What really is digital transformation? Source: Shutterstock

What really is digital transformation? Source: Shutterstock

Why your CX strategy needs to plan ahead for DX failures

THIS YEAR, digital transformation is a priority for every business leader and company. In fact, companies will spend up to US$1.18 trillion on digital transformation this year according to IDC.

By definition, digital transformation is the introduction of technology-driven applications and processes in order to achieve operational efficiency and provide a better customer experience.

For most companies, the race to go digital involves running several pilots and projects, often simultaneously.

Naturally, when some projects fail, they might temporarily hinder ‘business as usual’, disrupt workflows, and be an inconvenience to customers. Truth be told, a large percentage (up to 70 percent depending on the industry) of digital transformation projects fail.

According to Gucci Head of Strategic Gamification and digital transformation consultant Anders Lange, companies should assume their digital transformation pilots and projects will fail and they should budget for it.

“I think we should adopt a culture that says it’s okay to fail. We can learn a lot from other people, but those are not learning processes that are adapted to your culture, your set of KPIs, your management, your people. You can’t just copy others – you need to have your own learning process.

“Of course, you can go some way towards minimizing failure by learning from others, but there are limits to that. The unique lessons, you have to learn first-hand.”

While Lange emphasizes on the importance of budgeting to fail, companies should realize that the digital transformation failures could cause customers to be frustrated and completely destroy the experience they’re working so hard to create.

The key to accelerating digital transformation, therefore, is to create a great customer experience (CX) strategy that plans ahead to salvage the company’s reputation and goodwill in the event of a major failure.

Recently, when British Airways had an IT failure, customer’s didn’t seem to happy with how they were handled. The company might have a CX strategy in place, but it’s not something that the jumped out from the way that the disruption was handled.

On the other hand, Marriott International faced a data breach (which is a kind of IT failure too), and the company seemed to handle it quite well — saving it reputation and winning customers’ hearts.

Marriott’s team seemed to be doing a good job speaking to customers about the cyberattack and answering questions they had about the risks they would be facing and the measures they can take to protect themselves.

Overall, the reality is that avoiding disruptions during the digital transformation of a company might be difficult, but those that want to ensure that customers are always happy should focus on planning ahead and designing a good CX.