Digital Transformation: Working from Front To Back
In a rapidly changing market, companies cannot avoid digital transformation. However, the trans-
formation must be shaped by the needs of the customer and how to increase satisfaction.
Many companies understand the power of digital, but we find many struggle to build technology
platforms that lease both customers and employees - the key stakeholders.
Executives understand that, “going digital,” requires going far beyond marketing strategy changes
and social media to delivering a customer-focused digital transformation. They are acutely aware
that it is digital transformation that will rapidly improve performance.
At the hear of their thinking must be an understanding that customer expectation drives the trans-
formation journey. From this point, they must work backwards, aligning systems and processes
towards achieving customer delight.
Market leaders are already rebuilding customer engagement frameworks, with a strong focus on
digital. For example:
• Delivering rich experiences in native languages has helped Marriott to achieve £5bn in
annual sales online
• Through building a seamless omni-channel e-commerce platform, Nespresso can now offer
a more personalised and rich customer experience across 40 countries
Such initiatives are the bedrock in building a customer-focused digital business and are no longer
elective. Instead, they are essentials, as digital transformation can directly and indirectly impact:
• Brand recognition
• Share price performance
• Customer loyalty and
• Investment potential
The Pillars of Customer Delight
Realising these benefits requires acceptance that embracing digital demands a company think, re-
think, and think again about its relevance to existing and future customers—from developing new
engagement and service models to transforming business architecture.
Digital is about continually identifying, understanding and responding to the ways that technolo-
gy is reshaping our world and how customers respond to that change. We identified the following
factors that we believe shape the digital debate:
Customers are better informed now, and fully empowered at every stage of engagement
The digital world has given rise to the non-stop customer. Consideration and engagement are now
mostly on their terms and organisations must adapt to this.
Competition has changed, both in source and in nature
Digital is changing the competitive landscape. Across industries, traditional players are exploring
new identities and new entrants are broadening the landscape of ‘the possible’ through delvering
innovative products and services.
While technology empowers individual customers, it is disrupting markets and businesses
The volume and pace of technology and device innovation is unprecedented. And, most compa-
nies are struggling to keep pace with the multitude of new platforms and solutions available. Those
that elected to ‘wait and see’ have fallen behind or gone out of business.
Digital has unlocked new avenues and opportunities to delight customers and increasing their own
relevance. Maximising these opportunities requires a “front to back” approach to delivering endur-
ing customer satisfaction and engagement at varying levels of scale.
The start point must be identifying the parts of the business visible to customers and then assess-
ing internal operations and technology infrastructure against customer requirements. There are
three fundamental elements to delivering a customer-centric digital transformation.
Guarantee satisfied customers
Companies must understand their customers in order to design excellent omni-channel experienc-
es and engagement. Customer systems should be relevant, simple and elegant.
Refocus the business towards the customer
Companies must focus brand management and the operating model toward customer-centricity
and agility, while embedding feedback and analytics into the business infrastructure. Business
systems should be effective, efficient and deliver strong returns on investment.
Create a flexible and agile business
Optimising the marketing, content and commerce technology infrastructure—while responding to
changing customer needs—enhances customer experiences and business operations. Systems
should be robust, scalable and capable of rapid deployment.
Succeeding with a digital transformation requires combining and executing these elements togeth-
er, even across varying maturities. The outcome can be breakthrough performance. This can be
accelerated effectiveness and efficiency of the current business, driving growth. In addition, it can
be a differentiator in the market through launching new products or services that delight custom-
ers. The ultimate reward is becoming a digital disruptor, setting the standard for the market.
There are actions that organisations can undertake today, that will ensure their business remains
focused on the customer and in turn, provide a competitive advantage: