Realizing Customer Role in Digital Innovation

Dr. Agus Setiawan

PhD Holder and result-oriented Director with 25 years experience with involvement in all levels of Business Strategy, Sales and Marketing, Managing Project and Product Development. Aside of managing a company, he is also the best corporate trainer and public speaker in seminar and conference.

“The purpose of a business is to create a customer.”

The statement above was penned by Peter Drucker, the world-renowned business guru. It was true then, and it is also true now, more than six decades after he penned that sentence.

Customer is the most important part of the business as without it the enterprise will no longer able to sustain themselves. It even rings true even more in the midst of digital transformation and disruption era. Emerging technologies and changing landscape has contributed to the shift of customer behavior.

Unfortunately, digital transformation initiatives at companies around the world have forgotten to put customers as the heart of their innovations. Instead, they shift their focus on deciding what new technologies they should adopt to enable their business even more. For example, implementing the latest AI technology to automate some of repetitive business process to reduce costs. The focus on technology cannot be overlooked. However, if companies have too narrow focus, they would pay higher price as their customers suffer from poorly designed experiences as well as inconsistent touch points with the brand.

With that mind, here are three key drivers for capturing customers' value in digital innovation era:

• Innovate with customer-focus

Listen to customer is of the utmost importance before creating or revisiting anything. The next step is focussing everyone on customer’s jobs-to-be-done. Another way of listening to customer is paying attention to the whole customer journey. As from this journey we could see what the customers value above and beyond, their pain points, and their whole experience. Some key metrics to measure in this stage are: value, customer outcomes, stickiness, higher loyalty, product.

• Innovate the whole customer experience

Pay attention to all dimensions when defining customer experience, what could be counted or not as part of their experience. As digital channels have completely changed the ways that customers prefer to interact, often times businesses need to revamp their whole customer experience to cater the changing needs of the customers.

• Transform the customer experience

The most advanced level is to transform the customer experience. This requires systems thinking, widespread collaboration, and borrowing from other industries in order to drive success in the transformation.

All in all, as Jeff Bezos has successfully applied in his business, business must become obsessed with their customers by truly understanding their customers, regularly checking their existing customer experience, to identifying each relevant touch point in order to satisfy their customers.

If your business needs more guidance on navigating the customer dimension in your digital innovation journey, learn more about our Digital Innovation Strategy program, and thrive in your journey.


No author. (2020). Digital transformation and customer experience: a deep dive. Retrieved 24 Oct 2021, from:

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