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The 3 huge gaps in our digital economy that no-one is talking about
Is today's digital transformation all it's cracked up to be?
Almost every business today is racing to offer new digital services. To transform their customer experiences and improve their operations. The result is a fantastic blizzard of new digital features for customers, who can now order things from their sofa, can skip the physical queue, and can breeze through online check-out with only ‘one click’.
It’s meaning more stuff, faster. More seamless, more personalised experiences.
We’re already needing fewer and fewer face-to-face interactions. This is saving customers hours of previously wasted time. And it’s saving businesses a boatload of cash because they can cut back on expensive and manual operations.
The hope is that we can all free-up lots of time to focus on the more important things in life.
But how’s that really going?
OK so some things are faster, cheaper, and more personalised. But why then is trust - especially around the use of personal data - collapsing, and digital life more complicated than ever?
There are 3 massive gaps in our relentless march towards a new digital economy, that no one is talking about:
1. Today’s digital transformation is only one-sided
If you look closely, you’ll see we’re only really making digital changes on the business side. Customers have been left behind.
How do we know? Because each organisation is ‘doing digital’ on their own.
Independently they are creating more and more digital walled gardens, more accounts, more and more channels. We now have hundreds of online accounts to manage. And still customers have to trek from place to place, dragging their password and identity baggage to each and every site and app. It’s all manual. And it’s full of errors and painful resets.
2. Our digital relationships are dysfunctional
Perhaps worse, the digital relationships we do have are broken. We’re seeing an explosion of unwieldy apps. Online forms. Faceless chatbots. Consent checkboxes for who-knows-what. A splintering of online experiences, where customers are bounced between browsers and apps, websites and one-time passwords.
It’s happened slowly, quietly, and yet it’s having a huge impact on customers’ lives. Like frogs boiling slowly, we can’t really see the scale of this digital mess anymore. And we all just accept it because we don’t have an alternative. Like a low-grade headache we just can’t shake.
3. Our ‘digital advances’ are actually making things *worse*
It’s ironic. For all the talk of becoming ‘customer-centric’, we’re only ever solving our digital problems one business at a time.
Collectively, businesses are spending billions of dollars trying to reach us, interact with us, identify us, to serve us digitally. They’re competing with our personal data, but each is doing so on their own. It’s making our digital experiences ever more dizzying, complicated and untrusted. From the customer’s perspective, it’s getting worse every day.
The good news is that a few digital pioneers can see the way out of this mess. They are beginning to hack their way through this dense forest of digital transformation.
They believe that not only must we start on the customer’s side, but we must build a completely new category of customer tools - software and solutions that start and end with individuals, not businesses.
This new and exciting market is about to explode. For those close enough to it, it’s a bit like 1993 and a small group of innovators can see the potential of the World Wide Web.
With the arrival of these new digital tools on the customer side, we’ll fix all of these problems in one go. And believe me, everyone’s going to be talking about it.
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