Earlier this year Gartner Group released a study predicting the future of the digital customer experience. Perhaps the most interesting statistic in the report was that by the year 2020 customers will manage 85% of their relationships with enterprise without interacting with a human. Recently Forrester also reported that 70% of the content used by buyers to read and study before making a purchase was found by themselves, not provided by sales or marketing.
Many have interpreted this data to mean that human interaction as part of the digital customer experience will eventually become obsolete. To me, these statistics instead emphasize an even faster growing need for building genuine connections. Perhaps our human interactions are diminishing. That only makes the remaining interactions that much more critical.
Person-to-person moments in the sales cycle matter.
Perhaps another way to look at it this — as technology takes over more steps in the buyer’s journey, the actual person-to-person moments that still occur in the sales cycle become even more integral to success.
Learning how to leverage tools like mobile devices to support and guide increasingly valuable human interactions as part of the customer experience is becoming a critical success factor for organizations.
Understanding the characteristics of a genuine connection is the first step in gaining that knowledge.
According to a recent study at Princeton, when real communication is happening, the brainwaves of the speaker and the listener actually fall into sync. The depth and tone of one’s message, in other words, can cause those involved in a conversation to think the same way helping to establish a bond, or connection. This kind of communication will always be important as it nurtures the engagement and loyalty that are characteristic of a genuine connection. What has changed is the journey toward that desired customer experience is now guided by technology.
Mobile technology requires nothing less than efficiency in communication. With mobile, function has finally won out over form, and it’s creating a challenge for marketers to build succinct, impactful content.
The more efficient the content, the faster we reach that point of direct, person-to-person communication.
Even if Gartner is correct, and those human interactions only comprise 15% of the total customer experience they will still be the sweet spot in any buying cycle.
Empower your customer experience with mobile technology.
Because of its brevity, mobile technology forces us to create business scenarios where technology empowers rather than overpowers the digital customer experience. It removes the need for sales and marketing professionals to be tethered to the office, and provides a portal to every important, real time update needed to influence and move the customer experience toward that moment of genuine connection.
More than any other technology (apart perhaps from the cloud) mobile gives us the possibility of ultimate sales enablement if the content truly supports the customer buying experience.
Think about the tools and technologies being used in your own organization. Is technology working to guide you and your customer to that genuine connection, or is it taking away from those important human interactions? Strong customer experiences will always require a genuine connection and that connection must be enabled, not disrupted, by technology.
As the innovation-centric Chief Executive Officer of Storyworks1, Jeff Fritz is focused on the successful commercialization of disruptive ideas – typically fueled by technology. Jeff believes that improving the way the community accesses, shares and uses information translates into better outcomes for everyone. A proven business leader, Jeff has founded and led several successful organizations in the Software as a Service, Consumer Engagement and Digital Media sectors over the past 20 years. Jeff holds a BS in International Business and Finance from Drake University. Jeff’s leadership style has been influenced by a number of experiences — from being an avid outdoorsman to his lifelong passion for music.
Hear Jeff speak at MobCon 2015.
Photo courtesy of Diego Schtutman.