Not so long ago, harried airline customers used to purchase paper tickets — paper! — from an attendant at the counter. Remember that particular joy? The airport experience today is better because it’s largely digital and self-serviced, a trend that’s swept across nearly every industry segment.
JetBlue recently even announced the latest steps of its total digital transformation, which includes improvements to its mobile and website experiences. In 2017, the airline began a three-year effort to overhaul its procedures and usher in a new era of customer service, which then led to self-serve kiosks and check-in desks.
Before that, JetBlue Technology Ventures had already been established to invest in startups focused on offering real value to travelers — through services covering everything from improving traffic flow at airports to creating better communication around flight delays.
While JetBlue and plenty of other businesses understand what a digital transformation is and why achieving one is pivotal to running a modern company effectively, many can’t get a handle on how to make one happen. Only 50 of 1,000 companies surveyed by Riverbed said they’d had no difficulty in navigating digital upgrades. Ninety-five percent had run into problems.
In addition, 80 percent of survey respondents reported that their user experience and productivity had taken hits because of multiple failures of digital applications and services, often happening multiple times a month.
That’s damaging of course, because digital service failures can diminish a brand’s reputation and customer loyalty, reduce sales and revenue or even delay a project’s release.
What success looks like.
While digital transformations might seem more suited to large industries or corporations, when the goal is to tap into enterprise or B2B needs, the process also can apply to consumer interactions, which can produce effects that go beyond padding a client’s bottom line.
Look at what’s happened in banking. At the beginning of the mobile revolution, banking software on all devices left much to be desired. Accessing records was difficult, and users had no ability to search transactions. Most of the time, banks served customers spreadsheets or PDF versions of the same documents they got in the mail.
But banking software has turned a corner, with examples such as Capital One’s integration of the Alexa assistant into a customer helper and with the widening use of Touch ID and Face ID to give users quick access to their accounts. Everything about the interactive banking experience, in fact, has gotten better due to digital transformation.