In order to make meaningful progress on key projects driving a company’s digital transformation, teams need to understand their digital maturity: where they are now, where they want to go, and how they’re going to get there. Digital maturity allows organizations to adapt to consumer demands faster, and also helps companies grow. In fact, 43% of digitally mature companies see higher net profits.

Organizations that are digitally mature can adapt to changes in the market quickly, keep up with disruptors and implement emerging technologies faster. They work from an integrated strategy that is understood by the entire organization and can leverage their tech stack to get a 360° view of their customers.

Identify Top Digital Experience Issues and Opportunities

It seems like an obvious first step, but it’s important for organizations to clearly understand what core business issue needs to be addressed. It can be something small, but if improved, would make a big impact.

For example, maybe a bank would want to digitize the paper-based processes that are required when a client wants to transfer their assets from another bank. It might not happen daily, but when it does it’s a lengthy and complex process.

Often, these are the steps:

  • A customer has to book a meeting with an advisor in the branch.
  • At the meeting, the customer has to provide various forms of ID and fill out several paper forms.
  • The advisor has to verify everything is correct and fax it or mail it to the other bank.
  • The customer has to also fill out paperwork for all of the new accounts at the bank they’re transferring to and wait for the advisor to set them up.
  • Days, or even weeks later the bank’s back-office processes the paperwork.
  • If there are errors, the customer will be called days later to provide missing information.

In a digital-first world, improving a process like this sounds like a no-brainer. Customers don’t want to deal with paper, or spend days or weeks on a banking transaction. But many organizations put off re-imagining these kinds of processes because they don’t happen often. But, they shouldn’t be ignored. When they are completed, they bring in thousands of dollars.

Once organizations successfully digitize a project like this, they’ll quickly uncover the benefits and identify similar processes to improve. As they do that, they’ll not only cross projects off their backlog faster than anticipated, they’ll also motivate employees and enhance their customer experience.

Related Article: 5 Ways to Keep CX at the Middle of Digital Transformation

Let Employees Experiment

Reaching digital maturity comes with change, and often entails a 180 degree shift in culture. If your teams are always heads down, and working off of business requirements, letting them take the reins will be a big adjustment. But it’s worth it. Organizations that experiment are more likely to turn small initiatives into enterprise-wide projects.

Here are some changes organizations can make that will help shift their culture to one of experimentation:

  • Hackathons: Not only do they serve as a great team building tool, hackathons carve out space for your teams to innovate — an important aspect of employee well-being and the overall performance of your organization. They bring together technical and business experts to solve problems and build prototypes. At the end of the hackathon, each group presents their new solution. Facebook’s “like” button came to life from a hackathon, but not all ideas need to be implemented immediately — the true benefit comes from the innovative way of thinking. It helps organizations flex their experimentation muscle, something that will move them closer to digital maturity.
  • Embrace failure: Not every experiment is going to work as planned, but cultures that truly embrace experimentation aren’t phased by failure. For example, if a retailer decides to change its online UX, but discovers after a few weeks that it’s not getting as many clicks on its sale items, it’s easy to revert the changes back. Early failure should be seen by leaders as a positive because it leaves more time for learnings and to find alternative solutions.
  • Give business users more power: In a digitally mature organization, business users have the power to improve their own processes. Instead of sitting through requirements meetings and customer journey walkthroughs, they’re given tools that allow them to make the changes they think are required. For example, HR doesn’t have to wait months to get an online onboarding form created–they can do it themselves. When employees closest to the process get to use technology to drive process improvements, they’ll be motivated by the fast results, and become champions for it across the organization.

Build Iteratively and Gather Feedback

When it comes to gathering feedback, less digitally mature organizations might take months to create a solution, then launch it and discover it’s not solving the problem like they hoped it would.

Learning Opportunities

On the other hand, digitally mature organizations launch minimal viable products (MVP) quickly and then optimize as they go. They also tend to prioritize initiatives that drive organizational agility.

For example, a bank might want to update all of their credit card application forms. They’re finding that they’re not meeting their targets and want to create a digital experience to make it easier for customers to apply. The problem is, they’re waiting for their new customer relationship manager (CRM) solution to be implemented, which could take several more months.

A digitally mature bank would complete the digital credit card experience and launch it while the new CRM is still being implemented. In the meantime they’ll gather insights into overall engagement and submission rates, which generates valuable insights around user drop-off and incompletions.

Once the CRM implementation is complete, they can integrate the solutions and provide customers with an end-to-end digital experience. The benefit of launching the front-end experience first is that they’ve gained insights they would have been waiting months to find out had they waited for the CRM project to be up and running.

Related Article: What Makes Customer Experience Agile?

Keep Enhancing Digital Maturity

An integral part of reaching digital maturity is continuous improvement — technology will always change and customer demands will shift, so making enhancements should be part of every organization’s plan.

For example, the bank that implemented its new credit card process will have learnings on what customers liked and what their pain points were. They’ll keep all of that in mind when they launch new digital experiences for their other products, and customers will see the benefits of having an intuitive experience from the start. 

Digital maturity and customer experience go hand in hand. When organizations focus on the steps to becoming digitally mature, they’ll be quick to respond to shifting demands and market changes — and customers will always be the north star guiding their digital transformation.

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