The principal reason for embarking on digital transformation is to improve customer experience, which goes a long way to assure brand loyalty; if the right culture is missing, the whole project will end in a colossal failure. Sometimes, the bottleneck brands have in ensuring digital transformation may not be the technical input, this may be there, but without the right culture and behavior, the project you set out to accomplish is dead on arrival.
Customers will churn because there is no way you can address their pain points. Your employees and their mindsets are more important than any new technology you want to integrate, you need their total cooperation and collaboration to ensure the success of your digital transformation initiatives.
Some brands tend to overlook the importance of culture in digital transformation, but Forrester says that culture and talent are big reasons that contribute to the failure of digital transformation. You may seem to be succeeding with your initiatives, but the impact of culture will eventually creep in and disrupt whatever you think you have achieved.
Any culture that’s not digital and innovative cannot take into consideration customers’ satisfaction and is bound to fail.
So, what do you need to do to create a digital and innovative culture that drives customer experience?
1. Outline your digital transformation motive
Focusing on what you want to achieve is the basis for the success of any digital transformation project. And you must seek inputs from your customers. You can achieve this by asking for customers’ reviews.
Another area of interest is monitoring the competition, which you can also achieve through accessing product review data from eCommerce sites such as Amazon. Strange occurrences such as the Y2K crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic are clear indicators that cultures can change drastically.
In the case of the pandemic, people have to adapt to a new normal. Remote working took effect, brands reconsidered traditional ideas/cultures about teams and departments, thought of digital transformation initiatives that add more value to customer interactions, tore down siloes, and quickly adopted collaboration tools to carry out business transactions.
McKinsey & Company, reveals that the COVID-19 crisis has leapfrogged how brands interact with their customers by three years globally and are accelerating digital transformation by seven years. Culture is changing at a rapid rate, and everything is geared towards customer satisfaction.
The most important thing for any brand is to set out the roadmap and get every employee to key in.
2. Digital strategy
According to a Constellation Research survey of 100 Fortune 500 CIOs, 77.3% of the CIOs said their top priority in 2021, is digital transformation. While this may sound laudable, digital transformation rests squarely on your strategy, you just don’t embark on digital transformation without a sound strategy.
What is your action plan? How will that help to reposition your business? How does it rest with your customers? Does it have the view of transforming the brand’s culture?
It must be innovative; operations and business models have to change, leveraging emerging technologies. It must involve a way of aligning your new business model with the model in operation.
The whole idea is to make your business more efficient and ultimately produce a new value for your customers.
3. Changing employees’ mindset
Once an employee is engaged, the first thing the brand should do is to spell out the dos and don’ts. These set of rules are the company’s culture, the way of doing things within the organization. What you need to consider at this point is the quality of skills you have; do you need to retrain? Do you need to hire new hands?
Where you don’t have enough financial resources, you can consider outsourcing some tasks. Expectedly, you may have to face some resistance from employees, but that should not deter you; if they understand why some certain cultures have to change and new ones adopted for the general good of the organization, they will key in.
Realizing that the brand is embarking on changes in culture to remain relevant, satisfy the customer, and make better-equipped employees, they know that it’s decision time. The time to stay put and acquire new skills through internal or online training, or “throw in the towel.”
For digital transformation, you must need data scientists and employees that are skilled in AI, however, that is not all you need. The strategy must be focused on an entirely new digital culture, so you just don’t need a few professionals to ensure this.
It borders on a holistic change in attitude and beliefs. If you don’t work hard towards changing your culture, you can as well forget everything about digital transformation.
4. The importance of KPIs to measure and improve digital culture implementation
Once you have succeeded in launching your digital transformation project, you need to measure your degree of success, how employees are adapting to the new digital cultures. This is where you strongly need key performance indicators (KPIs) as a veritable management tool.
This will ensure you keep the focus on the accomplishment of specific tasks, and also, the achievement of outcomes. Employees who know that their accomplishments are being measured and monitored will endeavor to stay on course. Some important KPIs you may want to track include a combination of external and internal success metrics, Operational Improvement, and customer experience.
Your degree of digital transformation success to a large extent depends on how you leverage KPIs for managing and directing daily or weekly activities. If the results of your digital transformation ROI are not encouraging, the problem will be due to an underdeveloped digital
culture, and that must be from the fact that you failed to address culture early enough.
The success of your digital culture adoption has a lot to do with the team you build, however, there is a great need to change management behavior. The management must be seen to be displaying good leadership, and there is the absolute need to incorporate staff with diverse expertise from across the organization when building your team.
Since some levels of risks have to be taken by employees, leadership becomes a critical issue in building a culture that is tolerant of risk. With good leadership, employees will be more willing to take the necessary risks.
What I clearly understand from this piece is that a moribund culture can’t support digital transformation. Organizational culture is important for any digital transformation initiative. Thanks for pointing out this fact.