One Customer Experience Tool That Will Get Significant Attention in 2016

By | December 31, 2015

Sometimes I get the feeling that people believe that everything in the future will happen online and all transactions will be automated without any or with very little human interaction. Success stories with self service solutions such as Taco Bell who recently in an Bloomberg articleannounced that orders made via their new digital app are 20% pricier than those taken by human cashiers or Chili’s, after installing self-service tablets, reported a similar increase in dessert orders, further influence this perception.


Excerpt: Drawbacks with automation

According to a recent article in Harvard Business Review technology lacks flexibility. When we’re interacting with a person and we’re having trouble understanding something, the person can adjust to us. If we’re having a misunderstanding, they can help clarify it. Technology really can’t do either of these things. A person has the ability to delight us or disappoint us. It’s really hard for a technology to ever delight, however, because it’s standardized and is built on a set of rules. But it is possible for technologies to disappoint us.

Dennis Campbell, Frances Frei, and Gretchen Gavett have done research looking at self-service technologies, in banks in particular. In one case customers’ overall satisfaction with the bank fell as the proportion of their total interactions shifted away from face-to-face channels and toward using automated solutions. Cambell and Francis also some years ago looked at banks that introduced online banking and found an interesting pattern; customer who switched to the online channel came into the branch more, and they started using the call center more, which was actually more expensive. So the tradeoff wasn’t all a favorable one from an efficiency/cost point of view.

So, automation of service transactions is apparently not always good. But is there something that can bring the best of the two worlds together? Yes, integrated mobile apps for employees in the physical location has the opportunity to change the game.

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