"We need to assess our digital maturity."
"As you know from our strategy, we must become more customer-centric if we want to stay ahead of our competition."
"So, without a complete digital transformation, we will never be able to be customer-centric. I'd like to assess where we are."
My client’s request makes complete sense. To respond to customer/consumer needs faster, more smoothly, and with increased quality solutions, a fully digital organization will fare much better than one still struggling to digitalize its processes. In truly digital organisations, customer and consumer data is shared across almost instantly, collaboration increases, and the quality of the information is high. And these elements contribute to increased customer satisfaction.
If your people are internally focused, if they lack curiosity and empathy, if they think they know what your customer needs, in a nutshell if they don’t have a customer-oriented mindset, your digital systems may still fail to provide the increased customer satisfaction you are looking for. Digital transformations that solely focus on technology and where the human factor comes as an afterthought are not successful. For digital transformations to be successful, organisations need to anchor it in a clear purpose, expressed in terms of what value it adds to its customers and the role that employees play in delivering that value.
If you want to digitally transform successfully, you need to work on your culture at the same time to embed customer-centricity, or it will take a very long time to see a tangible impact on business outcomes. Digital transformations need to place the customer at the centre and build seamless experiences around it. A truly customer-centric organisation is built from the outside-in. It is curious, humble, and has the ability to put itself in the shoes of others to acquire a different perspective.
To quote a leader I interviewed when working on culture for digital transformation:
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