Human vs. Digital Interactions

Here's a question to which I believe I have an answer. Would you do business with an airline that didn't allow you to order a ticket, check in, or print your boarding pass online?

What if, assuming that every other airline has these digital self-service choices, one doesn't? Would you be prepared to make a reservation over the phone, wait on hold, bring out your credit card and provide your payment details orally, then check in at the ticket counter on the day of departure? Would you pick this airline above the others if you had the option?

"No!" I believe I can confidently respond.

Assuming that all airlines are equal – aircraft are similar, seats are similar, and pricing is competitive – you would almost definitely not choose to do business with an old-fashioned airline for one simple reason: the digital experience, at least in terms of flying, is simpler.

It's straightforward. Easier is the winner. Faster is the winner.

The option that is most convenient wins. Customers will utilize a digital channel if it means making things simpler, quicker, and more convenient. To put it another way, you can't fight digital.

Customers are increasingly seeking digital and self-service choices. According to our customer experience study, 41% of consumers choose digital first and phone second. Year after year, this figure rises.

Customers prefer an online self-service alternative over phoning a firm, waiting on hold, maybe repeating their tale, and so on. Because easy is preferable, digital is preferable in many cases.

So, let's return to the original query. The airline that does not make it simple for customers to do business, including via the use of digital technology, will lose. You don't want to be that airline, metaphorically speaking.

What can you do if you feel like you're falling behind in the digital world?

What can you do to improve your digital solutions if you currently provide them to your customers? Gather your team and think about the following questions:

  • What kind of digital interactions do we provide that our consumers enjoy?
  • What kind of digital interactions do our rivals provide that we don't?
  • Could we, too, be doing something new if the competition is? If this is the case, comparable digital solutions should be implemented.
  • Is there a firm you like that excels at digital interactions, whether it's within or outside the industry? Can we provide comparable services to our consumers if that's the case?

These inquiries will guide you in the correct way. The majority of businesses already have a digital presence.

Customers will want to utilize a website or app that makes their lives simpler and more comfortable. So don't allow your competitors steal your consumers just because you haven't kept up.

Thanks to Shep Hyken at Business 2 Community whose reporting provided the original basis for this story.

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