up with their expectations.

Some organisations also approach digital transformation with the attitude that the latest technology is what they need, regardless of how it’s implemented. In these scenarios, it’s often a case of having the technology as a “trophy on your shelf”, instead of understanding how it can benefit your organisation and leveraging it correctly. For example, a B2B company that implements the latest webchat technology and tools will make less use of them when compared to a B2C company.

When looking at digital transformation, many companies correctly approach it with the idea “How can it meet customer expectations?” However, some organisations incorrectly approach digital transformation with the idea “How can it make things easier within the organisation?” For example, many companies introduce a webchat tool with the expectation that it will reduce the number of voice calls they receive. What can also occur is that additional customers who didn’t call the company before start using the webchat tool, resulting in the company needing additional staff to handle the webchat channel.

The final issue is that many companies fail to adapt their customer experience metrics to digitally transformed processes because they don’t understand how to. There are a number of customer experience metrics that they can use, including customer satisfaction (CSAT), net promoter score (NPS) or customer effort score (CES) that work with your digitally transformed customer experience.

Merchants is a customer experience provider who can assist you with digital transformation. For more information, contact us here.   


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