Numerous Reasons Why Digital Transformation Fails

Customer experience comes above all else


Many organizations today have realized that digital transformation is essential to their success. But many of them forget that focus on digital transformation is not necessarily just a focus on digitization or even technology itself, it is the customer!

Digital transformation is not an easy or small endeavor for any business. Several levers will need to be turned in unison just to ensure resources are aligned and budgets are not being wasted. Many times have I seen that the top boss is not digitally savvy. In such cases without top leadership, they are unlikely to have a real impact on their road to digital.

Another reason is that many companies focus on a small number of siloed digital projects instead of any overall business model transformation. These independent, tactical initiatives are costly and create bad publicity inside and outside the organization.

I had the worst experience with one of the largest telecom companies. While acquiring customers they go out of their way to give everything free and promise everything digital. But their customer service is pathetic. I just wanted to disconnect my internet dongle and it was not possible online. I had to call customer service five for six times, and every time I was kept on hold saying they are checking system status. At one time, when I got frustrated I asked why it is painful just to disconnect, the rep told me 'sir, your call has just consumed 39 seconds and we are trained to hold customer for more than a minute'! See how they earn money at the customer’s cost.

Finally, they told me to go and sort it out in one of their stores. Again no digital there – I had to fill out a hard copy form, provide all my id proofs again, and I was told it will take 10 more days to just disconnect the service, so I have to pay for those 10 days. What is worst is, I again get a bill after a month that I have not paid the latest bill.

From the telecom’s perspective, they think they have done everything right for digital transformation:

1. They have provided online access to manage account;

2. They have a sleek mobile app

3. They have provided access to a 24x7 customer support line

4. Their website UX design gives a good online experience

5. They provide email updates letting customers know the status of their requests.

But if they had walked in customer’s shoes, to identify instances where things could do wrong and address them quickly, it would have been more successful.

If, with everything, the end the customer experience is bad it is a failure.

Lack of a clear vision - oftentimes, companies that are not succeeding simply haven't painted a clear picture of what they want or need to be, when they digitally 'grow up.'

Poor internal communication within an organization is another critical reason for failure. All the customer touch points don’t communicate with each other to have a single version of customer truth. A comprehensive use of Big Data Analytics is essential to have all the details of the customer at service rep’s fingertips.

Amazon, Netflix, and Uber's digital success stories have the effective gathering, storing and leveraging of customer data at the core.

Forrester has cited the example of digital transformation failure at BBC for weak project management, reporting, lack of focus on business change. Which reasons resonate with you? Happy to hear your thoughts!



Read next:

Explore The Essential Cyber Threat Management Tools