Most organizations today recognize the importance of digital transformation. They know that failing to digitally transform will see their customers moving to competitors who meet their heightened expectations.
But facing the combination of limited resources, siloed teams, and multiple system upgrades required to achieve the ultimate customer experience can be incredibly daunting for any organization.
When it comes to achieving an enhanced customer experience, immediately and through incremental change, digital communication is the best place to start.
Organizations cannot simply embrace digital communication and hope for the best. There are many aspects that create a mature digital communications strategy and working toward the ultimate customer experience requires a framework outlining current digital maturity and highlighting areas of improvement.
This digital maturity framework also helps companies benchmark themselves against a goal and see how they compare to the industry.
Understanding the digital maturity framework
Essentially, a digital maturity framework allows organizations to benchmark various digital communication capabilities and solutions and provides a roadmap on how to move along each maturity level.
It can function like a rubric, with each capability scored along the continuum, from wholly untransformed to completely mature.
Quick wins, future vision
Having a digital maturity framework helps organizations improve the customer experience on two fronts.
First, it helps identify and implement quick, short term wins to improve communication. Secondly, it allows the organization to map the requirements for its long term digital communication strategy.
However, in order for real progress and improvement to be made, it’s vital that the organization understands where it stands currently.
Achieving this overall picture involves identifying various capabilities, such as communication channels and portal engagement, and establishing what level of maturity each is at.
Doing so allows you to plot how to move each capability forward.
Understanding business drivers
Another reason for organizations to start with the “as is” situation is that it allows them to better understand the business drivers behind digital transformation.
While many companies will say that customer experience is their primary motivation for enhancing their digital communication, the truth is that they see cost efficiency as the goal and customer experience the nirvana.
Trouble is, starting with cost efficiency as the main business driver seldom results in a good customer experience.
Certainly, adopting digital communication can save an organization money in the short-term, but if it’s implemented badly it can negatively impact the customer experience.
Mapping out a digital maturity framework is the first step in an organization understanding why customer experience should always be the end-goal.
Part of a whole
It’s important to note, however, that a digital maturity framework is of little use if it exists in isolation.
To be effective, the framework must be used in conjunction with the organization’s digital communications and customer journey mapping strategies.
Any business that understands this, and gets it right, will succeed in transforming its operational and marketing communications and achieve a vastly improved customer experience.
Papanicolaou is a regular speaker on digital customer communication and improving the customer experience. She started her career in South Africa in the media sector before moving to the electronic messaging space, where she served as business director for email marketing eMessageX. She joined Striata in 2006 as Head of Email Marketing.
Papanicolaou moved to the UK as Head of Operations in 2010, whereafter she moved to the US in 2013 to take up the post of General Manager of the US region.
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