Key Points
  • Although Gartner predicts 85 percent of customer interactions to be processed without human interaction, we need to consider those who still prefer human interaction

  • Both digital and non-digital are equally important for creating a competitive cx, thus finding the balance is essential

  • The implementation of digital and non-digital services should be based on existing and prospective customer behavioural analytics

Balancing Digital and Non-digital to Improve Customer Experience (CX)

It’s no secret that customer service interactions are rapidly moving towards a more digital approach. Gartner predicts that by the year 2020, 85 percent of all customer interactions will be processed without human interaction. Although this number is large and continues to increase, it is important to note that there is still a considerable need for human interaction.

A large number of customers still prefer to engage with human beings as opposed to bots. In fact, complex requests to digital / self-service systems are better handled by a person than a machine.

In this blog we’ll take a deeper look at the pros and cons of digital and non-digital, as well as the importance of striking the right balance between the two.

Operational Efficiency and Actionable Customer Insights

Digital platforms and tools such as virtual assistants, Chatbot’s and online self-service portals have met the customers growing expectation for fast, simple, always-on interactions. Over and above that, digital platforms capture data at each customer touch point and significantly reduce call volumes. Thus organisations and customer service agents with relevant customer information can deliver more specific solutions thereby improving feel-good, personalised customer experiences. Additionally, it has improved the operational efficiency and empowered businesses with insights required to provide products and services that are relevant to the customer.

Complexity, Empathy and ‘On the Fly’ Trouble Shooting

Although digital transformation is taking the business world by storm, it is still important to cater to those customers who have not embraced it – yes, those customers still exist. An exceptional customer experience includes the ability to cater to the entire market. There are still many customers who prefer liaising with humans, and others who choose to have an agent book their ticket as opposed to doing it themselves. Additionally, human beings are able to express empathy, address issues that might be too complex for self-service or bots and address unforeseen enquiries quickly. A digital platform or chatbot can only respond to an enquiry it has learned about through machine learning. However, sometimes customers face issues that have never transpired before. This is exactly where human trouble shooting is required. Lastly, human interaction has proven to be more successful when addressing debt collection, life, funeral policy and medical aid enquiries. These interactions are of a much more sensitive nature and require that human touch.

The Best of Both Worlds

It is evident that both the digital and non-digital are equally important when it comes to creating a competitive customer experience. Businesses must, therefore, ensure that they focus on providing both human and digital service options. In order to strike this balance, businesses must continuously analyse how their customers are interacting with digital service options, gauge how quickly they adopt to new digital services and assess which communication means is favoured by their customers and why. This will drive the customer experience strategy and direct businesses in terms of focus and investment areas.

In order for businesses to craft a differentiating customer experience they must strike the balance between digital and non-digital as neither one is more significant than the other. Businesses must also ensure that their current and prospective customer needs drive the implementation of digital and non-digital services and improvements.

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