73% of business leaders find a direct connection between customer service and business performance.
The Customer Experience (CX) Trends Report 2022
Customer experience is a critical differentiator in the post-COVID world of work. With advanced digital technologies available at their fingertips, customers have become sellers—and every impression/interaction they undergo is easily an essential factor in deciding the sustainable growth of a brand.
However, the recent shifts in consumer behaviors and expectations have caused a paradigm shift in the leader mindset: customers expect organizations to humanize technology to gain loyalty and future-proof their next normal.
We must make technology as trustworthy and accessible as possible. As leaders, our ultimate responsibility should only be about designing technology and automating it to improve ‘human to human’ and ‘human-to-technology’ interfaces.
It should be technology that works for humans—It should not be humans to work on themselves to use it.
Humanizing employee experience is a great first step.
We must begin with humanizing automation for employees (because employees play a pivotal part in managing customer journeys, especially across all the digital touchpoints.) Firstly, we should have a comprehensive plan to reduce the overall employee effort by removing menial and repetitive sub-activities in a process.
Organizations can use smart automation technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and natural language processing (NLP) to smoothen the workflow between systems, people, and devices. It increases the efficiency of business rules and frees the employees from non-value add tasks to focus on creating more strategic and personalized customer interactions with data-powered insights.
Leveraging all digital touchpoints across the customer journey is our way in.
It is essential to gauge customer expectations accurately to understand what they want. The best companies invest in tools such as advanced analytics to access robust qualitative data, create simulations and understand the impact of their potential investments. This necessity could be the cue to look for partnerships with technical giants with proven expertise in managing digital algorithms and prescriptive/predictive analytics. But is all this honestly translating into superior customer experience?
Let us understand with an example.
A customer can be availing services in a bank or interacting with an insurer. Organizations can enable these touchpoints with conversational AI engagement tools, such as chatbots and virtual voice-enabled assistants. When implemented right, they can give contextual insights to help customers make wiser and better decisions. The catch is to ‘implement it right.’ We have to think like customers, understand their journeys and ensure that the latest technology only adds value to improve their experience.
Humanizing technology means making technology better able to easily interpret and react to human factors, such as human emotions. When designing AI-powered interfaces, we should move beyond pure functionality and consider ergonomics and softer aesthetics to ensure human-like, pleasurable interactions with the customers.
So, what happens next? Well, growth happens!
When organizations invest in humanizing their technical architecture to improve customer experience and employee experience, they become three times more productive than those who do not.
Humanized technology can help organizations learn about customer journeys and behaviors and offer a digital-yet-personalized engagement. With centralized customer information portals and virtual bots acting as front-liners, customer care executives can be freed of menial non-value tasks and focus on more value-add work. They can draw insights from customers’ last purchases or open tickets in the CRMs and make strategic and contextual conversations to delight customers at the end of each cycle. 88% of marketers revealed this in a global survey focused on delivering agile customer service.
The recipe for humanized customer experience includes having a richer and more tech-powered understanding of the emotions of our employees and customers. Leaders have to leverage internal feedback and pursue a customer-centric attitude across their organizations.
Thanks for reading this blog. I have spoken more about why improving CX depends on humanizing tech here.