Accelerating Digital Adoption: Immersion in Customer Journey and Advanced Customer Measurement


Hero Digital is pleased to feature this article by Barbara Lehman, a transformative leader who specializes in ushering organizations into the digital enterprise era. Read the full article below to learn how to accelerate digital adoption at your organization.

The relationship between brands and customers has shifted to digital. As a result, business leaders across all industries are investing heavily in new digital tools that improve efficiency and cut costs.

Shifting customers to digital requires a formal program that begins with understanding your goals and how digital transformation aligns with them. Evaluating your organization’s change readiness is also crucial to identifying the path and steps necessary for accelerating digital adoption. 

Paramount to success is a customer-first focus with all areas and business models aligned and driving to deliver a cohesive customer experience journey. Top customer-centric brands leverage a holistic approach that permeates the entire organization creating new value, increasing growth, and driving operational excellence.

With top customer-centric brands raising the bar, customers’ expectations have risen. Now, it’s not just in comparison to others in your space but across industries. 

Some considerations will include the following:

  • What is the ideal customer journey? What vital digital capabilities and features must first be enabled? Enablement is critical, including exception handling and the next best action for the customer.
  • What business policies potentially conflict with these goals? For instance, deciding whether to waive or eliminate fees for customers should also consider how revenue from these fees is handled from revenue goals in the field.
  • What are the potential objections and scope of change required? A comprehensive change management plan and program governance will be necessary.
  • What data is available and understanding of customer behavior? Is there a measurement framework developed? For instance, data that shows when customers are calling through a specific journey and why are critical to understanding customer challenges and proactively managing them to digital. Interviews and other customer VOC efforts to understand today’s experience and potential opportunities to improve that experience and perhaps re-image/innovate on today’s products and services.
  • Executive sponsorship from the top-down fully embraces an immersive customer experience and is committed to the investment necessary to drive this shift for both the customer and internal organization.
Customer Journey Development Cycle to Accelerate Digital Adoption

Map Current and Ideal Customer Journeys 

To make substantial change and drive meaningful digital adoption, a deep understanding of the desired customer journey is needed. Items to consider in your strategy include the following: 

The strategies and tactics to encourage customers on the preferred path. For instance, when customers call in to make a payment, what tactics are employed so they are likely to self-serve the next time they need to make a payment. 

Are there services that need to be updated to meet customers’ higher expectations? Are the new opportunities to provide real value to customers that are not provided today?

How will all accountable teams/individuals be measured? 

What are the key customer performance metrics used to evaluate progress?

Customer-centric Measurement Framework

Building and measuring all components of a customer journey can take time and money.  

  • Start with a few key metrics and the core of what you are trying to solve. Suppose you are trying to take calls out of your call center. In that case, call center data is essential to understand current challenges and provides a baseline to measure as new adoption strategies and capabilities are launched. Other key measurements to consider are customer performance measurements like NPS (Net Promoter Score) and CSAT (Customer Satisfaction).
  • Create a “Northstar” Digital Contact Share measurement to understand high-level progress to shift customer behavior. The metric evaluates the customer’s mix of channel interaction, at which digital contact is produced compared to other channels.
  • Set goals to increase the digital adoption rate. It will be essential to have stakeholders also signed up and measured against the plan in most organizations.

Intense focus and advanced analytics on existing customer behavior

Why are customers calling? What does the data tell you? Is it identifying gaps in service or communication? Where can these be improved, and where are there opportunities to manage customers’ expectations, especially if you can’t solve for the ideal state right now.

With your customer journey output, analysis of existing customer behavior is essential to identify opportunities to improve, re-imagine or innovate. Thoughtful consideration is also necessary to ensure an experience works end-to-end and that customer messaging is clear and concise. Otherwise, it can potentially generate a call due to confusion.

An intelligence-driven platform is fundamental to digital transformation and a longer-term digital-based enterprise. Leveraging the data in your organization along with advanced tools and methods to systematically understand where a customer is in their journey, based on intelligence, and personalization, proactively communicate with the customer through preferred channels, streamline and prepare them for the next step in the journey.

For example, if the customer is complete, what is the next step to keep them engaged and is specific to their needs as a customer? The initial work to build out this functionality and practice is detailed and requires advanced analytical skills. If you don’t have this skill set in-house, I recommend looking for experts to do the foundational work.

Common Challenges in Driving Digital Adoption

First and foremost, the biggest challenge usually to driving adoption is driving change. Driving digital adoption can impact the operating model, how you do business, and ultimately how people work.

Other considerations include:

  • Culture – What are the core competencies in the organization? Does the organization have a continuous improvement “growth” mindset?
  • Talent – It is critical to hire individuals who will bring the right skill sets and competencies to meet the future needs of the organization.
  • Legacy systems, processes, and department owners will likely be stakeholders that will need to be included in this effort from the beginning. This can be a great opportunity to streamline from front-end experiences to back-end systems and leverage cloud technologies.
  • Executive Sponsorship is crucial to maintaining support with business partners and the funding necessary to drive the changes and awareness necessary to see impactful results.
  • Traditional operating model methods can slow down progress in an organization and may not be adaptive to an ever-changing business landscape. Leveraging an agile-like framework for specific processes and projects beyond development could provide stronger agility capabilities as an organization.

Leadership Points – Driving Digital Adoption

Acceleration of digital adoption strategies starts with a focus on the customer experience coupled with a robust and concentrated approach to advanced analytics and a comprehensive customer insights practice.

  • Digital Adoption efforts should align to broader company purpose and goals. Do you want a digital first approach? Are there areas it is critical to lead with another channel?
  • Leverage a holistic approach that permeates the entire organization creating new value, increasing growth, and driving operational excellence.
  • Embrace “digital enterprise” methodologies and competencies. Successful strategies in driving adoption begin with information readily available to inform the journey and provide the right experience at the right time. Solutions that can manage and move functions and services to cloud technologies can allow for quicker delivery to production and the ability to adapt in the longer term.
  • A comprehensive change management plan is a critical element to success.

Once changes to the customer journeys are live continuous improvement by customer insights, performance measurement, and internal indicators are critical to understanding where you have improved or potentially disrupted previous experiences and where there are opportunities to optimize. Living journeys, the ongoing management of journeys requires continued assessment of performance, A/B testing of new experiences, customer feedback and intelligence to understand where the customer is in their journey and how can you intelligently engage them before they call, and what is the next action in the journey so that customer is being clearly guided through their experience.

A formalized plan and approach will provide the governance and ability to manage programs and results for most organizations effectively. In my experience, these efforts take dedicated resources, investment, and reasonable time to deliver.

It can take time to shift customers and usually does not happen overnight. It requires building awareness of the capabilities available, the customer’s time, the tactics, and support at any touchpoint to move these customers to digital interactions. Each material improvement or new service will drive value for the organization and customer, ultimately providing the opportunity for additional growth.

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