Thursday, June 18, 2015

Trust should be priority 1 in digital transformation

Many companies are waking up to how far behind they are on the Digital Maturity scale referred to in the recent Copgnizant sponsored paper by Brian Solis.
But it seems to me too few are seeing their efforts toward digital transformation as more than a way in which they get to do more/faster to their customers. In my work on Open Business I have always argued that the single biggest win of digital transformation for organisations comes from the shift in relationship it enables.
Yes there is great efficiency and effectiveness to be had from learning more about your customers' behaviour, their needs and their implicit and explicit desires. But it's unlikely you'll generate a meaningful relationship of trust purely by serving needs (think of the difference between helping to fix and then enjoy a family meal, and rushing in and out of McDonald's to grab a bite on the run).
I don't argue that servicing need (and making it as easy as possible) isn't of extremely high value. I do argue that it is the tip of the iceberg that can be released through the shift in relationship with the consumer; from customer to partner. Trust, sense of ownership, shared purpose - all drive loyalty and increase spend. One regional co-operative I worked with boasted 50% membership among its customers. They accounted for 70% of the spend.
The transparency and free communication digital delivers offers the promise of making all organisations accountable to their customers in the kind of way member organisations have always enjoyed.
Trust accounts for the vast majority of the value of any brand.
It therefore remains a mystery to me that building trust isn't always top of the digital transformation agenda.

The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?