Three ways to successfully drive digital

Digital is probably the most-talked about topic in corporate boardroom, but the process of translating this into practical actions and operations is still an enigma for many companies.

This is understandable as digital transformation is a complex operation requiring unprecedented coordination of people, processes and technology, as well as the integration of all initiatives to create real value and scale.

"A company's digital strategy needs to be hard-wired into their business strategy, value proposition and operating model."
Sanjoy Sen, Managing Director for Retail Banking Asia Pacific, ANZ

To make matters more challenging (or exciting, depending on how you look at it) there is no blueprint for success as a company's digital strategy needs to be hard-wired into their business strategy, value proposition and operating model. Just as every business is unique, every digital transformation is unique.

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It's an issue ANZ dealt with when working on the digital roadmap for its Asia-Pacific Retail Banking business. From that process we isolated three key concepts for companies to consider on their digital journey.


If it ain't broke, don't fix it? Wrong. This philosophy has no place in this age of digital disruption and it definitely isn't true when it comes to customer experience.

Any business content to rest on their laurels is at risk of becoming obsolete. Companies must also go beyond just digitising customer touch points as this is unlikely to set their business apart from the competition.

There is a real need to consistently deliver a constant stream of 'wow' moments to customers and this requires a more intimate understanding of the customer journey.

Digital can be very effective in the real-time monitoring of customer satisfaction, with immediate alerts to local staff for any issues that arise. This allows for instant interventions to ensure a positive customer experience.

According to Mckinsey & Co, companies that understand and act on improving customer journeys increase customer satisfaction by 20 per cent and drive revenue growth up 10 to 15 per cent with a 15 to 20 per cent reduction in the cost to serve.

At ANZ, we use iPads at selected branches to proactively monitor customer experience at different branch service points. Such real-time feedback processes enable companies to capture and learn from every customer interaction—positive or negative, and act on customer feedback immediately. This ensures every customer leaves on a happy note.

More importantly, the data allow companies to methodically benchmark their services and systematically test assumptions about the customer journey. This is crucial in enabling companies to fine-tune the customer journey and build a truly breakthrough experience for customers.


According to Capgemini, 60 per cent of customer dissatisfaction sources originate in the back office.

This is compelling proof that companies should not overlook the digitisation of middle-office and back-office functions.

It is also essential for companies to adopt an end-to-end digitisation approach in order to substantially reduce costs and create scale and value for their business. In doing so, companies should look at digitisation across three broad functions – customer engagement, customer onboarding and service fulfilment.

Digital strategies have proven to be very effective in boosting customer engagement, driven by the proliferation of mobile devices, which have become the preferred communication channel for consumers today.

Not surprisingly, many companies have a mobile-first strategy for customer engagement, maximising the opportunity to offer customers personalised content on a one-to-one basis. This is even more powerful when coupled with social media, which is gaining prominence as a source for product information and buying recommendations.

According to McKinsey, 15 per cent of WeChat users have made a purchase through the WeChat platform, and 40 per cent are interested in doing so in the near future.

We have also seen good results from using WeChat to engage ANZ customers in China. The use of WeChat in a product promotion received almost double the interest and response expected.

When applying digitisation to the customer onboarding process, companies need to do more than just transferring existing products or processes onto a mobile device. They have to use digital to elevate the onboarding experience from the status quo - and make an impactful connection with customers.

At ANZ, Retail staff now use iPads to onboard customers in Asia Pacific. But the iPads do more than just provide electronic versions of brochures, they allow customers to instantly have face-time with ANZ experts across the bank's network via video conference.

It's a powerful way of delivering the bank's value proposition to customers because it instantly resonates with customers' demand for ease, speed, mobility.

Last but not least, automation of back-end processes can significantly improve business performance by driving efficiency and productivity.

When ANZ developed a mobile app for bank loan collection agents to remotely access their files and submit real-time reports on their progress, it led team productivity to increase by 12 times and eliminated the hassle and cost from having a paper trail of daily reports.


When looking for digitisation opportunities across a business, navigating diverse regulations and customer demographics across multiple regions can be a challenge. However, the unique complexity of Asia's markets can also be an opportunity.

Localising a digital strategy in markets allows a business to customise solutions to local customers, languages and cultures, as well as address local legal and regulatory constraints. It allows for more innovation and impact with target customers and ultimately brings more returns than a global solution that lacks local flavour and identity.

A focus on local solutions also makes for a more agile business. This way a business can easily experiment with target audience groups and quickly respond to changing trends and consumer feedback, and the ownership that local staff and customers feel toward the solution drives collaboration and efficiency.

This approach has worked well for ANZ, resulting in a number of local language customer chat apps, which have significantly boosted customer satisfaction while relieving the customer call enquiry load on frontline staff.

It is important to plug the local solutions back into the global framework to ensure alignment to global governance standards. This also drives knowledge-sharing and scale and across markets and instils a culture of growth and innovation in the business.

These are just three ideas for companies to consider as they digitise their business. The full list of considerations will no doubt be longer for most companies and the success of any digital strategy will ultimately depend on the company's ability to integrate all the digital building blocks to create real value and scale throughout the business.

Sanjoy Sen is ANZ's Managing Director for Retail Banking Asia Pacific

The views and opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author and may not necessarily state or reflect those of ANZ.

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