overall customer experience is a top business priority for companies and a main
driver behind their digital transformation ambitions, according to a new study
from Accenture. But the majority of businesses don’t set themselves
apart yet from competitors through the digital customer experience they offer.
The study, titled “Digital
Transformation in the Age of the Customer,” is based on a survey of nearly 400
decision-makers in companies globally. It was commissioned by Accenture
Interactive, part of Accenture
Digital, and conducted by Forrester Consulting. Key findings in the
* “Improving the customer experience” topped the
list of business priorities companies have for the next 12 months. It received
the most number one rankings (21 percent), followed by “growing revenues” (17
percent) and “improving differentiation” (16 percent).
* “Improving customer satisfaction” was cited as
one of the top three motivations for digital transformation, along with
“increasing profitability” and “accelerating speed to market.”
* Companies are focusing on digital channels to
make customer interactions more engaging: sixty-three percent are planning to
enhance their online experience, 46 percent are looking to add or improve their
mobile offerings, but only 39 percent want to improve their in-store
is now clearly at the heart of digital transformation, and digital is at the
center of that customer experience,” said Anatoly Roytman, managing director
Accenture Interactive and global digital commerce lead. “But many companies have
considerable ground to cover on their path to becoming digital enterprises.
They’re challenged with setting a digital vision and strategy, getting the
right people in place, and measuring digital success.”
Three Challenges to
Becoming a Customer-Focused Digital Enterprise
1. Setting a Digital Vision and Strategy: Confusion over who sets the digital
vision and strategy hampers digital transformation, as indicated in the study.
Currently, ownership is divided between the chief executive officer (38 percent),
chief information officer (33 percent), chief digital officer (ten percent),
and chief marketing officer (eight percent). When asked who should own
an organization’s digital vision and strategy, the CIO came out on top (30
percent) followed by the CEO (27 percent). The CDO and CMO lagged at 17 percent
and eight percent, respectively.
2. Organizational Readiness: Respondents were hesitant that their
business has the right people in place to execute its digital strategy. They
listed their “organization” as the part of the company that is least ready to
digitally transform (64 percent) compared to technology (75 percent) and
operational processes (75 percent).
3.Measuring Digital Success: Companies tend to worry about
implementation of processes and technologies before putting in useful analytics
and metrics with which to evaluate them. Fifty-seven percent of the respondents
said that implementing digital technologies is critical to enabling their
digital business, but only 29 percent said establishing digital metrics and
Experience Not Yet a Differentiator for Most Companies
prevailing challenges, it may not be surprising that only five percent of
respondents think their organization is exceeding their customers’ expectations
in digital experiences, while 73 percent believe they meet those expectations.
“Look at how fast
consumer behavior is changing and how great customer experiences are jumping
industry boundaries,” said Jay Dettling, managing director Accenture
Interactive and North America digital commerce lead. “Companies need to ask
themselves how long customers will accept experiences that are just ‘good
* To achieve differentiation through digital
customer experiences, leaders from different parts of the business will need to
team up even more tightly. They need to recognize that digital transformation can’t be confined to a single department.
* Leaders should advocate digital transformation
and customer experience with clear goals to ensure that all changes to culture,
processes and technology ultimately support the digital vision and are not made
* The way to becoming a digital enterprise
requires its leaders to take risks and learn from mistakes. For example, adding
functionality that is in the spirit of digital transformation and the customer
experience shouldn’t always require traditional approvals and a detailed
* Third-parties can help fill gaps even
digitally mature companies will have and make it cheaper and faster for the
organization to implement and execute their digital strategy. Forty-five
percent already work with providers on enhancing the customer experience.
digital transformation, developing digital visions and strategies, and
executing the required organizational change are inhibitors to achieving
superior customer experience,” said Roytman. “Only a few organizations have the
capabilities to master customer-focused digital transformation by themselves
efficiently and at pace. Our findings shows that nearly 90 percent use
third-party providers for at least one component of their digital transformation.
With their capabilities, providers help plug the gaps and manage the drive for