Cast your mind back just a few years and the digital customer experience some companies delivered was enough to differentiate them from their competitors. In 2018 PwC asked what made a good customer experience. Their answer was “Speed. Convenience. Consistency. Friendliness and human touch—that is, creating real connections by making technology feel more human and giving employees what they need to create better customer experiences”.
An excellent digital experience is now a basic expectation
As technologies have advanced—even more rapidly in the past few years than we could have anticipated with the impact of a global pandemic— AI has become more sophisticated, and a good digital customer experience is now a basic expectation. Fast forward to 2022 and it may be still about connection, but this time it’s human connection that people crave. It’s the human touch that creates value and differentiates businesses, not just technology that feels more human.
Sometimes it’s because automated services just can’t answer the question or solve the problem satisfactorily. You don’t need to scroll for long on social media to find a post complaining bitterly about the impossibility of speaking to someone in customer services.
But now it’s more than just about finding answers quickly and easily. Gartner is predicting that by 2026, “75% of customers who call customer service and support organizations will do so out of loneliness, not because they have a customer service issue”.
Combining automation, digitisation, and human interaction
Customers want the best of all worlds, and companies need to design their services to create the optimum experience to differentiate themselves. Automating and digitising parts of the customer experience can ensure that simple issues can be dealt with quickly and effectively. Used properly it can create seamless, consistent, end-to-end support that is easy to use.
Automating complex or labour-intensive processes saves money, improves the customer experience, and provides useful data. Its importance cannot be underestimated. Customers want personalised experiences and using customer data collected via digital processes can be extremely useful for this.
However, many companies are still failing to see the whole picture, which bits of the process should be automated and where should humans take over? Where are the most effective, useful, and important touchpoints for customers to be offered the opportunity to interact with a real person?
Designing the customer service experience to create value
Service design takes account of the business and how it works as well as its customers and what they need. A holistic approach enables companies to design their customer service experience to maximise their resources and make the right choices. Without it they risk providing a below standard customer experience and losing their customers.
At Engine Service Design we believe in the power of service design to help create the optimum customer service experience for your business and your customers. We can help you innovate, differentiate, and reimagine. Get in touch to find out more.
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