Alexander Rinke, Co-founder and Co-CEO, Celonis, discusses the future of enterprise and how to implement digital transformation in a way that drives improved customer experience
If you want to see the future of the enterprise, you don’t need a crystal ball. Instead, simply look at how consumer businesses have evolved: What happened five years ago in consumer software is what’s happening now in enterprise software.
Consumer-facing disruptors like Amazon, Netflix and Uber learned early on that flawless customer experiences would be the key to accelerated growth, and they leveraged cutting-edge digital technology to create those experiences. Today, these kinds of perfect customer journeys are considered the baseline, and global companies face constant pressure to meet rising customer expectations.
Business decision makers expect the same level of experience in their work environment as in their personal lives, and the smartest brands are already taking business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) experiences to the next level with new customer-centric technologies like digital personal assistants and virtual reality. These intelligent business solutions make today an exciting time for businesses because the opportunity to transform has never been greater.
Winning organizations are keeping pace, driving productivity gains through initiatives like lean manufacturing and automation to stay competitive. The risk for many organizations is that they move too slowly or that they don’t remove the roadblocks hidden in core business processes that prevent fast and efficient service. Removing these roadblocks frees resources and valuable time, resulting in dramatic improvements to the customer experience.
Digital transformation is a key to creating excellent customer experiences, and the imperative to modernize is increasing every day. So, with the clock ticking, here’s how to accelerate your transformation in five simple steps:
1. Develop A Purpose-Driven Approach
A successful digital transformation journey succeeds when it’s attached to a purposeful set of initiatives and aligned with customer ambitions. Whether you’re aiming to free up employees’ time or speed up deliveries, having a clear end goal will help leaders to inspire action. Set up systems to operationalize change, monitor project key performance indicators and get all employees inspired to take actions that drive toward goals to keep everyone on track.
2. Become Digital On The Inside
A customer-focused digital transformation program shouldn’t be a superficial activity. Launching a new customer-facing app or having an active social media presence is good, but it’s all just smoke and mirrors if you don’t have the right back-end processes in place. Customers will see right through it if you’re not getting the basics right. Focus instead on developing a digital infrastructure that will scale as your business grows and ensures your customers get what they want when they want it. Investing in an intelligent solution to power your digital infrastructure means transforming from the inside out.
3. Put Your Employees First
Happy employees will deliver better service to your customers. So, what are the processes slowing them down and frustrating them? How can they be freed up to deliver a more thoughtful and personable service? Focus on this first. Choose the right digital solutions to free up their creative and strategic capabilities, and you’ll have a workforce more motivated to provide exceptional experiences and grow the business.
4. Become One Team
Customers don’t want to, and shouldn’t have to, navigate a company’s internal structure. To a customer, your company is one team, and while it’s unrealistic to break down every single barrier in an organization, some walls must crumble to encourage collaboration and make sure customers have the view of one united team. Senior leadership should equip employees with intelligent technologies that power greater collaboration and transparency across the organization. This will help to break down silos and drive a company-wide digital transformation.
5. Create An Intelligent Digital Nervous System
One of the biggest challenges for organizations arises when they identify an inefficiency that’s hampering customer experience but then don’t know where to start in resolving it. Metrics alone are rarely enough to make smart, fast decisions, so companies need an intelligent digital nervous system. These sorts of intelligent systems are built upon data from within enterprise systems and turned into actionable insights without the biases and opinions that often delay the decision-making process.
There has never been such opportunity for businesses to transform as there is today, and companies that focus their efforts on more transparent, faster and better customer-focused processes will be in the strongest position to keep up the pace.