The coronavirus crisis has drastically changed our lives and in many aspects accelerated digital transformation at an exponential rate. Work from home, video conferences, live-streaming, virtual workout sessions, and digital administrative procedures have all become much faster everyday tasks for many more people. As a society, we have taken a crash course in digitalisation — with great experiences through which the connective power of digital technologies has enlightened us. However, experiences are a far cry from greatness when our patience is tested by the slow and subpar design of confusingly structured digital services.
One thing is clear: Digital is the New Normal. And not only since the crisis began but rather strengthened by it. That has also changed the level of quality customers and employees demand from digital services. It is no longer enough to claim the digitalisation of customer experience through the existence of a single website or a Facebook page. Even before the crisis, when about 90% of Germans had already adopted the use of the internet, digital offerings were frustratingly limited. And they are now under threat. The delay of clients, partners and employees on talks on future topics is rapidly decreasing — and rightly so.
For years, it has become clear that “Digital Experience”, that is, the entirety of digital experiences created for clients and employees across all digital points of contact, has been a key success factor. And yet we still find ourselves being frustrated clients and inhabitants of a digital ecosystem – with websites, apps, online-shopping pages, request routes and self-service portals, which can only be described, in today’s world, as: inadequate.
Currently, there is a hectic level of activity being observed amongst businesses and organisations that failed to invest early in strong digital customer experience. And, in contrast, a quasi-unparalleled
advantage for digital leaders, namely the ones who have consistently expanded their digital competencies.
The crisis has hit late adopters twice as hard. The pressure for demand increases, whereas budgets and workforce, in good part, have been decimated: the balancing act of doing more with less.
It is now essential to define a clear purpose for digital experience and to approach it with wisdom and depth. Logical prioritisation of digital initiatives as well as cultivation and implementation of modern design approaches are of paramount importance. With the right principles, methods, and tools, it is possible to make up for lost time. Modern architectural principles, platform-based approaches and the use of tools, such as pre-configured components in the front and back-end pave the way for technological advancements. Design systems and intelligent work processes save time and money in creating structure and content production. Cross-functional collaboration in the form of agile methodology outperforms the stagnation of the silos approach.
We highlight how powerful and inspiring digital experiences can succeed in a world post-crisis in our whitepaper “Beyond 2020 — Rethinking Digital Experience for the New Normal” – available in English. We introduce five strategic imperatives for businesses and organisations so as to help them make the right – digital – decisions.
About the author: Jan Pilhar is a digital transformation expert who specialises in customer experience. Jan and his team help companies reinvent their marketing and develop new digital services and business models. He has worked and managed complex digital projects for consulting firms, agencies and top global brands in Europe, Asia, and the US. Jan Pilhar is the Executive Director overseeing Digital Strategy at IBM iX Berlin.
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