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Successful Digital Transformations Lead With Human-Centred Design

Successful Digital Transformations Lead With Human-Centred Design

Learn how the Salesforce Professional Services team uses human-centred design to guide successful digital transformations.

Digital transformation is the process of using digital technologies to create new business processes, business culture, and customer experiences. 

Successful digital transformations put the customer at the centre of the design process. They also need employee buy-in to deliver desired outcomes to customers.

You’ve got to start with the customer or employee experience, and work backward toward the technology—not the other way around.”

Steve Jobs in 1997

Human-centred design keeps the human experience as the core focus of digital transformation. In doing so, it seeks to creatively integrate human needs with technology capabilities and business goals. 

But a successful digital transformation can be difficult to achieve. Research conducted by Boston Consulting Group in 2020 found that 70% of transformations fall short of their objectives.  

A lack of human-centred design is invariably a factor. The failure to properly consider and design around the human experience is a fatal flaw in many digital transformations.

The Salesforce Professional Services team uses a human-centred design philosophy to help our customers avoid this pitfall. We ensure our customers and their partners have the tools they need to support their digital transformation and drive future innovation and growth. This is how we set our customers up for long-term success:

Creating seamless customer journeys

In 2020, our Professional Services team was engaged as part of a digital transformation project for a well-known Singapore-based provider of adult-learning. Their vision was to bring students a wide variety of mostly digital educational offerings from best-in-class international education providers. They wanted students to be able to access these courses from anywhere at any time. 

The whole customer journey had to be seamless. Whether browsing courses, reading reviews, making payments, or streamlining live classes, the entire process needed to be smooth from a customer perspective. 

This required technical back-end integrations across multiple platforms managed by several different partners. 

The Professional Services team used a human-centred design process to ensure the core customer experience guided the complex technical solution. 

The human-centred design process involved workshops to define the optimal experience for the end customer. Insights from this process were then used as a blueprint to guide technology design decisions. 

Creating an optimal customer experience was the north star for the teams involved in the project. As a result, the project was delivered to scope, on time, and on budget. This is a major achievement for any digital transformation.

Improving the employee experience

The field service transformation recently undertaken by United Tractors provides a very different, but equally compelling example of the benefits of human-centred design.

As part of its overall transformation vision, United Tractors wanted to have complete visibility over its field service operations in Indonesia, with the goal of better serving its customers. 

According to Cindy Christian, Head of Digital at United Tractors, providing support for customers in a diverse geographic region made up of 13,000 islands is “a totally different ball game.”

Technicians often operate in remote locations under extreme conditions. Their priority is to fix things in the shortest possible timeframe to avoid costly downtime. Reporting and logging services involved time-consuming paperwork, and was a lower priority for technicians. 

United Tractors wanted to deliver a mobile app that would make technicians’ jobs easier. They worked with Salesforce Professional Services to deliver a human-centred design solution that put field service technicians at the centre of the design process. 

The resulting app enables technicians to submit reporting in a few simple clicks. The mobile app was also made available offline to cater for sites out of internet range.

Testament to the success of this project is that now user adoption sits at 81%. The visibility provided to the United Tractors business has increased customer return on investment and improved customer satisfaction.

Putting people before technology

So, how can your business emulate the success of these Trailblazers? 

The human-centred design process examines the current customer and employee experiences. This reveals key insights about customer and employee pain points, and how to create better customer and employee experiences. 

These insights are then used to guide technical decision making to ensure the technological solution is focused on delivering the best human experience—for your customers and employees.

Human-centred design is enabled by technology, not led by technology. To be successful, digital transformations must start with the human experience and work backwards. 

Salesforce Professional Services can help you transform your business and accelerate innovation using a human-centred design approach. Find out how.

Zibin Wang

Zibin has been with Salesforce since 2009. In his current role as the Engagement Director of Asia Professional Services, Zibin leads a team to propose service solutions and manage their delivery. He is passionate about helping customers realise the full potential of their Salesforce investments. Zibin has been in the technology industry for 20 years. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering, and an MBA from INSEAD. Outside of work, Zibin enjoys reading books about history and culture, swimming, running, and simply hanging out with his family.

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