A great digital experience is what your customers want—from seamless onboarding, to intuitive interfaces, to effortless self-service and support. No one wants to hunt for information or get pushed offline into a complex and convoluted process. While many organizations are digitizing at rapid speed, others are falling behind. According to Forbes, 84% of companies fail at digital transformation. If only 1 in 8 gets it right, what goes wrong? Below we explore best practices for digitizing business processes.
Put Your Customer at the Centre
There are many tools to create better digital processes, but one that can move the needle for you is user-centred design (UCD). This design process focuses on gaining a deep understanding of the whole user experience. More specifically, ISO 9241-210:2010 defines this as “an approach to interactive systems development that aims to make systems usable and useful by focusing on the users, their needs and requirements, and by applying human factors, and usability knowledge and techniques.”
Your organization needs to commit to understanding the context of use as a starting point. This is not easy and involves more than your internal team ideating in a room with other smart people. The key is to involve users throughout the design and development process (no kidding!) and understand their distinct requirements and goals. Plug into your front line teams to gather feedback on how current processes look and feel for your customer. Too often we lose focus on who we are developing a solution for and miss the opportunity to understand what will make a real difference.
Start With the Vision and Work Backwards
Having understood your customer’s needs, the next step is to define a shared vision of how your digitized process could work. A compelling vision will define the holistic customer journey, and connect across silos in your organization. It’s important to first focus on this future state, without regard for current constraints. Once a compelling vision has been described, constraints can be reintroduced and addressed. Planning from a common view can help individual teams inside and outside your organization work on a shared solution as part of the whole.
Fully Commit to an End-to-End Digital Customer Experience
What many companies get wrong when taking processes online, is not committing to digitizing the entire process. Great processes to take online are infrequent requests that are likely to cause confusion for your customer. What many companies get wrong when taking processes online, is not committing to digitizing the entire process. Great processes to take online are infrequent requests that are likely to cause confusion for your customer. Let’s use the example of disputing a credit card transaction. It’s all too easy to push this customer dispute offline, but when you make this process digital, it’s a huge opportunity to transform what is often a stressful, complex and time-consuming transaction for your customer into a huge win. It’s a great way to demonstrate you care about your customer, instead of causing more ‘delays’ in their life.
Replacing or upgrading systems can be fraught with fear of disrupting processes that at least on the surface seem to be working. Leaders need to have the courage to take their organizations down the transformation path. To be willing to sacrifice familiarity, and the “devil you know” to meet contemporary needs.
The benefits from digitization are well known, but the implementation process has its unique set of challenges. By putting customers’ needs at the centre and fully committing, companies can speed up their transformation and create meaningful digital experiences.
About the Author
VP, Payment & Lending Solutions
Mike Gray leads our Payment & Lending Solutions practice from our Toronto office.