In this age of digitization, companies across the globe are rapidly digitizing various business processes to optimize their customer experience. According to an article published in McKinsey by Shahar Markovitch and Paul Willmott, a bank by digitizing their mortgage-application and decision process brought down their preliminary loan approval time to just a minute, thus improving customer experience1. According to a Harvard Business Review (HBR) article, Insurance Companies' Untapped Digital Opportunity, companies with well-aligned digital strategy are providing 50 percent personalized customer interactions?.
Does this mean the end of human-to-human interaction in the customer buying cycle? Can a high-end digitization process enable complete automation of user experience eliminating the need for human intervention?
In an annual consumer survey conducted by PWC, it was found that nearly 40 percent of consumers purchase in-store on a weekly basis as compared to 27 percent online3. They shop in-store for the sheer experience of feeling and trying the product before purchase, avoid delivery fees and receiving the items instantly.
Let us take a look into the various interaction touch points that users pass through during their entire buying journey.
A user realizes the need for product or service, and therefore starts discussing it with friends, colleagues, family member and relatives. The objective is to find a solution to the need.
Once the user discovers the product or service required, he/she begins the process of short listing the ones that closely meet all criteria. He/she contacts customer care executives.
On finalization, the user proceeds to make the order. He/she contacts the sales agent or manager.
For the delivery, he reaches out to the sales agent or manager, or the customer care.
In case of any after sales service required, the user contacts the service agent or the call center guy.
While a few touch points noted above can be automated or digitized fully or partially to optimize p
rocesses and business revenue, by automating others companies will take away the opportunity to understand their consumers better. A person’s interaction with another human is culturally influenced. Culture influences human perceptions. Human belief systems and actions are largely shaped by social structures. Such information pertaining to consumer behavior can only be gathered by observation, interview and conversation with real people. By bringing in real people to interact with them businesses can help draw valuable insights about consumers who often cannot express what they feel about a product or service. By engaging such customers on a personal level and winning them over meaningful conversations can help build a positive customer experience and loyalty.
What do you say? Share your thoughts and experiences with us.