Photo by Paul Marguerite licensed under Creative Commons

Beware the hidden dangers of digital transformation…

  1. Transactional Volume: What are the highest volume transactional issues? These are issues that are highly transactional in nature, with minimum value of human interaction

  2. Technical feasibility – how possible is it to automate these issues, what are the integration requirements, how complex is the problem solving or workflow logic?

  3. Quality: is it possible to maintain a quality of service through the automated mechanism, and thus avoid the customer being caught up in an automation arms race?

  4. Value of the interaction – what is the value to the brand of maintaining human interaction for these contact drivers, and where should human contact be preserved?

  5. Customer value perception – How would the customer prefer to engage with your brand for the issue in question, and how much do they value human interaction?

It is points 4 and 5 that are all too often overlooked in the race to automate, they are also the points that are often disregarded when taking a technology driven approach to digital transformation. It is only when we have a detailed view of the nature of each contact – what is really driving the customer to get in touch – that we can determine the value of the interaction to both brand and customer alike. I recently commented on a LinkedIn post from PwC that was focused on how digital transformation can dramatically change business processes. The key is to understand why customers need to be in touch, so you can plan the type of digital response you may need.

For example, lodging a formal complaint may appear to be a simple process that can easily be automated. However, consider the scenario of a customer treated badly inside a store. If they call and plan to report a rude and unhelpful member of staff then it is highly likely that they would expect the empathy that a human agent can provide – not an automated complaint recording service.

Clearly the technical ability to automate the customer experience is not enough. We must have a much deeper understanding of why the customer needs help and the value they attach to this interaction. Only then can we plan an automation strategy that blends both automated and human to customer interactions.

This blog series will continue exploring the themes covered by the white paper. Please feel free to leave a comment or get in touch directly if you would like to receive a copy once it is published.

In my opinion, only point 5 is more applicable to the B2B relationship. In all other aspects this hierarchy works from the base to the peak for consumer products too. Let’s consider an example, such as a pair of Nike running shoes. I know they are functional and do the job. I’m happy with the price. It’s easy to buy them. I trust statements from Nike about their products. I believe that by using that product and participating in the Nike Running Club I am improving my health and getting more from my life than I would if I were buying another brand. All the way through the pyramid, it is clear that consumers think this way about many purchases today.

I like the idea of this CX hierarchy of needs and I think I might try writing my own entirely new version based on what customers expect from an interaction with a brand. What do you think would be the most basic expectation? Leave a comment here or get in touch via my LinkedIn.