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Summary

Irrespective of industry, firms can massively improve productivity by centering their digital transformation initiatives on the customer and in a coherent and joined-up manner. Critical to the long-term growth and survival of a company is persistent customer relevance – to be customer adaptive.

Delivering a relevant customer experience throughout every individual customer interaction will boost productivity

Creating the conditions for continued and persistent customer relevance will have a knock-on effect of boosting productivity. There are several reasons for this. The most obvious reason is that to create a company that is fit for customers with ever-increasing expectations and shorter attention spans, firms must act as a system of continuous value creation and delivery. That demands a level of organizational coherence, insight, and relevant activity that is sorely missing in firms with low levels of productivity. Firms still stuck in the 20th century industrial age command and control era, often plagued by organizational silos, end up doing lots of unnecessary things that add little value to the customer.

If we look at what is demanded to deliver a positive customer experience throughout every individual customer journey, at the top of the list is the vision to center the enterprise on the customer and the values to empower employees to act on behalf of the customer now, not days later.

Customer journeys, which can be defined as all the steps that customers take to "get things done," often span multiple channels, online and offline. The customer experience is either rewarding, if it makes it easy for customers to accomplish their objectives, or frustrating, when barriers, especially departmental silos, get in the way. Remove those barriers and support employees with technology and predictive insight that enables them to be relevant to customers, and more of their time will be productive and add value.

Productivity becomes a byproduct of delivering value to customers more intelligently. It is a bit like shareholder value. Ultimately, that is derived from customers and the cash they bring with them. If your digital transformation isn't focused on the customer, chances are that it will be another white elephant, in which case don't expect any productivity gains.

Appendix

Further reading

Denon & Marantz (D+M): Generating Growth the Customer-Adaptive Way, IT0020-000231 (December 2016)

The Customer-Adaptive Enterprise, IT0020-000234 (December 2016)

Author

Jeremy Cox, Principal Analyst, Customer Engagement Practice

jeremy.cox@ovum.com

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