A digital transformation strategy helps an organization leverage technology to create new business processes, culture, and customer experiences, or modify existing ones, to deliver more value. This differs from a digitization strategy, which focuses on using technology to automate existing business processes. To do this effectively, leaders must understand what their customers want and need, and then design solutions that deliver value.
According to Vijay Pereira of NEOMA Business School, digital transformation requires a holistic and integrated approach that considers all aspects of an organization, from people and culture to processes and technology. “It’s important to consider how each of these areas needs to change for the transformation to be successful,” Pereira said in an interview. “Only by taking a holistic view can you develop a digital transformation strategy that will be successful in the long term.”
When developing a digital transformation strategy, leaders should start by understanding the customer journey and mapping the touchpoints where digital solutions can make a difference. Once they clearly understand their customers’ needs, they can design digital solutions that will improve the customer experience. Indeed, customer experience is often one of the main objectives of a digital transformation strategy. According to a study conducted by American Express, 86% of customers say they are willing to pay more for a better customer experience.
Adobe recently released a large-scale study, including 12,000 global consumers, in which 69% said providing valuable personal experiences was key to rebuilding trust. This is especially critical in markets where trust drives customer loyalty and longevity. According to Anjul Bhambhri, senior vice president of Adobe Experience Cloud, digital trust is critical to success in the experience economy. “In the experience economy, companies should be obsessed with creating experiences that are not only personal and relevant, but also trustworthy. Successful companies reap rewards in loyalty and customer advocacy” , Bhambhri said in an interview.
Adobe research found that nearly three-quarters of consumers will switch to another company if they don’t trust a company’s data handling practices. Additionally, customers are almost three times more likely to become brand advocates if they trust the company.
Jack Tillotson of the University of Vaasa suggests that trust develops when technology is viewed as an experience enabler, not a product benefit. “We know that technology supports building personalized experiences across environments that include the business, consumers, and various other vendors and partners,” he said in an interview. Tillotson later asserted that experience environments incorporate the importance of product benefits and channels when attempting to support unique consumer interactions and accommodate the different individual preferences and contexts of those interactions. .
That said, according to Pereira, commerce ecosystems need to shift away from product benefits and features and towards the goal of creating trustworthy end-to-end customer experiences. “Only then will we see an increase in trust across the system,” he said. One such example is Haier. The Chinese company, which started out as a refrigerator maker, now sells everything from air conditioners to washing machines. As a result, it has established a dominant position in the market – the world’s leading home appliance brand for thirteen consecutive years – by becoming a platform provider that creates solutions for its countless ecosystem partners in the whole world. Here are five lessons learned from the rise of Haier that can help you conceptualize an effective digital transformation strategy.
1. Define what trust means for your organization: What does it mean to be trustworthy? This is a loaded question with different answers for different companies. Take the time to sit down and think about what trust means for your brand. For Haier, reliability is based on three core values: quality, design and service. This means customers can be confident that their products will be well-made, good-looking, and backed by engaging customer service.
2. Establish trusted practices: Once you know what trust means to your business, you can start implementing practices that will help build trust with your customers. This can include being transparent about data processing, providing helpful and prompt customer service, and keeping your promises. For Haier, this always means putting the customer first. Thus, when the company develops new products, it prioritizes customer feedback and responds to customer needs.
3. Foster a culture of trust: A company’s culture plays an important role in determining whether customers will trust it or not. So make sure your employees are on board with your trust-building practices and understand the importance of providing a trustworthy customer experience. For Haier, this includes regularly training employees on customer service best practices and ensuring that everyone, from the CEO to entry-level staff, is focused on delivering an exceptional customer experience.
4. Measure trust: Next, you need to measure the levels of trust within your organization to assess whether your efforts are paying off. Trust is often thought of as an intangible concept, but there are ways to measure it. For example, try conducting customer surveys or Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys to get a sense of your customers’ trust in your business. For Haier, this helps them refine their customer service strategy and ensure they always put the customer first.
5. Promote Your Trusted Reputation: Finally, once you have established a relationship of trust with your customers, it is essential to promote your reputation of trust. This will help attract new customers and retain existing customers. You can share customer testimonials, write blog posts about your trust-building efforts, or even create a social media campaign. For Haier, this includes using the #trusthaier hashtag to show customers they can trust the brand.
Digital trust is critical to success in today’s experience economy. By definition, trust is confidence in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. In the world of customer experience, trust is built when a company asserts itself as reliable, truthful, helpful and competent. Only then, says Tillotson, will customers feel confident doing business with this company.
In summary, digital transformation is a journey, not a destination. To be successful, companies must begin by understanding their customers’ needs and then designing digital solutions that meet those needs. By doing so, they can build trust with their customers and create lasting relationships.