Humanising The Customer Experience Whilst Embracing New Technologies 2

Humanising The Customer Experience Whilst Embracing New Technologies

The Internet of Things. Virtual Reality. Augmented Reality. The list goes on. We’ve got all these mind-blowing technologies hitting our screens and integrating into our lives. It’s easy to see why websites and brands would lose touch with the human side of things. Just ask Siri, or Alexa.

But it’s so important to remember that customers need a human touch. You need to find a way to tap into their emotions when the opportunity arises. Do we really want to get so sucked into exciting new technologies and switching up processes that we lose touch with our customers altogether?

Regardless of how or why a customer chooses to interact with your company, the only thing that stands between a positive or negative experience is human connection.’ smartcustomerservice.com

Brands need to get better at understanding human behaviour

First and foremost, brands need to gain a better general understanding of human behaviour and how it fluctuates within their particular niche. Then this insightful knowledge needs to be fed into all digital platforms and channels.

There are some things we know about humans that can be applied to any sector. We like to feel appreciated, and if brands make us feel valued as a customer, we’re more likely to come back to them. We also like things to be personalised and tailored to what we enjoy and show interest in.

Tapping into emotions

Brands need to take a sneak peek into someone else’s world and seeing things how they see them, feeling the emotions they might feel. A Forrester report highlighted that if brands want to stand out from all the rest, it’s time to start focusing on emotions.

Emotions influence what we remember about a brand and how we remember them. In a video interview, Brian Solis mentions how odd it is that outside of work, we’re thinking, feeling human beings.

But for some reason, when we step into the office, we become devoid of feeling. Perhaps this is partly the reason why brands fail to connect with audiences on an emotional level because we’re so used to having our game face on at work.

We forget that our audience needs to feel something. Remember the saying ‘don’t take it personally, it’s just business.’ Well, sometimes, that need not apply. It’s this mentality that makes us disconnected at work. Solis also says that emotions create memories, and ‘memories are timeless, especially in a digital world.’

Emotional KPI’s

It’s time to start searching for the human behind the data. What’s making them tick? Here’s a suggestion, why not implement emotional KPI’s as well as your standard ones. Adding these to the mindset of your staff just might tilt their behaviour in enough so that they think more about ways they can offer a human experience. Considering using ‘happiness’ type surveys to tap into your customer’s minds and see how content they are and the emotions they feel whilst using your site.

Did you know that Google is using an emotional framework called HEART which uses customer experience metrics to find out more about the emotions of their audience? If you’ve got some emotional key performance targets worked into your strategy somehow, you’re less likely to get swept away with technology without considering the human connection with your customers.

Your employee’s emotions matter too

Whilst augmented reality and the internet of things are really cool, don’t forget that the people behind your organisation are crucial. Your audience is important, but guess who creates interactions with your audience – your staff.

So, the happier your staff are, the better ideas they’ll come up with and the more positive they will be when they interact with customers both offline and online. Now is the time to emphasise a human interest culture within your brand and ensure staff factor emotions into online campaigns and strategies.

The bots vs the humans

We’re seeing more automated bots popping up here and there, including chatbots. Whilst these can help speed up processes and get customers what they need, they can lack any human connection. If you’re creating augmented or virtual reality assets, consider how you can use them to tap into people’s emotions.

For the best kind of customer experience, there must be engagement and human-to-human interaction based on trust. Automation eliminates friction from the customer experience, which is what people are looking for, but as customers are emotional human beings, the experience needs to be “humanised” for them.’ Don Peppers, Customer Experience Expert

The key with ‘automated vs humans’ is to consider when your customers really need a human. What situations will cause frustration if they aren’t resolved by a human? Where will your brand lose touch with people if you choose automated strategies? The thing is, there are just some situations where a human touch is needed.

Design for emotions and experiences

Your website design should consider the human side of your customers, as well as catering to their general needs and solving problems. If your brand was an experience, what would it be? Before even looking at a site redesign or building your website, consider who you really are as a brand, and how you want people to feel when they use your site.

Emotions make people want to share

It’s not just about how a customer feels when they experience a connection with a brand or feel happy, amused or sad. Remember, people are much more likely to share content that taps into an emotion. This, in turn, has an effect on the people who see the shared content, as they feel the emotions too, and the process continues.

Andrew Machin
Andrew Machin

With over 25 years’ experience in UX and digital strategy, Andrew has helped many national and global brands such as John Lewis, Harley Davidson, Johnson & Johnson, and Interflora create exceptional digital product experiences.

Through the success of such projects Andrew has received high-profile accolades that span innovation, strategy, and design, such as the Dadi Grand Prix Award and the Digital Impact Award for Innovation.

This experience has led to Andrew judging digital design awards, been featured in .net magazine, lecturing at Leeds university, and speaking at seminars and conferences across the UK.

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