Digital or DigiTale?

Is the claim of being a “digital enterprise” pure rhetoric? How clued in are companies that profess all things digital? A recent visit to the local branch of a multinational bank got me thinking about the state of digital experience. And it was an eye opener – there is a huge gap in what customer’s expect from “digital” versus what companies mean/offer.

This brings to light a very pertinent question – how should organizations measure themselves on the digital scale. Do the same metrics also make sense from a customer standpoint? And how do they fix the gaps?

Let’s start with the customer. Customers expect a better experience – now this can mean many things. But, at a minimum, it is the actual experience of performing a transaction – they expect it to be easier in the digital world. Additionally, they expect lower transaction costs or more benefits like a higher interest for their deposits. They expect seamless, error-free interactions with the brand, and ability to fix issues virtually – not having to visit the store or call customer service. They expect relevant offers, not random calls or emails. After all, companies have access to a huge pile of customer data to make sense of – from customer demographic to transaction details in addition to data from social media and credit card spend.

Customers also expect more transparency in the process, for example, if a customer has applied for a home loan, they would like to know next steps without having to follow up with the bank. From a customer standpoint, the expectations are similar no matter whether they are dealing with a bank or a communication service provider.

From an organization’s perspective, going digital should mean better customer service that translates into more revenue, more customers, increased revenue per customer, higher customer satisfaction, lower operational costs, reduced churn, and ability to introduce new products quickly. All these outcomes can be tied to metrics that fall into the realm of the digitization business. Tracking these metrics is a key aspect of any digital transformation journey especially since this is not a simple one-off project.

In reality, there is a gap between organizations view of digitization and the actual experience. This is because many organizations believe that deploying a mobile app and a better-looking interface makes them digital. Many companies have also invested in analytics to create “Next Best Action” and personalized recommendations. But these are not well integrated with all delivery channels. While these initiatives can help as part of the digital journey, they are not the end-all. There lies a plethora of systems and processes between the app and the back-end core transaction systems that need to be digitized. While there is the technology aspect, the bigger challenge will be in the process digitization and the related human aspects. Changing the mindset of the staff to be more agile, and in tune with the new digitized world could make the difference between speaking the DigiTALE and actually standing DigiTAL.

Arvind Purushothaman

Practice Head and Senior Director – Information Management & Analytics, Virtusa. Arvind has more than 19 years of industry experience, with focus on planning and executing Data Management and Analytics initiatives. He has a comprehensive understanding of the IT industry best practices, technologies, architectures and emerging technologies and his role includes: Designing and overseeing implementation of end-to-end data management initiatives and delivering architectural initiatives that drive revenue and improve efficiency in line with business strategy including technology rationalization in line with emerging technologies. Prior to taking on this role, he was involved in architecting and designing Centers of Excellence (COEs) as well as service delivery functions focused on Information Management encompassing traditional Data Warehousing, Master Data Management and Analytical reporting. Arvind’s previous experience includes stints in organizations such as PwC, Oracle and Sanofi before joining Virtusa. Arvind is a prolific speaker and has represented various industry forums including UNICOM and Gartner BI events. He has also presented a number of webinars on HR Analytics. Arvind graduated from BITS, Pilani, and obtained his MBA from Georgia State University.

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