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finance 1Closing the Gaps in Financial Customer Experience

In an era where all financial institutions are striving to deliver distinctive customer experiences and offering high-quality services, staying relevant to customers is essential. Learn More

digitopia webinar maturity v5 kare2Digital Maturity Webinar Series: Operations, Rebooted

Digital Maturity: Operations, Rebooted.

15th October, 2020 2:00 pm (GMT+1:00)

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A101The Largest Grocery Chain in Turkey Gets Digital

A101 has been busy with digital transformation for 2 years, focusing on the different dimensions of customer experience, operational improvements and innovation. Learn More

CULTURECompany Culture Is Crucial

Every organization has a culture, and since culture is the foundation of powerful organizations, it is too important to be left to form on its own. Learn More…

dmi customerDigital Maturity Explained: Customers, Reconnected

If we must identify the most important reason for digital transformation, it would be the customer. Smart devices have empowered the end-user like never before. Learn More…

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Watch “Digital Maturity:
Customers, Reconnected.”
on our YouTube channel.

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denemeHow Does Your Company Compare?

DMI gives you a clear view of where you are on your digital journey and what you should do to improve. Learn More

Closing the Gaps in Financial Customer Experience

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Stay Focused. Stay Relevant

In the financial services industry, competition has never been tougher and will continue to get more competitive. Faced with a more knowledgeable, demanding, and powerful customer archetype, executives are aware that competitive advantage resides in providing an excellent customer experience. However, the road from awareness to action can be rough. What can we do?

In an era where all financial institutions are striving to deliver distinctive customer experiences and offering high-quality services, staying relevant to customers is essential(see Figure 1). That’s much easier said than done. There is no “wonder drug” that delivers excellent customer experience while staying relevant. However, there is a prescription that will help to generate great experiences, supported by an overarching strategy. 

Figure 1
Screenshot 2020 10 05 at 10.57.54 AMUse Data to Be Insightful

David Ogilvy famously said, “Consumers don’t think how they feel, they don’t say what they think, and they don’t do what they say.”
This emphasizes the importance of understanding customer behaviour. We don’t want to rule out qualitative research data completely; well-crafted qualitative research will help to generate insights into customer behaviour. Yet, a better understanding of customer behaviour requires advanced analytical capabilities built on a database rich in accuracy. 

Advanced analytical capabilities include being able to personalise offerings and interactions, using real-time data for immediate action, and running prescriptive analyses to surprise and delight customers. The more a company can function in real-time with precision, the more it is likely to gain a competitive advantage.  

Leveraging data for customer experience breeds significant business value. It helps by lowering costs-to-serve, increasing sales, and establishing long-term customer relationships. Digitopia estimates that high performers in customer experience are likely to earn 10% greater revenues on average by providing more relevant offerings and decrease costtoserve by 10% on average by reducing customer queries and complaints. 

Design for Simplicity, Convenience, and Significance

While function, usability, and convenience are all important value propositions, excellent customer experience extends its value further than these by offering significant interactions. Providing a superior customer experience often starts by identifying key elements within a customer’s journey. For many financial institutions, there is a set journey that contributes extensively to customer satisfaction; be it opening an account, applying for a loan, taking out a mortgage, monitoring credit card transactions, or making a money transfer. Empathising with customers through in-depth research and factual data is key to understanding the customers’ needs and behaviour on each journey. Moreover, an omnichannel approach is required to customise interactions based on the customer’s preferences.

Crafting personally significant customer solutions requires agility within teams of diverse skill, e.g. business owners, data analysts, researchers, and designers. 

Studies show that companies can deploy major service improvements in less than 20 weeks by using human-centric design methodology and “working agile”, outperforming competitors significantly.

Measure for Continuous Improvement

Focusing on customer experience is not a one-time action. It is a methodology and requires continuous improvement. To attain a culture of continuous improvement, the right metrics should be identified and measured. To make sure that metrics serve a holistic customer experience strategy, in-journey metrics need to be linked to a top-line experience indicator. 

Furthermore, customer experience should be frequently discussed within the company and remain an active area of attention. Results from these efforts should be embedded into frequent discussions to review progress, identify improvements, and allocate resources for further evaluation. User-friendly dashboards that integrate customer feedback data across channels, survey results, comments from frontline staff, customer sentiment on social media, and operational data enable everyone to keep up with the customers’ pulse. 

Overall, data analytics, design capabilities, and performance metrics aligned with strategy are the important pillars of customer-focused business and significant levers of staying relevant. Understanding different components of customer experience, assessing the maturity of the enterprise at each component, and drafting a roadmap for improvements are key steps to reduce any gaps between customer and company. Identifying and closing these gaps will result in delighted customers, happier employees, and better business performance.

This article is a part of our monthly Digitopia Digest: 
Digitopia Digest is a monthly newsletter showcasing the latest news in digital transformation. If you are determined to discover what to do next in your organization to achieve digital success or are simply interested in digital technology and innovation, please subscribe for updates.

Digital Maturity Webinar Series: Operations, Rebooted

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digitopia webinar maturity operations rebooted

Digital Maturity Webinar Series: Operations, Rebooted.

Imagine an insurance product development department using tools that consider customer demographics, geography, even weather conditions and wider governmental relations to accurately shape and personalize offerings to customers – with a 99% confidence level.

This is just one example of what can be possible with digital excellence in operations.
Excellence in digital leads to operational excellence through effective initiatives. These initiatives are performed with experienced guidance.

Regardless of the industry, operations is the business dimension that correlates to an institution’s productivity.

Digitopia’s Mark Walker-Smith and Emir Saricali will talk about achieving digital operational excellence in your company’s foundation, channels, processes, analytics, and more.  Joined by digital development executive Robin Peters, this webinar will discuss digital maturity research topics within the financial services industry, automation, paper elimination, data flow, and many other operational essentials.
It is proven that operational excellence reduces costs, boost customer satisfaction and increase employee productivity. How does your company compare?

Click here to register for the webinar

The Largest Grocery Chain in Turkey Gets Digital

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A101, the largest grocery retail chain in Turkey, continuously pushes the boundaries of cost optimization and best pricing for customers. With 9,000 stores, 54,000 employees, and over 600 suppliers, the company ranked first in job creation between the years 2015-2018, due to phenomenal growth and expansion.

A101’s Journey with Digitopia

Digitopia began by working with A101’s CIO, Orhan Dağlıoğlugil, to design and deliver monthly workshops to the management team, aiming to bring insight into the topics of concern. A101 was so impressed with their Digital Maturity Index experience that they invited Digitopia to take part in the A101 Management Strategy Meeting at the end of 2019. 

A101 has been in their digital transformation journey for the last 2 years. All aspects of change, customer experience, operational improvements, innovation, and digital culture had been in the hands of the appropriate decisionmakers within the company.

It was difficult for A101 to measure their progress with no tool at hand to assess the maturity and progress across all dimensions.  It was time to seek outside assistance. 

Enter Digitopia.

A101 decided to adopt the Digital Maturity Index (DMI) to gauge the progress of their digital transformation journey. 

With DMI, the executives discussed where they were at the start of the journey, where they are right now, and where they aim to be in the next 1-2 years. 

The workshops were held in 6 areas; customer experience, innovation, governance, operations, people, and technology. 

DMI gave guidance on a A101’s digital maturity level on a scale from one to five. For each grade, there is an explanation of why the situation is not a four but rather a three. The study generates recommendations to achieve a higher level of digital maturity for each dimension. This allows for a high-level roadmap and/or a revision of the existing roadmap so that the transformation initiative stays on track. 

A101 executives’ involvement in the study ensured that the assessment was made in consensus, bringing everyone onto the same page. Conflicts were brought to light, addressed, and resolved to set a healthy guiding coalition moving forward.

A101 orhan bey

A word from CIO, Orhan Dağlıoğlugil:

We have been busy with digital transformation at A101 for the last 2 years focusing on the different dimensions of customer experience, operational improvements, innovation, and digital culture. Digitalisation is happening in all aspects of daily life. We wish to adapt to that and build a roadmap in consideration of country dynamics, retail sector dynamics and our corporate culture. One of the most important aspects of the process was the DMI Digital Maturity Index Study which allowed us to have a clear picture of where we are and to set our priorities in an objective manner. 

his article is a part of our monthly Digitopia Digest:
Digitopia Digest is a monthly newsletter showcasing the latest news in digital transformation. If you are determined to discover what to do next in your organization to achieve digital success or are simply interested in digital technology and innovation, please subscribe for updates. 

Company Culture Is Crucial

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Company cultures are one of the most valuable building blocks for conveying a common spirit within an organization. Every organization has a culture, and since culture is the foundation of powerful organizations, it is too important to be left to form on its own. 

In his book The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups, Daniel Coyle begins with the question, “Why do certain groups add up to be greater than the sum of their parts, while others add up to be less?” and emphasizes the specific set of skillsuccessful cultures use and the achievements of the leaders who play a crucial role in their formation. These skills form the structure of this book, as follows: 

1. Building Safety explores how signals of connection generate bonds of belonging and identity. 

Building safety is a fluid, improvisational skill and it is learnable. To be able to recognize patterns, react quickly, and deliver the right signal at the right time is at the base of building safety as part of organizational culture. Having such competencies requires certain bare necessities: 

  • Listening: In a successful culture everyone has a voice, and everyone is heard. 
  • Feedback: Encouraging people to give clear, necessary feedback is crucial in making people feel safe in an organization.
  • Appreciation: It is crucial to be generous and show appreciation for success. 
  • Collision: Creating common spaces to maximize collision. 
  • A Togetherness Statement: Expressing the message “We are all in this together” is important not only verbally, but also with actions like non-hierarchical distribution of daily tasks. 
  • Fun: Embracing fun is not only about enjoyment; it is the most fundamental sign of safety and connection. 
  • Cycle: A safety cycle begins with the hiring process and maintains itself throughout the organization.

2. Sharing Vulnerability explains how habits of mutual risk drive trusting cooperation. 

Forming habits surrounding group vulnerability paves the way for cooperation and enables people to perform at their best. Achieving such an approach requires time, willingness, repetition, and planning.  

  • Building and sharing cooperative culture begins with the leader. When the leaders express their vulnerabilities, their teams consolidate their importance in the group and their determination to achieve as part of the group.  
  • Clarifying and over-communicating expectation encourages people to maximize on those expectations to deliver tangible results, either as individuals or in groups 
  • Following the group dynamic is essential to maintaining culture. Moments of conflict are especially valuable in understanding whether people are empathizing with or blaming others.  
  • Listening is the most important part of group dynamics. If people are effectively listening to each other, the more likely they are to foster cooperation among them.  
  • Using flash mentoring and offering spontaneous initiatives will help people reveal their potential and support loyalty within a group.

3. Establishing Purpose tells how narratives create shared goals and values. 

Successful cultures can navigate their problems and challenges altogether and this is a result of a well-defined and well-understood purpose. To be able to identify and extend purpose culture-wide, a company must: 

  • Name, rank and clarify their priorities 
  • Communicatthese well-defined priorities and define the measurement criteria for success
  • Lead the team effectively according to  skill and performance expectations 
  • Spotlight a single major task to define cultural identity and set it as a bond for the people who are underlying the purpose

In short, culture is learned, shaped, and modified continuously. All you need is effort, hard work, and devoted determination from all parts of your organization to succeed.
Book review summarized by Betul Ekinci and Esra Islamoglu

This article is a part of our monthly Digitopia Digest: 
Digitopia Digest is a monthly newsletter showcasing the latest news in digital transformation. If you are determined to discover what to do next in your organization to achieve digital success or are simply interested in digital technology and innovation, please subscribe for updates.

Digital Maturity Explained: Customers, Reconnected

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dmi customer 01
If we must identify the most important reason for digital transformation, it would be the customer. The internet and the smartphone have empowered the end-user like
never before. Having a shop on “main street” was a very important strength before the internet. Today, the “main street shop” equivalent is in the palm of the consumer’s hand, and there is no main street or high street anymore. Your competitor is just one click away.  

Therefore, most digital transformation programs focus on customers, customer experience, and customer analytics. The better you know your customer, the better you are likely to serve her. The right product at the right time, in the right place with the right promotion or the right price, is now just a matter of algorithms calculated in microseconds. This is true for the internet giants in the West and in the East. Is your company capable of doing the same? 

As one can see, focusing on the customer is truly essential. Therefore, we have put the customer dimension at the very top of our digital maturity index. The more you digitalise customer relations, transactions, interactions, and the usage of products and services, the better you can analyse and understand who the customer is. You can even predict what she is going to do next and see why she is doing what she is doing. 


To achieve “customer excellence” an organization must succeed across many components. We have structured them in four main groups: The foundation, the offerings, the experience, and analytics. All these components are equally important. They are all tightly integrated and must improve and mature simultaneously.  

The foundation consists of several strategic capabilities. The direction of the “customer excellence program”, meaningful leadership in place, thorough organization with the necessary skills available, and establishing a customer-centric culture in the organisation create an unshakeable base.  

The offerings are everything you offer to your customers, products, services, promotions, business models, and value propositions. Digital transformation means to be able to digitally connect these offerings with the customer to make meaningful interactions possible. This generates tons of data, which again help to improve product and service quality, and eventually will improve overall customer value.  

The experience is what the customer lives through while consuming your services or products and using your channels or engaging with your brand in general. This can be very emotional, sometimes delightful. It can also be frustrating, not only depending on your performance but also relating to the perceived quality, timeliness, and value on the consumer end. It is not always easy to satisfy a customer in a difficult situation.  

Analytics is probably the most important dimension in terms of knowing your customer and improving the overall value on both ends. The offerings and experiences will become more relevant to the customer. The value gained by the company will grow over time in revenue, loyalty, and lifetime value, which are all measurable and improvable within specific areas of analytical application.  

On 17th September 2020, we discussed the customer dimension of our Digital Maturity Index with Mark Walker-Smith, Head of EMEA at Digitopia, Oliver Sheerin, Customer Intelligence Advisor at SAS, and Halil Aksu, Managing Partner at Digitopia.  

The importance of continuous measurement was an important outcome. We listened to very exciting examples from SAS on how they have helped their clients to excel in customer analytics and have gained true value out of it.  

Digitopia provided strong evidence concerning digital maturity, the impact of digital transformation journeys, and how companies competing on all fronts can get the customer’s attention. During the webinar, Amazon’s strengths were discussed, and the new business model of subscriptions was elaborated on, with a very recent announcement from Pret-a-Manger’s new offering: a flat fee per month for unlimited beverages. It will be very interesting to watch how those businesses will evolve.  

Click here to view the webinar.



Our digital maturity index measures on a scale from 1.0 to 5.0. The first maturity level represents very basic customer interactions, so we have labeled it “working”. Going up to the highest level, which we have labeled “fascinating”, describes a state-of-the-art overall customer experience enabled, augmented, and enriched with digital capabilities.  

The studies we have done in the recent past show that the “customer” dimension is not among the strongest areas of many companies. The overall average of digital maturity was measured at 2.7 and the customer dimension average scored at 2.6. There is a lot of room for improvement. We will absolutely see huge investments in this area in the upcoming times.  

During our work with clients, we have also found out that improving digital maturity within the customer dimension is particularly difficult. It requires a holistic approach, strong leadership, and synchronized initiatives ranging from design to processes, from applications to culture, and from analytics to quality. Of course, all initiatives are rendered worthless if the processes, the culture, the channels, and the products and services are not executed correctly in daily life.  

Brief descriptions of each level can be found in the graphic below: 



To give you a glimpse into a “fascinating” digital maturity level of the customer dimension, please review the illustration below. It is a brief list of some capabilities an advanced organisation must have to become a “love mark”.  

One of the most customer-centric organisations on the planet is Amazon. At least, that’s their claim. Amazon still has a corporate culture even with customer experience as the most prioritized strategy. In their offices in every meeting, one chair is left empty, representing the voice of the customer.  

Imagine Amazon Prime, the world-leading subscription service, having more than 150 million subscribers as of 2020. Imagine an Amazon recommendations engine, generating more than a third of their e-commerce revenues.  

As if that is not enough, Amazon has also put an echo device in our homes, so we can talk to Amazon all the time and order stuff around the clock. Millions of households are now close friends with Alexa. She is considered a family member. Can you get closer to your customer than this? 


Based on all our experiences and best practices we have examined, we described the most advanced customer experience, the most fascinating digital maturity in the customer dimension, one can imagine, as of today.  

What stands out is the amount, quality, and usage of data and turning it into intelligence and insight. The better you know your customer, the better you can serve them. That’s beneficial for the customer and in most cases, it is also very lucrative for the organization. Pricing, campaigns, cost of marketing, service quality, personalized offers, and/or experiences, are much better processed and executed on digital channels with rich data sets.  

Currently, we use web sites and mobile apps as the go-to channels. But slowly, smartwatches, voice assistants, other kinds of smart devices are picking up and becoming mainstream. There will be other channels by which customers may want to reach you. It’s not just about the number of channels available, it is the overall experience; the integration, the look and feel of those channels, and how they contribute value to the user and to the organization.  

Imagine a regular store selling a music CD, compared to Spotify, providing you with all the world’s music at your fingertips. Guess which one collects more information? Guess which one knows the customer better? Guess which one can turn that knowledge into real loyalty and real revenue? Yes, the answer is obvious. So, there is no other way of moving forward than by collecting as much information as possible about the customer and turning it into value for all participants. That’s the essence of digital maturity, and that’s the most crucial success factor for your digital transformation.

This article is a part of our monthly Digitopia Digest: 
Digitopia Digest is a monthly newsletter showcasing the latest news in digital transformation. If you are determined to discover what to do next in your organization to achieve digital success or are simply interested in digital technology and innovation, please subscribe for updates.

Did You Miss Last Month’s Webinar?

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How Does Your Company Compare?

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Digitopia’s Digital Maturity Index (DMI) assesses a company’s digital maturity across six dimensions: Governance, Innovation, Technology, Customer Experience, Operations, and People.

DMI gives you a clear view of where you are on your digital journey and what you should do to improve. It is the most comprehensive digital maturity assessment approach on the market, covering the 6 dimensions stated above and 24 components within each dimension. The assessment is conducted to your company’s executives with workshops facilitated by industry expert Digitopia consultants. In the workshops, executives fruitfully discuss and score your maturity level across a set of components. 

The output is: 

  • Your company’s digital maturity score (overall and across 6 dimensions) and an explanation of what each score represents.
  • The benchmark of your scores against other companies.
  • Observations and recommendations across every dimension pointing out your strengths and areas of improvement.
  • A list of initiatives to improve your score broken down by dimension, importance, urgency, and resource need.
  • Try our DMI Self-Assessment Survey to determine your company’s perceived digital maturity.

Digitopia Digest is a monthly newsletter showcasing the latest news in digital transformation. If you are determined to discover what to do next in your organization to achieve digital success or are simply interested in digital technology and innovation, please subscribe for updates.

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