Meeting customer expectations 

Today’s customers do not want digital versions of the same manual, bureaucratic processes they faced yesterday.

They search, download, pay, and listen to music all in one go.

Companies that want to win at digital adoption are therefore recognizing that they must reimagine and digitize entire customer journeys; the beginning-to-end processes that customers experience in getting the product or service they need, across whichever channels they choose.

How many journeys?

The total number of these “core journeys” will naturally vary by company, but a few patterns hold among major industries.

For banks, the core usually consists of between 10 and 20 journeys, with account opening and onboarding (across products); payments; mortgages; service requests (such as the ever-popular lost PIN codes); and credit-card issuance as especially prominent.

Life and retirement players look similar to banks, with 10 to 20 core journeys across account opening or enrollment, onboarding, servicing, and guidance.

The number is slightly smaller for telecommunications companies, where mobile postpaid sales, customer-care requests (such as one-off data usage adjustments), fixed-line provisioning, network repair and maintenance, and prepaid top-ups rank highly in a core of 8 to 15 journeys.

For electrical utilities, the number usually drops to fewer than 10, with sign-up, payment, meter reading, and change of address taking the lead.

Streamlined, simplified journeys show impressive results quickly—usually on several fronts at once.

Faster mobile-phone sign-ups raised a telecommunications company’s customer satisfaction by 20 percent and reduced costs by 30 percent.

For a European lender, time for account opening and loan approval fell from days to minutes, customer-engagement opportunities rose from once a month to three or four times a week, and IT became far more agile, delivering new releases in a month instead of a year.


Getting the strategy right

The starting point for success is developing a clearly defined, coherent digital strategy that’s fully integrated with the overall corporate one. Without this deep alignment, any subsequent intervention is bound to fall short. Yet companies struggle to get their digital strategy right.

Video: Tanguy Caitlin on Understanding your Digital Quotient


Success depends on the ability to invest in relevant digital capabilities that are well aligned with strategy.

The right capabilities help you keep pace with your customers as digitization transforms the way they research and consider products and services, interact, and make purchases on the digital consumer decision journey.

The starting point for success is developing a clearly defined, coherent digital strategy that’s fully integrated with the overall corporate one.

For digital success, certain capabilities—especially those that build foundations for other key processes and activities—are more important than others.

High-performing digital companies distinguish themselves by keeping pace as their customers undertake the digital consumer decision journey. For example, they anticipate emerging patterns in the behavior of customers and tailor relevant interactions with them.

Digital leaders embrace technologies (such as apps, personalization, and social media) that help companies establish deeper connections between a brand and its customers—and thus give them more rewarding experiences.

Top-performing digital leaders focus their automation efforts on well-defined processes, which they iterate in a series of test-and-optimize releases.

The priority here is high-quality data management and built-in security to keep core business services reliable.



Video: Christopher Paquette on how to accelerate a digital transformation


Companies get their digital strategy right by answering three important questions.

  • First, where will the most interesting digital opportunities and threats open up?
  • Second, how quickly and on what scale is the digital disruption likely to occur?
  • Third, what are the best responses to embrace these opportunities proactively and to reallocate resources away from the biggest threats?

The vast majority of companies will address this third question through more targeted strategic responses.

A fast, agile culture

Previously siloed functions, departments, and business units must share a new spirit of cooperativeness and collaborative engagement.

As companies develop their collaborative cultures, they position themselves to participate more meaningfully in broader networks of collaboration, learning, and innovation.


By promoting shared ownership of technology initiatives and products,can  facilitate the rapid reallocation of resources and collaboration to unify previously isolated functions and processes into a fast-moving, product-oriented culture.

All this requires digital leaders to recognize what they’re good at themselves and what others might do better and to improve their ability to partner collaboratively.

Collaboration beyond the boundaries: Companies can also benefit from smaller-scale collaborations with customers, technology providers, and suppliers.

Internal collaboration: Teamwork and collaboration are important in any context, digital or otherwise. Companies must also nurture digital talent with the right incentives and clear career paths.

For the cultural change to last, the organization will need to change how it works. This includes acquiring digitally oriented talent and developing their capabilities. It also includes rethinking and streamlining governance, management, and budgeting processes so that the organization can move quickly and innovate.


The journey to digital success requires a commitment from a company’s leadership and a sustained investment in people, capabilities, technology, and cultural change.

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For more on how companies can build an effective digital strategy, 
see “What it takes to build your Digital Quotient.”)

Raising your Digital Quotient: 
It’s better to focus on building an organization and culture 
that can realize the strategy that’s right for you. Download this article >