Why being digital-first does not mean forgetting the human element of customer-experience
In today’s digital landscape it can be easy to downplay the importance of human interaction - when in fact it is more important than ever. An automobile company serves as a prime example of this.
Tesla, an electric carmaker, is attempting to reinvent how the motoring industry operates. Not only do they want to re-engineer how cars work, but they also want to re-engineer how cars are sold.
Originally the only way to buy a Tesla was to order it online. Absent were the traditional dealerships associated with buying a car- you couldn’t even go see one. Despite this gap in the traditional buying experience, the demand for them was so great that people would just order them online.
The all-digital dilemma
Tesla were providing a completely digital experience - but the majority of people will want to see a car before they buy it. They want to experience it, sit in it, take it for a test-drive. Tesla have recognised this and have started to open showrooms. The digital experience is still fundamental - as when you buy a Tesla you still configure and purchase it online.
So what started out a completely digital experience now has a prominent human element - when you go to a showroom, you interact with a person.
A seamless experience from digital to human
The digital experience provided is only fully effective if this level of customer centricity is reflected during the human interaction part of the organisation. If the salesman does not inhabit the effective, efficient and personalised experience that is available on Tesla’s digital platforms, then the whole experience falls flat.
There is nothing worse than having a fantastic experience online ruined by a human interaction that is misinformed, slow, and impersonal. Digital informing and moulding the way we interact with our customers in the real world - that is what it really means to provide a seamless customer-centric experience.
Understanding your user
Being digital-first and customer-centric is understanding how your user will want to interact with you. Tesla understands that people will want to test drive their cars. Another example is that governments must understand that some citizens (particularly that from a older generation) will at times prefer to speak to a human when wanting to pay their council tax, for example.
Being digital-first does not mean forgetting or disregarding the human element - rather the two (digital and human) should merge and hold same standard of customer-centricity.
Whilst the human interaction are becoming rarer (and will most likely continue to do so) with customer-centricity becoming ever more prominent - these interactions are more important than ever.