Transforming your business doesn’t take place piecemeal with separate department initiatives, nor does it simply entail implementing the latest digital technology. True digital business transformation comes in the form of redesigning your operational model to focus on customers in an integrated fashion across your enterprise.
The Customer Journey
What does that look like? It involves changing your operational structure from a concentration on individual departments and their separate functions to focusing on customer journeys. A customer journey is the process a customer goes through to accomplish a task or achieve a goal within your business or company.
Consider a large aerospace or defense corporation that has a multi-year, complex contract with a government agency (the customer). Customer journeys might align in a more business management approach along phases of the contract, for example, from pre-award to contract close out. The focus is on duties within the stages of the contract and interface with the customer rather than on departments, such as manufacturing or accounting and billing.
In a traditional, department-focused organization, each department has its own functions and is likely to have its own improvement initiatives and goals. Its might be striving to cut costs and improve department profitability or process more applications per month. In a traditional organization structure, these initiatives are seldom coordinated across departments.
End-to-End Customer Experience
Taking a customer-journey approach means developing, improving, and delivering services to create the best possible experience for the customer, such as throughout stages of a contract. Independent initiatives might result in individual department enhancements, but those solo efforts rarely lead to better overall customer satisfaction or experience. The separate department improvements can evaporate or get lost when a customer or task is handed off to a new department.
By taking a journey-focused approach rather than focusing on individual company units, the aerospace or defense contract becomes an end-to-end, integrated experience along the contract life and transcends department initiatives. Everyone, from manufacturing to the back-office support team, has the same customer-centered mission. A journey-focused approach also looks at the internal processes required to support the journey, thus creating end-to-end efforts as opposed to single, stand-alone projects.
Adopting a Journey Focus
The journey approach is more holistic and involves focusing on end-to-end outcomes over separate functions. Bureaucracy and unnecessary chains of command are replaced by teams. Adopting a journey-focused model can involve a total rethinking of your operational structure, processes, people, technology, and strategy.
The first step in transitioning to a journey-focused operational structure is to identify your customer journeys. Which are relevant for your business? The next step is to prioritize the journeys based on your customers and business purpose and strategy.
Because the journey approach focusses on outcomes rather than output, you’ll want to identify key outcomes and tie those back to your overall business strategy. A key outcome might be improved customer satisfaction or reducing costs overall.
Technology plays a key role in a successful transition to a journey-focused operating structure. IT investment follows the customer journey and internal processes needed to carry it out, rather than being allocated to department tasks and separate IT budgets. A journey-focused operational approach can also lead to overall IT savings due to less duplication across departments in technology spending.
A move to digital business transformation driven by customer journeys is a process that involves time, commitment, and investment. Being agile, embracing change, and committing people and teams to the transformation are critical.
Dassian Can Help with Next-Generation Operating Models
Dassian’s business transformation experts can help you reimagine your operating structure and transform your business to a focus on customer journeys. Our best-practice suite of solutions and deep industry expertise will help you achieve end-to-end outcomes. Contact us today.