Why Customer Experience Automation Must Be Innovative
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We've been taught for much of the past two centuries that innovation must lead to uniformity. We've been taught that technology works best when everyone receives the same experience via the same platform, whether it's George Stephenson's railway gauge defeating Isambard Kingdom Brunel's in the 19th century or VHS defeating Betamax in the 20th.
For a while, it seemed that digital technology would follow suit. Not any longer.
We've realized that Facebook won't be the world's dominant social platform for everything; that WhatsApp won't be the only form of instant messaging people want on their phones; that Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant won't be in every home's smart speaker; and that Netflix won't be the only streaming service people want—and that Disney+ won't be either.
When it comes to digital technology, the forces that drive uniformity have been stifled by the ones that enable proliferation. You don't have to utilize Facebook Messenger simply because you already have a Facebook account.
Because you possess a Mac or an iPhone, you don't have to settle with Apple Music or Apple TV. Each customer creates a unique tech portfolio that represents the many aspects of their personality.
They don't want a single platform to accomplish everything.
So why do we continue to tell companies that this is what they must do when it comes to providing a positive client experience? Why is there so much pressure to implement a one-size-fits-all CX platform?
Myth of the all-in-one customer experience
Regardless of the size of your company, the kind of consumers you serve, or the stage of development you're in, you'll almost certainly be informed that you need an all-in-one platform that can manage every channel or touchpoint through which your customers interact with you. There are just two issues.
For starters, these massive, all-encompassing systems usually require a sizable investment that most people cannot afford. Second, they don't always correspond to how most companies interact with their customers—or the kind of experiences they aim to offer.
Businesses that might be creating more creative and unique experiences for their consumers are unable to use automation because of this uniform approach.
For the channels that matter, innovate
Customers don't need to interact with your company via a standardized platform that follows the same script regardless of whether they're using Instagram, Slack, or email. They don't interact in the same manner through email as they do over WhatsApp, and they expect their experiences to vary between platforms.
What matters most to them is that their interactions with a company are consistent and connected—that the message makes sense at all times and that they can simply pick up where they left off when switching from one channel or touchpoint to another. This does not need the use of an all-in-one platform.
All you need is a single source of data and automations that share it, all of which are intended to provide the greatest experience for the consumer wherever they are at the time.
The automated experiences you provide should represent your company's values. That implies your experiences may vary from those offered by other businesses, which is just acceptable.
You don't want to provide the same level of service as a company. Your consumers are unique; they desire various things and interact with you in different ways.
They want a customized and relevant customer experience that is tailored to them and their connection with you.
Do not push your customer data out the door
When you begin to implement automations, the next item to consider is how the automations feed you with data. Finally, the amount of value you receive from the automations you put up will be determined by how accessible and useful this data is.
If you can maintain your data in a format that is simple to transfer between platforms, the number of automations you can utilize it with is almost limitless. You'll have the flexibility to keep innovating as needed, trying out new services and consumer experiences, and broadening your area of work.
One of the possible drawbacks of all-in-one systems is that they may cause companies to be cautious of close data interaction. They abstract, anonymize, and generalize metrics, reducing them to simple integers that can be readily shown on a dashboard. They maintain consumer information at a safe distance.
Of course, having metrics that you can see at a glance isn't terrible in and of itself. When it comes to running a company, indicators are very useful.
However, if this standardized, condensed version is the only way you interact with client data, you're not getting the most out of it. Ensure that the data generated by your automations is in a format that enables you to access, manipulate, and examine it in detail. Make sure it's actionable—and that it's yours to use.
That, in my opinion, is where the true advantages may be discovered. Automations should not decrease consumer visibility or eliminate human interactions that provide value.
Instead, they should improve the value of such encounters. They don't only provide you the opportunity to explore new things.
They provide you a new level of understanding of how your consumers interact with you. They uncover trends that lead to new ideas, new methods of segmenting your audience, and new services that capitalize on your knowledge.