John BuniJohn BuniAugust 19, 2019
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6min1927

The technology that now infuses our lives can do many things.

It can connect us by video with someone on the other side of the world, post our thoughts or pictures to thousands (or millions) of strangers, or teach us foreign languages. It can hail us a cab, book us a holiday, or order us a piece of clothing right to our front door. It has its shortcomings – and I’ve written extensively about these before – but on the whole it’s made our lives easier, and that’s a fact.

It’s no surprise that we delegate so much of our everyday existence to the unassuming devices in our pockets and bags. They are amazing, after all.

Articles like that which adorned the cover of Forbes magazine in 2007 now seem ridiculous. (“Nokia. One billion customers,” read the headline. “Can anyone catch the cell phone king?”) But there was a time, not long ago, that tech didn’t dominate our lives so comprehensively. And though not all of us predicted it would, there is a feeling now that there isn’t a problem tech can’t solve.

But tech can’t do everything – at least at the moment. And that’s a point that has (let’s be honest) somehow escaped the notice of some in the business world. Like a wave, tech has rolled over industries where a genuine relationship once existed in the Customer Experience and carried that human connection out to sea. In the short-term, the convenience or novelty might have made up for it for the consumer, and the increase in sales might have made up for it for the business. But now, people are realising they miss that human element in their experience.

They might need it for practical reasons – in customer service, for example – or simply want it because it makes the buying journey more personal and more enjoyable. It’s no coincidence that florists, beauticians, and hairdressers have come through the ‘retail apocalypse’ without a hair out of place – at least not their own, in the latter case. The human touch is actually built into the product.

PwC’s consumer intelligence survey, ‘Experience Is Everything, found that for 80 percent of American consumers, the most important aspects of a positive Customer Experience are speed, convenience, and friendly and knowledgeable service. Tech may take care of convenience and speed, but only people can supply great service.

Nearly 60 percent of consumers in the US feel companies have lost touch with the human side of CX, and 85 percent of consumers want more of it in the future. Outside of the US, the number (74 percent) is lower, but still points to a widespread desire for more humanity in business.

In the US, $75 billion in revenue is lost each year due to a poor Customer Experience, and between mid-2016 and early 2018, as tech played a greater and greater role in business, call centre volume went up by 39 percent – a trend that’s set to continue. The human touch in Customer Experience, even at the level of customer service, is becoming a key differentiator in the Digital Age.

Tech isn’t the problem. The problem is the belief that tech can or should replace people.

Technology like the cloud makes businesses faster, more dynamic and more flexible, which frees staff from more menial tasks so they can pay more attention to their customers, or think about how they can improve customer experience.

Technology can help businesses familiarise themselves with customers through recording names and purchase histories and recommending products. Tech doesn’t need to take the human touch out of customer experience. The opposite: it can make it better.


Leigh MoodyLeigh MoodyMay 22, 2019
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4min602

In today’s age of instant gratification, consumers are used to getting what they want, when they want.

Every interaction we have with a brand is expected to be quick, seamless and personalised for our convenience. Despite this, the average Briton can spend up to 235 days waiting in a queue or line to be serviced over the course of a lifetime. Whilst clichés would suggest the British are content with queueing – in reality this could not be further from the truth and today’s queueing culture is actually having a detrimental effect on business’ bottom line.

Customers that are made to wait for a long period of time are less likely to repeat their business with a company, which could have dire financial implications. In fact, the average person in the UK is now unwilling to wait more than six minutes for a service.

Business mobility will be key

Most queues or long wait times are a result of manual processes and outdated legacy systems that often use traditional payment systems, contributing to slower service. But because of the Amazon effect, consumers now expect an enhanced experience around the clock. Businesses must act fast to take advantage of technology such as digital signage, tablet scanners, mobile point-of-sale (mPOS), and self-checkout terminals to remain competitive.

As new technologies rapidly enter the market, there is a correlating increase in the number of channels through which businesses interact with customers, adding to the complexity and cost of those interactions. It is therefore more important than ever to recognise how a mobility strategy can help to anticipate customer needs, tailor business processes to better serve customers, and improve the efficiency of a business.

Creating an omnichannel Customer Experience

By implementing a dedicated mobility strategy across both online and offline operations, unnecessary queueing will become a thing of the past in retail. By streamlining the value chain and creating an omnichannel Customer Experience, workers will be empowered to multi-task more effectively, and ultimately provide a higher level of customer service.

For customers, easy-to-use self-service tools such as contactless payment and automated ordering services not only have a tremendously positive impact on customer satisfaction, but ultimately a business’ bottom line.

These business mobility technologies have the power to combine people, processes and technology to not just manage mobile devices, but also derive true business value from the digital age. Whilst a business mobility strategy can be complex to implement, effective execution can have a direct impact on both customer satisfaction and retention, putting brands miles ahead of the competition.




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