The human factor: Redefining customer experience in a digital world

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In today's digital-first world, businesses are increasingly focused on providing exceptional Customer Experience (CX) to gain a competitive edge. With countless tools and channels at their disposal, companies strive to create seamless interactions that cater to their tech-savvy customers. While the digital-first approach has brought numerous benefits, it's crucial not to overlook the significance of human interaction in delivering an outstanding customer experience (CX). Renowned customer service and CX expert Shep Hyken recently interviewed Glance CEO Tom Martin on Amazing Business Radio to explore the role human interaction plays in today’s landscape. Listen to the full podcast episode here, or keep reading for a synopsis of the insightful conversation.

When digital tools aren’t enough

The abundance of digital tools and channels has transformed the way customers interact with businesses. Chatbots, automated emails, and self-service portals have made it convenient for customers to find information and complete routine tasks. However, there are moments when a more personal approach is needed. For instance, during high-value transactions or when customers encounter complex issues, the human touch becomes indispensable.

By recognizing these pivotal moments, businesses can anticipate when customers require assistance beyond what automated tools can provide. The ability to transition seamlessly from a chatbot to a live chat or even a video or live conversation can be a game-changer in delighting customers and resolving their concerns effectively.

The art and science of engaging at the right moment

Understanding the best way to engage customers at various touchpoints is key to optimizing CX. It’s not just about using a customer’s preferred channel. In 2023, customers expect a truly personalized experience — and merely putting their first name in an email isn’t going to cut it. Personalization has gone well beyond [First Name] and now encompasses the entire customer experience. By analyzing customer data and behavior and having a deep understanding of the customer journey, companies can provide support on the right channel, with the right information, and at the right time.

Anticipation plays a crucial role here — being proactive and reaching out to customers before they even realize they need help can leave a lasting positive impression. This personalized and human-centric approach builds trust and loyalty, driving customer retention and advocacy. And as we know, acquiring new customers requires more time and money than growing with an existing customer base — so customer retention is a huge focus for businesses committed to long-term growth.

Read: How to boost customer retention with “face-to-face” digital CX

The impactful role of human connection

Technology should never replace the empathy, understanding, and problem-solving abilities that only human interaction can provide. Integrating a human-centric approach into the digital experience strategy is essential for fostering stronger customer relationships and long-term business success.

"The human connection is still the difference maker and will always be,” said Martin. “Developing and adopting an organization-wide digital experience strategy across multiple touchpoints that brings and inserts the human being is probably the most composable and impactful strategy that businesses can have."

While we embrace the digital-first approach, we must not forget the profound impact of human interaction in shaping exceptional CX. Recognizing when and how to engage customers on a personal level is key to meeting their needs and expectations effectively. Combining cutting-edge technology with genuine human connection allows businesses to create a memorable and lasting impression on their customers.

Want to learn more about balancing tools with empathy? Listen to the full podcast episode now.


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