It’s official, I’ve disconnected. Today, I'm a human in a digital world.
I manage my life, relationships and consumption through my mobile, apps and software. The paradox I’m struggling with now is in finding balance between the norm of my digital lifestyle with my need for human connection.
And as a brand builder, I experience the same struggle where technology has created an invisible barrier between businesses and customers. So, what's created this disconnect?
Automation: The Impersonal Technology
For years we've viewed automation as the ultimate solution. Automation was the silver bullet to improving supply chains, saving time and making things more efficient. But, it also has an unpleasant side effect, which is creating a disconnect between Humans and Tech.
Automation can create a frustrating and impersonal experience when we default to relying on technology without empathy or street smarts. And, I've seen this happen inside businesses as well as when connecting with customers.
While technology can raise efficiency levels, it’s just as important for a business to explore how this same technology can improve the customer’s experience too.
Customer Empowerment: Seeking Human Experience
Customers are significantly more empowered in this digital era, which means their expectations for a great customer experience is higher than ever before.
It’s harder to engage customers seamlessly and, because of this, customers are less loyal than before. The rapid acquisition and low-joining boundaries for tech are just as much an opportunity to increase your customer base, as it is to lose them to competition.
It’s increasingly important to deliver the human experience and engage customers in a meaningful way to make up for a lack of trust between people and brands.
As predicted by the Walker ‘Customer 2020’ study, we may have reached a tipping point, where the customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiators. When we take a look at tech customers, the same is true. Increasingly, customers are not here only for the software, they are here for the experience. I’d like to see the customer own a seat at the table to help solve this current disconnect.
Creating A More Personal Approach To Tech
To help brands meaningfully restore connections with their customers, we need to look at technology as an enabler, rather than a time saver.
Here are 4 tips that will help you meaningfully connect with your customers:
If you sell technology to customers, help them understand the value that goes beyond saving time. Think of how can you help their customers? Human-Centric Automation would equally value the end-user as well as the buyer.
Be Clear On The Value You Offer
Customers are looking for simplicity and ease of execution. As you build out your technology solution, be clear on how you help to do this. And, be honest on what the long-term impact will be or the resources required to implement your technology well.
Human Experience First
Map out the journey and work out what the best tech experience would be for your customer. The days of “build it and they will come” are over. Because we have so many SaaS options to choose from, the brands that will win long term will be the ones that deliver an incredible user experience to both customers and employees within the organisation.
Your customer is not a one-off project and you need to be in constant dialogue with them. Be responsive to customer issues and behavioural changes. It is critical to remember that people are multidimensional and you need to view them from all angles to truly understand them.
Technology Is Still For Humans, By Humans
Lastly, keep in mind technology itself is becoming more and more human. AI seeks to replicate the human neural network.
By 2020, 30% of web browsing sessions will be screenless and dialogue based. Audio-based technologies such as Amazon Echo and Google Home will enable your company to engage and interact with customers in real time. Additionally, by this time, roughly 100 million customers are expected to shop using Augmented Reality for a more personalized shopping experience.
Beyond operational efficiency, actively bridging the gap between humans and technology should be the driving force of most Saas companies. Merely having access to data is not enough. People need to intrinsically understand why and what to analyze, interpret, and act upon so that customers will feel the difference.
Is your organisation prepared for Human-Centered technology solutions?
Humanisation helps brands form real human connections with their customers. If you’d like to know more about how we can help, get in touch directly today.
Cat Williams-Treloar founded Humanisation, a Human-Centered Marketing Consultancy. Humanisation was born to help startups make a human impact in a digital world as they Go-To-Market across APAC.