Digital Transformation, Done Right

Simha Sadasiva

CEO and Founder, Ushur

Digital transformation is something every modern company talks about, thinks about, and worries about, all of the time. The reason for that worry, largely, is that most organizations approach the task backward. 

Many companies have a tendency to think about what they need to change rather than the outcome they’re trying to drive. They view digital transformation as something that has to be tackled all at once, an end-to-end revamp across the entire organization, with IT as the centralized decision-making engine.

In my experience, that strategy is a recipe for disaster. I’ve personally never seen it work. Organizations embark on these painful 3-5 year journeys to replace a legacy platform, spend upwards of $50 million, and in the end, are left staring at a partially transformed business. That’s because modernized infrastructure alone doesn’t actually modernize the system of customer engagement. 

In reality, digital transformation can happen piecemeal, in a way that delivers targeted benefits to customers and users immediately rather than years down the road. It can be done for a lot less than $50 million right out of the gate, and it can be done without a multi-year overhaul of whatever legacy systems seem to stand in the way of progress. Let’s talk about how.

Start with the End in Mind

Digital transformation should begin with a simple question–what does the customer experience need to be? Using that as a guiding principle helps identify the right processes and infrastructure along the way. We believe that digital transformation can, and should, happen in stages–starting with customer experience. 

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Instead of looking inward at what they don’t have, organizations should look outward at what their customers want. Insurance providers, for example, can identify their most friction-prone customer engagements that lead to the most inbound interactions, and tackle those on a case-by-case basis without revamping their core policy admin or claim systems. The solution doesn’t have to start at the center. 

Instead, organizations can identify what we refer to as “micro-engagements”–then digitize and modernize those experiences in ways that delight the customer. Many of our customers have seen immediate success with this approach of “a la carte” digital transformation because it’s strategically designed to have a positive impact on the customer as quickly as possible. It also allows breathing room to complete the rest of the journey the right way. The impact happens faster, the initial investment is lower, and you have a clear line of sight to value with real-time customer feedback.

Delight and Retain Customers Through Periods of Great Change

We believe immediately eliminating any friction that exists in the way customers are served gives organizations the best chance to retain those customers through the long process of a complete digital transformation. Modern customers want to do business with companies that meet them, not ones that expect to be sought out. Part of this dynamic means that companies can’t expect their customers to suffer now for the promise of better things later.

One of our customers, a large insurance company, needed to modernize the way it engaged with customers. For instance, one process required claims adjusters and disability benefits specialists to manually call people going on absence for any number of reasons–maternity or paternity, injury, illness, life events–resulting in outbound phone calls that took countless hours to collect a few basic pieces of information. 

But its central claims system operated on a 25-year-old mainframe, and to replace that mainframe would have been a five-year, $50 million initiative. We found a quick way to ingress info from their legacy mainframe into our platform and egress it back once it was processed. We enabled the digitization of all claims conversations, completely automating a process that used to take an average of three weeks and six call attempts per customer. Now, 90 percent of claimants complete the process in under an hour, via text. All without a single change to their underlying infrastructure.

We call our approach to this an 'invisible app'–an experience completely intuitive for anyone using it, all self-contained without the need to download anything."

At its core, digital transformation exists to modernize the way we conduct business. That should start with the customer experience. Everything else on the back end can be managed and orchestrated over time. Meanwhile, you retain your customers and provide them with better service, right away.

About Ushur

Ushur delivers the world’s first AI-powered Customer Experience Automation™ platform that has been purpose-built, from the ground up, to intelligently automate entire customer journeys, end to end. Designed to deliver delightful, hyper-personalized customer experiences through rapid issue resolution and unified, omnichannel engagement, Ushur is the first-of-its-kind system of intelligence. It combines Conversational Automation and Knowledge Work Automation in a No-Code, Cloud-native, SaaS platform to digitally transform every step of the complete enterprise customer experience – from Micro-engagements™ to entire customer journeys.

Backed by leading investors including Third Point Ventures, 8VC, Pentland Ventures, Aflac Ventures and Iron Pillar, Ushur’s Customer Experience Automation™ solutions are currently in production at some of the leading insurance providers across the globe including Irish Life, Unum, Aetna, Cigna and Tower Insurance.

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