Perspectives: Digitalization and the Customer Experience—Don’t Forget the Human Element

As the post-millennial generation begins to ramp up in the consumer market, companies seek to better understand their new customer base while also meeting increasingly onerous expectations. This generation, like the one before it, expects faster results and near instant gratification in its buying experience. Loyalty in consumerism is a thing of the past, and competition has never been tougher. In order to meet the new burdens of demand, product and service providers continue to transform their customer service capability, examining the entirety of the “customer journey” rather than simply a single transaction approach, as was the practice of the past.

Digital innovation is the driving force behind much of the customer service transformations that are occurring today, and the spectrum of capability is wide and diverse.  Along the maturity scale of customer service digital capability, companies’ abilities range from basic rule-based automation of digital interactions with customers to cutting-edge artificial intelligence to improve processes, find greater efficiencies, and improve response times, ultimately creating a better customer experience with the hope of increased loyalty, retention, and repeat business.  Additionally, digital innovations are opening new channels of communication with customers, moving beyond call centers and websites to more mobile apps and platforms that offer greater accessibility and transparency than ever before.