Digitisation has accelerated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. But while technology changes rapidly, people don’t. No matter how sophisticated the AI and robotics enabling them, services need to remain human-centric and customer-centric.
However, over the last year, more than half (52%) of consumers report feeling more at risk in the digital environment following the lockdown-induced rapid shift to working, shopping and socialising online. Suddenly everything from consulting our GPs to watching concerts was happening digitally.
Business leaders share this perception with a similar proportion (55%) recognising the greater risks.
While 72% of consumers have experienced an adverse digital incident in the last year, just two out of the top ten reported incidents related to issues with the technology itself. The majority concerned problems with the interaction between humans and technology.
The most prevalent issue was customer services being unable to help the consumer with a problem (23%), indicating that failure to provide human support is more annoying than technology failure.
However, the second-most widely reported risk event from a customer perspective was "feeling uncomfortable about the level of oversight that organisations have of me" (19%). This suggests that the limits on surveillance may be approaching and that consumers will be disinclined to engage with businesses where the relationship is seen as asymmetrical and exploitative.
For all the sophisticated technology behind it, excellence in customer experience remains dependent on very human interaction. Digital – in the form of cloud, artificial intelligence and automation – simply helps organisations to meet and exceed their customers’ ever-increasing expectations.
Are we over-investing in technology and not enough in people?
Digital Risk Partner
Even in the brave new world of automation, digitisation and cloud, the objectives of great customer service are what they always have been: speed, personalisation, efficiency and convenience, backed by highly effective resolution of problems. Getting that right is front and centre of any consumer-centric digital strategy.
Being proactive in addressing issues, incidents and problems can actually enhance organisational reputation and customer approval if the process is handled well. Failure to deliver on those imperatives is arguably the biggest risk facing consumer-facing organisations, as the survey reveals.
Customer experience needs to be at the forefront of your digital strategy – from the level of insight into customers to the support given to them. Achieving that requires consideration across areas, including:
By ensuring digital transformation is not just about technology, but also about the longer term considerations on people and process. We help devise actionable strategies embedded with a holistic approach to risk and deliver customer-centricity.