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Disrupt or Be Disrupted—Digitally Speaking

Guest Author

Just when we thought we had a firm grasp on customer
experience and were well on our way to getting it right, a new movement is
grabbing our collective attention. Digital transformation is coming up in more
conversations with customer service executives as they work to modernize their
operations and change as fast as or faster than their customers do.

The best way to think about digital transformation is to
understand that it is more of a mindset than an initiative. Transformers
understand that their traditional markets have changed and they must rethink
their business models. Just ask the major TV networks what they thought about
the number of nominations Netflix received at the Emmys this year. These frontrunners also get that the focus should be on growth and redefining
their industry, not on efficiency and a wait-and-see attitude.

Many brands get stuck with their digital transformations,
placing them firmly in the follower group. This usually happens when the scope
is limited to digital technology investments. While digital transformers invest
more than digital followers, they know that investing alone in social, mobile,
analytics, and cloud technologies won’t make them a digital leader. It goes
beyond technologies to leadership, customers, competition, partners, business
models, etc.—touching the entire organization and its infrastructure.

One clear advantage that digital transformers have over
followers is that they have recently mapped their customers’ journey with their
brand. That puts them in the coveted position of truly understanding all their
customer touch points, including the digital ones. Successful journey mapping leads to better
customer experiences, which in turn allows digital transformers to lead their
markets and force their competitors to play by their rules. If you haven’t completed
your journey mapping, you are not alone. According to Altimeter Group, only
“25% of companies have completely mapped out the customer journey within the
last year and have a clear understanding of new digital touch points.”

There’s a lot of research quickly emerging on this topic. To
help you sort through some of the hype to get to a real-world understanding, I recommend
two recent complimentary reports. Both reports do a great job of helping you
understand digital disruption, what digital transformation is and what it
isn’t, and how to tell if you are disrupting or getting disrupted. The reports
get to the point quickly and provide an across-the-board perspective rather
than limiting digital transformation to specific business functions or

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