Time

As a quick blog, I wanted to explain my thinking on why digital transformation should be focused on saving customers time. I have been accused of over simplifying the opportunity that digital transformation brings when I state that Digital Transformation is about saving time for the customer and nothing else. It seems to me that every successful company that is leading digital transformation has a model where saving time is the center pillar of their effort. Maybe it is just how you perceive the opportunity space. Lets explore the Netflix history. Netflix in its very early days first made it easy to get a CD/DVD and return it. I was able to watch what I wanted by ordering on-line, walking to the mailbox and popping the movie into my device. It eliminated the need to drive to the video store, look around, pick movies, drive home watching them and then worrying about late fees if I kept them too long! This major change in business model saved me time to get what I wanted, access to content. As Nextflix progressed into streaming they made sure that their streaming app was ubiquitous in all devices and simple to set up making it seamless and less time consuming to use streaming. The streaming app allowed me to consume TV shows whenever I wanted without even leaving my couch! Netfix then continued to save me time by offering me titles that I valued based on my viewing habits. They eliminated time wasting ads that I really didn’t care about that interrupt my entertainment time. Netflix has killed many competitors along the way and set the bar for streaming services. Amazon is the king of saving me time, the app makes it so easy to order everything that it saves me time running to the store, hoping to find what I need, wasting gas and my valuable time to locate an item. I know exactly when something will arrive for all kinds of items and food alike. If I need to return an item, Amazon has worked to reduce the time and energy it takes to return something. Finally on-line shopping is exploding because the average person feels comfortable with the Amazon model over going shopping. Uber as a last example saves me time to find a ride in a big city, allows me to see exactly when the car will arrive and also makes the experience much nicer than a traditional cab ride. Uber saves me time, gives me real time updates, shows me a price in advance and eliminates the stress when I pay, allowing me to not have to have cash on hand. In all these examples the key is knowing what the customer values most in a given situation and using the available information and insights available to help them save time obtaining the value. Once a trust is built, offering them better services that take less time to get to will continue to positively impact their perception of your value and drive loyalty to your brand. So in my opinion, it is all about reducing the time to value for customers and carefully understanding what they value and reducing the time and effort it takes to obtain it!

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