The five key traits of organisations with strong digital culture

It is an exciting time to be involved in digital banking. However, many traditional financial institutions are finding themselves left behind as they struggle to adapt to these new opportunities at the pace required. These companies recognise that their digital transformation is far from mature, with many disjointed processes slowing down their potential to meet rising customer sophistication and demands.

Around a staggering 70% – 90% of digital transformation projects still fail or end up settling for a mediocre, watered-down version of their original vision (Couchbase, 2018; Forbes, 2019). That wastes a lot of time, money and resources, and leaves leadership very wary of future change.

Modern challenges of the new banking era:

Digitally savvy consumers have become accustomed to high quality, incredibly fast and reliable online experiences in most aspects of their life. When these interactions are not up to the expected standards, customers quickly take to social media loudly expressing their displeasure. New regulations, along with aggregator sites such as ‘Compare the Market’ and ‘Martin’s Money Tips’ have also made it easier than ever to switch services. Essentially, the current landscape boils down to ‘expectations are high and loyalty is low’.

 With challenges like these, it is imperative that organisations are prepared to meet these expectations and do this, they must be positioned to take advantage of the benefits of a mature, digitally transformed culture.

Let’s revisit the five key traits of organisations with strong digital culture, which we briefly mentioned in our previous blog:

  • Is your company customer-obsessed?

 The staff of customer-obsessed companies have common traits: they regularly maintain contact with customers; listen to complaints and never downplay; and, continuously assess technological solutions against customer requirements.

Being customer obsessed cannot be boiled down to a directive from management or a single behaviour, rather it is cumulation of everyone in the workforce recognising the importance they play in the customer experience and adapting their behaviours to ensure every touchpoint is as refined as possible.

Customer-centric companies focus on continuously resolving problems and delivering new value to the customer, and this centricity is clearly aligned with where the company places its support and resources.

  • Is your company quick to respond?

Companies that are quick to respond to their customers’ needs have a higher ability to cope with the fast pace of change in today’s digital world. This can look like anything from a prompt reply on social media by the digital marketing team to the re-prioritisation of the product roadmap in response to the continuous measurement of customers’ and business’ goals.

Such innate agility is often one of the most difficult aspects of digital transformation for many traditional companies where decisions go through layers of approval before implementation. For example, the approval for IT projects can take very long, so the team might try to cram many requirements into a single release to avoid going back through the approval chain again. The problem with this approach is that by the time the project is finally delivered, the technology is already outdated and customer requirements have long before outstripped the original brief. 

Meanwhile, the new challenger banks such as Monzo have grown their reputation by focusing on excellent user experience and improved their ability to respond to customers by quickly creating new, highly engaging functionality on a short release cycle.

  • Have you got an adaptive workforce?

 AI and automation are reshaping both jobs and the workforce. By 2030, 80% of us will be working side by side with robots and intelligent software during our normal workdays (Forrester, 2017). 

This might seem like a dystopian future where the human workforce is easily dispensed with. But, with the right training and facilitation, there is an opportunity to release our workforce to become more autonomous, multiskilled and agile. An empowered and highly engaged workforce can make most of this exciting new technology and further create great customer experiences. It is proven that companies with a highly engaged workforce show a marked increase in customer satisfaction rates of 10% and a sales lift of around 20% (Gallup, 2013).

  • Are your work practices collaborative, experimental and innovative?

Companies identified as having a mature digital culture tend to have practices where silos are broken down, and collaboration is embraced. Internally, these companies are not afraid to experiment with new ideas and ways of working and externally, customer interaction is valued and sought after.

 These companies are keen to seek out partnerships with other organisations who can bring new expertise and innovation. They recognise that knowledge and disruptive ideas come from various sources and are open to discovering from them all. 

  • Is your leadership involved? 

True cultural change is inspired by senior leaders of the organisation. The ideal leadership team is open to suggestions, involved in collaborative ways of working and portrays customer-centric values.

In our upcoming blog, we will look into the role of leadership in a successful digital transformation in further depth and examine how an executive sponsor can make all the difference.

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