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

Arvind Purushothaman leads the Data & Analytics practice at Virtusa. He has over 22 years of experience in this space, and focuses on Data consulting, Data Engineering, Analytics and AI/ML.

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