The modern customer is often on the go, seeks instant support, and wants a seamless experience. While such demands may be met through advanced technologies, the human touch remains essential.
Customers expect digital customer experiences (CX) by businesses not only integrated but also more advanced and secured. To avoid falling behind your competitors in the fast-moving experience economy, it’s critical you are able to humanize your customer experience also.
What is digital customer experience?
The experience customers have when they interact with your brand online over multiple touch points is known as digital customer experience (DCX). It is to deliver consistent service and satisfaction to the customers over different touch points, giving unified support by understanding the journey at the right time.
Having a strong DCX helps business with:
- Learning about the customer journey and behaviors across all digital interactions and deliver unified support.
- Keeping all customer information in a centralized data place so that all the teams can get gain insights to handle customer across different stages of their journey.
- Proactively engaging the customers by sending right and on time message to make conversions meaningful.
Digital experiences will account for far more service interactions in the future than we see now. Innovations like augmented or virtual reality will provide greater opportunities to represent the brand virtually. However, it’s an emotional connection that keeps customers coming back.
Gallup research suggests that these emotional connections with fully engaged customers net an additional 23% of revenue. Consumers want to spend their money with companies that demonstrate that they understand and attend to each customer’s individual needs and truly value who they are. AKA: “humanizing” the customer experience.
Are Companies Losing the Human Touch?
Both digital transformation & customer experience are the important components of the company culture and must be given top priority.
It’s no surprise that we delegate so much of our everyday existence to the devices in our pockets, but a study by Experience is Everything finds that in an age of chatbots, digital payments, artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), companies need to work harder to strike the right customer experience (CX) balance.
Fortunately, more companies are starting to realize that digital transformation does not equal customer experience. While technology can augment a brand’s ability to understand customers, human insights should ultimately guide any CX strategy.
Adding the “Human” to the Digital Customer Experience
The key to “humanizing the customer experience” is authenticity, and creating a true people-focused core in which all interactions are individual. Building long-term relationships with your customers means appealing to their emotions in an authentic way. Here are five ways to humanize customer experiences throughout the customer journey.
1. Become Customer-Centric
Being customer centric means planning your business strategies keeping customers in the frontline. It means offering a great experience through the buying journey and post purchase. Research by Deloitte found that customer-centric companies were 60% more profitable compared to companies that were not focused on the customer.
By understanding your customer journey across all touch points and provide unified support, investing in customer feedback, and adequately measuring business and team performance, you’ll be able to make your business process customer-centric and deliver outstanding customer experience.
2. Humanize the Brand Image
Every brand has a story. Are you communicating yours to customers?
Use engaging written and video content to describe the origins of your brand and the values you stand for. For example, if your brand supports specific social or environmental causes, customers will appreciate knowing that they support the same causes indirectly by engaging with you. Including employees and brand advocates further humanizes your brand and conveys the message that your company works as a team and values its customers.
3. Invest in Employee Satisfaction
Your employees are the lifeblood of your company, so their emotions count as much as your customers’ feelings.
It’s essential to listen to their feedback regarding their experiences with your company, whether it be ideas on how to improve working conditions or customer service. Giving them mentoring and professional development opportunities motivates them to do their best and inspires a team mentality that unites your brand. When your employees are happy and advocating for your brand, your customers will feel their enthusiasm.
4. Personalize the Experience
One of the most effective way to humanize the customer experience is by personalizing service. Businesses personalizing their interactions at every step of the customer journey to create higher customer satisfaction levels and brand loyalty. To do this brands need to understand every touch point of the customer’s journey. Mapping your customer journey helps to understand how your customers are interacting with you, what is their mode of communication and what is their average interaction time with your agents.
In addition, taking measures such as contacting customers on their preferred channels, offering personalized product recommendations, and thanking and rewarding them for their business show your brand’s attentiveness to each customer as an individual.
5. Make the Right Use of Data
As mentioned above, customers connect with your business across multiple touchpoints and data is collected in different forms, but collecting the data is not just enough. Making the right use of it is what matters.
A Forbes study reported 88% of marketers use data obtained to enhance their understanding of each customer. In all companies the collection, analysis, presentation and dissemination of business information can present monumental challenges. By properly analyzing data, companies can power smarter, more informed business decisions and gain a deeper understanding of the customers based on their historical conversations.
The insights can be further used for making contextual conversations with customers to provide a humanized customer experience.
To truly drive emotional engagement with customers, your organization will need to balance user-focused technology and highly-personalized human connection. A humanized customer experience begins with understanding the emotions of your employees and customers. By considering internal feedback and keeping a customer-centric attitude, your brand can deliver the seamless experiences your customers want with an authentic human touch.