Yes, it’s about the customer but it can be about you too

In the first post of this series I mentioned I believe there is a need to bring digital transformation down a level or two, to make it practical. Now I’ll add the word actionable. First, let’s agree on a definition of digital transformation for today’s business. Many definitions are afloat and this McKinsey piece describes a particularly good executive level one but I think we can make it more actionable and relate-able to the front-line employee.

So let’s work with what McKinsey said but let’s do less skirting of the details and elaborate to the level of our target audience. Digital transformation means companies will re-imagine the way they work so their processes: a) are data-driven and automated; b) are focused on data that’s about customer behavior and experience; c) are administered by employees who are so absorbed with the mission that they attack their work each day with a sense of purpose and a belief that everything they do, even if it’s upstream, makes a difference to the customer’s experience. To borrow a phrase, now that’s transformation you can believe in.

If employees could start now and apply a digital mindset, what would that look like? Want an example? I have one that’s about 5 years old, ancient and almost quaint now in this digital age, but it’s illustrative of how employees can tackle a problem themselves and make a big, measurable impact on customers.  It happened during the time I was the head of Customer Success for the Americas for BMC Software.  A persistent problem for us was that the company offered no Spanish speaking support and for my Customer Success Managers in Mexico that created a huge productivity hit. During their onboarding phase new Spanish-speaking customers invariably called my CSMs seeking assistance to overcome problems, sucking up approximately 25% of the CSMs’ month. 25% is a lot when you’re expecting staff to develop and execute strategies to proactively support other clients. When we examined the problem a pattern emerged in the types of questions asked by the customers and we soon realized we could address it at scale by creating a video of the guys walking the typical customer through the product configuration steps. So that’s what they did. But to make it a digital process we did this:

  • we embedded a trigger in the CRM so when the welcome package was sent to Mexico-based customers of the products in question, it included a link to the video
  • we collected stats on the consumption of the video
  • we wrote a program that compared the video consumption statistics against support cases to see if there was a correlation between the two and produced a report
  • during our QBRs we shared information with the customer about what we observed about their adoption rate vs their consumption of education, including the video

How did we do? For those accounts we increased NPS by 10 points and we were able to transfer that 25% of CSM time that was previously spent on providing repeatable onboarding work over to a proactive adoption focus with other clients.

That’s digital transformation.

About Peter Armaly
I get jazzed by automation, big data, and blockchain tech. Business, technology, and fitness are things I understand. Scotch, wine, food, and fiction are things I appreciate.

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