Automation, robotics, AI, VR, AR, bitcoin, blockchain… these are all terms and concepts that are being talked about with increasing vigour and excitement in customer management departments up and down the land. And with good reason.
At a time when there is a relentless race to deliver services and products more efficiently, yet more intuitively, new ways need to be sought to achieve this, while safeguarding overall business performance. The search for the holy grail is well and truly underway in this space – and it should be said that, to some degree, we are blinded by these opportunities as we equate new with better.
Yet, the need to think smartly about how we engage with our customers has never been greater, so the underlying motivations are all too obvious. This is because customer expectations have never been so fundamentally challenging for businesses: we as customers lack patience, loyalty and have a short attention span, yet we are savvy, demand choice and have high expectations when it comes to how and what we receive in terms of products and services (see diagram below). We’re increasingly hard to please…five years ago, it was all about everything in three clicks when it came to websites – Amazon and others are now at a point that transactions can be completed in one simple step…with one click.
So, what many organisations are now looking for, based on these changing behaviours, is the right technology to fix things. What shiny tool can help us sort all of this out? Who has the silver bullet to resolve these issues? And the problem is that there are many shiny tools, and many silver bullets. Unfortunately, not all of them will achieve what we hope they will. And the reason why businesses fail to choose appropriately and get blinded by the shiny toy, is often because they don’t fully understand what level of change their business needs and what level of change their business can handle. A lot of this has to do with digital maturity and recognising the kind of digital change an organisation needs and can handle.
The way that we look at digital maturity is based on an assessment of six key areas. This assessment allows us to understand where a business is in terms of its digital journey, the challenges that it faces and what it needs to do to get the most out of technology. This allows us to assess what is right for them as a business and what choices should be made. The key with this is that it does not look at one area in isolation, because only if we have a holistic view, can we make these choices. This is a ‘sum of all parts’ type of game. We have outlined some of the core components of this assessment below:
So, although we seem to talk a lot about technology, what we are actually looking at, is people. Whether or not we are ready to automate something, or whether or not we are ready to create a virtual salesroom does not depend on the technology for it to be successful. It depends on the people around it – and only if the culture, the behaviours and the expertise are preeminent in a business can the technology solutions achieve success. We should be mindful that when we talk about the success of technology, we are actually talking about the success of people using and working with technology.
Capita has been working across the public and private sectors for more than 30 years, solving the complex challenges of our clients, increasing productivity, enhancing their use of technology and data, improving customer and public services and adding value to the UK and local economies.
We do this by combining our talent, creativity, software, technology and innovation with sector knowledge and proven skills and expertise underpinned by our scaled operational platforms.
As a leading provider of technology enabled business services, we operate across five key markets: software; people solutions; customer management; IT services and government services. Find out more at www.capita.com.
Digital market director