Technology is zooming forward and in 2016 plenty of us are addicted to it. Our smartphones don’t leave our hands, we can answer calls using our watches and people bump into lamp posts walking down the street because they can’t wait five minutes to check Facebook.
For techies, this makes life great. Companies can also help cut costs by streamlining processes. It all seems very positive, but should we be integrating as much of it as we can into our work lives, or not?
Don’t let technology take control
I love technology and the possibilities it brings. However, my one plea to everyone reading this article is do not allow it to drive your customer experience strategy.
Why not? It’s cool and amazing and it can reduce costs. Yes to all those things, but is that the experience you want for your customers or the one your customers want from you?
Customer experience first, technology second
My argument is that before you consider technology at all, you should firstly understand who your target audience is.
Map the existing customer journey and understand it from their perspective. What are customers doing? What are the touchpoints they come into contact with? How do they feel? What’s working and what isn’t?
Understand your current brand vision and review whether the experience is matching up to this. If it's not, get to work on creating your desired experience and try to really understand how you want your customers to feel.
Then, look at how you can deliver it. One answer might be the latest piece of awesome technology that delivers the end-to-end experience right to their watch. But it might not be. Those customers may actually want to interact with a human or pop into a shop to experience a product in person – think it through carefully, test it with customers and deliver it if it’s right.
Don’t put your items in the bagging area
Morrisons is a very interesting case study. The supermarket chain is scrapping its self-service tills and computerised queue management system to put the decision-making back in the hands of real people.
Finally, don’t allow technology to drive your customer experience strategy. It’s your customer experience strategy that should drive your technology choices.