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Busting digital transformation myths

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Digital transformation has been high on the agenda of many organisations' business strategies for well over a decade, but why is it most are still making fundamental missteps in their journey to deliver customer services online? In our latest survey into digital self-service in the Public Sector we have come across the same story we see each year... Public Sector organisations intentions taking longer to become a reality than they initially predict.

Each year the results of this survey showcase the intentions of Public Sector organisations to deliver between 50% and 100% of customer services online within a three-year window. The reality though is when these three years have passed these organisations are still predicting the same outcomes and are only marginally further forward in with the number of customer services delivered online.

There seems to be a gap between organisations' predictions and what is really achievable, a result of organisation following long held beliefs about digital transformation and online service delivery. Therefore, to prevent you from making these mistakes we have put together a list of common digital transformation myths we believe may well be leading you down digital transformation rabbit holes.


Myth 1: I.T. are responsible for digital transformation

A key finding from our latest survey on digital self-service in the Public Sector has uncovered 74% of respondents believe digital transformation is the responsibility of their I.T. department. Up by 9% on the previous survey's results, these statistics demonstrate the mindset of some organisations, and how they ultimately believe the digital transformation buck stops with I.T.

Whilst it may be true that we know more about digital transformation 10+ years on from its beginnings, and as a result delivery of online customer services may well be less complex it still stands that digital transformation is the responsibility of all. Whilst I.T. do have a large part to play during implementation phases of digital transformation projects, online services customers actually want to use are only the result of a joined-up approach from a myriad of different department bodies. Understanding your customers, and how they will use your services are as fundamental as the implementation of said services. Devising a strategy which chaperons digital transformation from research right through to delivery is imperative. 


Myth 2: Customers prefer to talk to somebody than go online

Long gone are the days when a phone call was the only option for your customers to get in touch with your organisation. That said with digital transformation having been on the agenda of many organisations for several years now and services being delivered online enabling customers to self-serve, there still seems to be many customers who prefer to speak with somebody to resolve their problems.

Whilst it may seem that customers prefer to talk to somebody rather than go online to get their issues fixed, this may not necessarily be the case. Despite hosting services online, customer service teams often experience the same, if not a surplus in the number of calls and or emails they receive from disgruntled customers unable to resolve their requests. The reason for this - badly designed online customers services, which aren't focused on how the customer actually intends to use them. That said the reality is most customers do have an 'online first' attitude, but if using online services becomes an inconvenience, which cause more issues for the customer, that's when the customer feels the need for human contact to get things sorted. If executed correctly, a well-executed UX for your online customer services can help reduce the time spent dealing with customer requests over the phone or by email by as much as up to 80% as recently experienced by some Public Sector organisations such as Powys County Council.


Myth 3: The look and feel of online services doesn't matter

Carrying on from the previous myth, it is also imperative you not only focus on the UX of your online customers services, but also the UI and visually how your services all look and feel consistently the same. Ultimately your organisation should ensure that your online customer services and self-service portals feel consistent and are a natural extension to your main website's aesthetic.

Your customers will pick up on design cues used on your main website. Should this be your button styles, brand colours, iconography, typography and page layouts. Ultimately your customers will be become familiar with this the more they use your site and therefore these cues need to be translated into your online services. When your customers use your online services, they should feel like there is a seamless transition from your main website with no discernible change of style. At the end of the day your customers are after convenience and anything that interrupts that is a potential stumbling block for them. The UI of your online services may not seem like a big deal, but to a customer inconsistency in the way they use services online can be a massive inconvenience.


Myth 4: Digital transformation is optional

Finally, it goes without saying, digital transformation isn't optional. Digital transformation is an imperative factor for all organisations still looking to be in business in the years to come. However, key findings from our 2018 survey on digital self-service in the Public Sector showcase some concerning results about the number of organisations still without a strategy for digital self-service and transformation. Over 30% of respondents stated their organisation is without one, and alarming fact considering digital transformation has been on the agenda for many organisations for well over a decade now. Furthermore, over 30% of respondents also believe their organisation doesn't embrace opportunities to deliver services digitally.

The reality is if organisations are looking to achieve success in this digital era, they need to take advantage of the benefits digital transformation has to offer. It is no longer the case that traditional service delivery methods are the only options available to your customers, and in most cases,  customers are actually looking to use digital or online services. Digital transformation is now a key part of any organisation's business strategy that will ultimately help you understand what your customers want, design and build services your customers will use, and use their feedback to enhance these services.