How to Compete for Digital Customers
The top challenge in digital transformation is culture, according to 63 percent of the companies surveyed, but cross-functional collaboration comes close behind. As businesses compete for digital customers, disparate groups must find a way to work together in a more collaborative manner, but it isn't always easy or natural. More than half, 56 percent, of the companies surveyed by Altimeter Group said they find it difficult to work with the right people to create a consistent experience and journey that stitches together seamlessly.
"Part of the challenge is that, at the same time, external-facing teams are thinking about how the governance works and who owns what," Ford's former head of social media Scott Monty tells the firm. "In parallel, we have to figure out internally what infrastructure looks like, the people and the processes (HR), tools, and tech (IT). We have a need for an internal transformation with infrastructure going on at the same time that we're trying to steer on the outside."
One in Four Have Mapped the Digital Customer Journey
Most companies recognize the need to transform operations for digital employees and customers, but the path to reach that end is rarely paved. Almost 9 in 10, or 88 percent, of executives tell Altimeter that their company is undergoing a digital transformation effort in 2014, but only 25 percent have mapped out the digital customer journey.
Companies like Sephora are making this transformation by grouping every employee that touches a digital customer into a single team. Social media, customer service, sales, support and other functions are now equally equipped, informed and capable of meeting various customer needs.
"It all started with this greater intent to recognize that the digital customer is different than solving any one of these problems alone. To the customer we're one brand, so we should act like it internally," explains Solis.
"It's not about egos, it's not about politics, it's not about point fingers. We just all recognize that in order to do this and to do this well and efficiently, we had to formally make people who didn't work together now part of one team. So we start to see the forming of new teams within organization so that they can be more agile and more dynamic," he says.
Finally, Altimeter Group asked the brands being surveyed to list the most important digital transformation initiatives underway within their organization. Here's how they rank:
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