Digital Transformation and the Need for a Better Service Experience

Digital Transformation Experience
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In 2019, a Forbes and McKinsey study found that $900 billion was wasted on digital transformation and 70% of digital transformation projects failed. Now, as the world continues to rebound from the global pandemic, 80% of organizations have accelerated their digital transformation strategies to meet both internal and external challenges and needs. Considering these statistics, your organization must learn from the failures, and successes, of others. In particular, such that your digital transformation projects don’t become part of this year’s statistics, but instead result in more smiles and less time wasted.

Want to succeed with your #digitaltransformation efforts? Here @SamiKallioHki talks us through why you need to introduce the right mechanisms & metrics, employ data-driven decision making, & drive the needed culture change. #EX Click To Tweet

Analyzing Your Organization’s Digital Transformation Need

There are many available definitions of what digital transformation is, with these usually having three common elements related to increasing value across:

  1. New products and services (and revenue streams) that leverage technology and data
  2. Improved customer engagement mechanisms that again exploit technology and data
  3. Optimized back-office operations that remove the reliance on, and issues with, ad hoc manual workflows.

Each of these needs to be focused on service experience to succeed – with the new capabilities built around people and their expectations, not the technological capabilities that are now available. Ultimately, digital transformation is about better business through better operations and outcomes.

The HappySignals 3-Part Approach to Digital Transformation

In leveraging service experience improvement to help deliver digital transformation success, there’s a need to do three key things:

  1. Introduce the right measurement mechanisms and metrics
  2. Employ data-driven decision making
  3. Drive the needed culture change.

Each of these is covered in more detail below.

1. Measurement and Metrics

Digital transformation projects are often started in the wrong way – perhaps by looking at what the available technology can do. Instead, I recommend that the first step when starting a digital transformation project is to “ask the project manager(s) and even the whole team one relevant question – what is the target or desired outcome for this project?”

When embarking on a #digitaltransformation project start by asking the project manager(s) & even the whole team one relevant question – what is the target or desired outcome for this project? – @SamiKallioHki #EX #ITSM Click To Tweet

This creation of a goal or desired outcome for the project leads to how you can and should be measuring the project, and this doesn’t mean basic/traditional service level agreement (SLA) measurement metrics such as time and costs.

Whatever the reason, or reasons, your organization is undertaking digital transformation, your measurement needs to focus on the impact of the outcome and, internally, the value of employee experience and how a project can lead employees to better processes, straightforward workflows, and – more importantly – an increase in productivity. This measurement mechanism is called experience level agreements (XLAs).

Examples of your organization’s digital transformation goals could be:

  • Creating easier and quicker workflows to increase employee experience
  • Increasing employee productivity by X%
  • Improving collaboration with the service desk to increase the level of service given to employees
  • Increasing remote working efficiency so employees can access office tools more quickly.

One of our clients Avanti West Coast (previously known as Virgin Trains) approaches its projects by taking half a day to define what it actually wants to achieve from each project and how the change will positively impact its employees and/or customers. Looking at the desired outcome and the additional value that will be created.

In particular, digital transformation success assessment needs to be measuring how it impacts employee experience, not just whether a project was on time or within budget.

Digital transformation success assessment needs to be measuring how it impacts employee experience, not just whether a project was on time or within budget – @SamiKallioHki #EX #digitaltransformation Click To Tweet

2. Data-Driven Decision Making with Experience Data

To deliver a successful digital transformation project and to positively impact employee experience, there’s a need to start gathering and analyzing end-user needs and pain points through experience data from the outset.

The HappySignals Employee Experience Management Platform allows your organization to collect end-user experience data and to combine it with your company’s operational data, to identify where you can positively impact your employees’ experience with digital transformation (or where the opposite is currently happening). For example, Campari Group embarked on a sizable digital transformation journey and needed visibility into how the rapid transformation would affect employees and how transforming IT services would better support end-users’ work.

Now, Campari Group has full visibility on its IT service performance and can make informed decisions throughout its transformational journey. They can link it to when actions or services are going live in different locations and get immediate feedback from employees. Campari has also witnessed a much higher feedback response rate due to the way the survey is delivered to the end user and the visibility of their corrective responses.

Ultimately, you need to be able to make data-driven decisions instead of acting on gut feelings alone.

To deliver a successful #digitaltransformation project & to positively impact employee experience, there’s a need to start gathering & analyzing end-user needs & pain points through experience data from the outset -… Click To Tweet

3. Culture

Organizational culture can impact digital transformation in many ways. Therefore, understanding the various impacts of your business culture, and what to prepare for, is vital when planning your digital transformation strategy and its execution. 

First, digital transformation needs to be led by the IT department, not by individual business units. This may seem an obvious statement since IT usually fronts the cost of digital transformation projects. However, it’s often found that individual business sections will lead the implementation.

Creating a culture that’s ready to embrace change and new innovations, and to understand why this transformation is taking place, will be highly impactful on success. Adopting new technologies early can help drive your company culture to become more forward-thinking as well as aiding the understanding of the need for new trending technology or new innovations arising on the horizon. 

For example, automation and artificial intelligence (AI) were key trends for 2021 (along with digital transformation). The use of which can drastically reduce costs, freeing up budget for further investments, as well as streamlining tedious workflows that have been demoralizing your workforce and diminishing their productivity.

Culture also relates to the way people work and the processes they use when carrying out their daily business activities. Therefore, if employees are heavily reliant on using certain workflows or processes, they could be resistant to change and may not understand why change needs to happen. This potential resistance needs to be handled using organizational change management tools and techniques. For example, the Head of Global Service Management for Reckitt Benckiser Group, Prashant Arora, said that when they’re making changes to IT infrastructure, developing new processes, or implementing strategy, they create a related communication plan. This includes monthly newsletters to help make people more aware of what’s happening as well as how the change will impact them positively.

Understanding the various impacts of your business culture, & what to prepare for, is vital when planning your #digitaltransformation strategy & its execution – @SamiKallioHki #EX  Click To Tweet

In Summary

Digital transformation should always begin with discovery sessions on why it’s being undertaken and how it can shape and influence a better employee experience. Once the digital transformation goal or goals have been created, setting the right measurements and metrics is vital to continuously measure the success of the changes made throughout the transformation

The use of experience data has never been more vital in helping to measure and identify where your end-users’ pain points are and how you can improve their experience. Let it help shape your culture to drive change and make your end users understand why new technology and innovation is vital for continual improvement, in particular how it is can improve employee experience and boost their happiness and productivity.

If you’d like to find out more about how employee experience data helps to fuel both better service experiences and digital transformation success, then please visit our website.

This article was originally published in CEOWorld Magazine.

Sami Kallio is the CEO of HappySignals, a company focused on helping businesses to improve their internal services by shifting the focus from traditional metrics to employee experience - by measuring and analysing employee happiness and productivity. Sami says:” I believe that enterprises should no longer try to save more money from support services. Rather that organizations should put more focus on business value. At HappySignals we help organizations to measure and understand their employees' experience and productivity in a new way."

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