The first step of digital transformation usually includes transitioning from offline procedures to online ones; however, digital transformation is about so much more than that: it is about revolutionizing the way we address our customers’ needs by using tools that were not available to us just a few years ago.
Let’s take, for example, a digital transformation of an insurance company. Sure, it is a whole lot more comfortable to fill in an online form for an insurance claim than to print it, fill it in manually, and email (or, god forbid, fax) it, but if the form is still processed manually, and it takes weeks to get the refund, the customer is still frustrated. If the whole procedure is done automatically and the customer gets paid within seconds or minutes, well – that’s a different game.
Digital procedures, therefore, should not be the digital mirror of the old offline ones. As part of the transformation process, companies should go back to discovery mode, dig into their customers’ needs and explore new ways of addressing them. After doing so, they should design an optimal digital solution that fits their customers TODAY. The original offline procedure was designed within the limitations of the offline domain. The online domain has a lot more to offer. By engaging this way of thinking and obtaining this methodology, we are to compose much better solutions.
Researching the customers’ needs may lead to finding new customer values that we were not able to deliver in the offline era. An insurance company can offer temporary car insurance for young drivers for a specific weekend or different pricing based on parameters that were not measurable in the past, such as mileage. Health care providers can offer online consultation with doctors when the clinic is closed, etc.
Using an iterative process that puts the customer at the center, companies can build digital products that not only reduce costs and increase customer satisfaction by simplifying the customer’s journey, but continuously introduce new values that keep their customers satisfied, engaged, and curious about what comes next.