This blog is taken from our recent Digital Transformation Strategy whitepaper, which covers the topic in more depth and detail. To receive a free copy of this White paper, please fill out the form at the end of the article
Here’s the crux of it - to deliver an outstanding customer experience you have to build your digital transformation strategy on the right technology solution stack.
Successfully delivering multichannel interactions offers choice and convenience, encouraging greater customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.
From the customer’s perspective it’s all about getting rapid and up-to-date information and access to services, when and how they want it. From the service provider’s standpoint it’s all about maximising efficiencies through new digital technology in order to lower costs, improve customer services, and ultimately win customer loyalty and enhance brand reputation.
With the ever-shifting regulatory backdrop - including both rewards and penalties for organisations not fully committed to customer service, coupled with higher customer expectations and freedom to choose - these things have moved from nice to haves, to essential must haves for Social Housing and NHS organisations.
For everyday interactions with their service providers, customers are increasingly embracing digital channels, both online and mobile. The share of digitally active customers has significantly increased everywhere over the past few years—across the whole of society, even those considered to be the most disadvantaged.
This whole society embrace of digital communication, coupled with an ever more digitally savvy workforce and evolving work practices that rely on mobile technologies, means that an effective, end-to-end digital transformation strategy has to be devised—and, just as importantly, implemented—on a solid technical foundation so as to facilitate the delivery of the best customer experience.
Digital Transformation is a way to deploy and take advantage of digital business to achieve business objectives faster and less expensively, whilst delivering outstanding customer experiences.
In short, the adoption of these new digital technologies makes for happier and more productive employees—which lowers costs, all the while providing a better customer experience and, ultimately, competitive differentiation.
Integration and collaboration are at the heart of delivering great customer experience
Today, nearly three decades after the invention of the internet, we can say that we have embarked on the next generation of the digital business journey—which is rapidly evolving and maturing. This swift pace of change is fuelled by a combination of both incredibly powerful technology and cultural trends, both of which are driving NHS and Social Housing organisations completely to reinvent their employee/customer experience, business models, and processes.
One strong pillar and enabler of this is technology. So, whilst for practical and financial consideration it is perfectly acceptable to evaluate and implement discrete facets of this business puzzle (for example a new website, intranet, portal or collaboration tool), organisations must do so whilst keeping in mind the bigger picture—the overall “technology platform stack”. In particular the “integration” layer which forms the foundation and lynchpin for effectively, securely and seamlessly providing access to your organisation’s core business systems that are essential for delivering “self service” to your customers, and “best service” for your staff.
Clearly you need a digital business strategy that should, first and foremost, address the needs and the expectations of your customers who expect seamless, secure experiences extended across the digital and physical worlds, but also those of employees—who increasingly rely on digital productivity and collaboration tools and virtual workspaces to get their job done.
In this era of digital your organisation cannot meet the expectations of your customers (let alone delight them), without first properly defining an effective digital strategy together with a well laid out plan for implementing.
And this digital transformation strategy cannot practically and cost effectively be delivered, and maintained on an ongoing basis, without having in place the right technology solution stack—one which powers the delivery of the digital strategy and evolves and grows as your requirements do.
The pragmatic approach, and one that often delivers the best outcome, is obviously to focus on the areas that require more immediate attention and, therefore, updating or replacing to address more immediate business requirements—such as your website, intranet, existing portal etc.
After all, the pace of advancement and uptake in digital technologies—further accelerated by increased ubiquity of social media—means that most organisations couldn’t have had an appropriate, realistic and affordable digital strategy in place even three or so years ago. Therefore, whilst some (or, at times, most) of the pieces might be in place, it is almost certain that these wouldn’t be seamlessly integrated, or easily adaptable to extend into a unified solution stack.
So, in order to deliver the best, most “future proofed” and flexible digital transformation solution for your organisation, you must first define your strategy and implementation plan.
Then you should invest in a designed-for-purpose solution stack that has integration and extensibility in its DNA, allowing you to roll out the overall solution in well-defined phases; this enables you to start in one area, deliver quick wins, and then move on to address others confidently—knowing you’ll not end up in any blind alleys.
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