How Companies Can Earn Digital Trust to Boost Customer Experience
There was a time when companies used technology to develop and connect with new customer bases, but businesses that don’t move beyond that paradigm in the post-digital age risk being left behind.
With technology being ubiquitous, it’s no longer enough for companies to personalize a transaction. Today’s front-facing businesses are shifting to experience-driven relationships with their customers: the so-called “market of one,” where a consumer’s technology identity offers new ways to personalize existing product and service offerings.
The key to not just reaching consumers but keeping them is trust. Integrating experiences into customers’ lives requires understanding what technology they use and how, what their own personal limits are when it comes to digital interactions, and even the kind of technology they can access. Companies that are able to build campaigns and experiences around this knowledge will become leaders as we head into the post-digital era, in which digital tech is commonplace, and assumed.
Here are three factors to keep in mind when building trust with your customer.
Digital demographics and technology identities
Does your customer use Facebook or Instagram (or both)? Laptop, tablet, and/or smartphone? If the latter, do they turn on location tracking? Does your customer wear a fitness device that lets an insurance company monitor activity in exchange for a discount?
Convenience, accessibility, and trust factor into which choices today’s tech-wise consumer will make. Determining the technological identity of your target customer—whether through your own data-sets or a third-party’s—is the difference between tailoring an experience that integrates into a particular customer’s life at the moment they most need or want it, or one that is out of sync with their expectations.
By learning the many combinations of ecosystems found in their customers’ technology identities, companies can know which digital channels to support - Amazon, Alexa, Google Assistant, Slack, Twitter, Ford’s SYNC connected car platform, and many more.
One example of a technology-driven experience is an Ikea app that allows customers to place 3D renderings of furniture directly in the customer’s own physical environment.
Info gleaned from a customer’s social media feed, or even whether they’ve updated their phone software recently, can also be used – in this case, to help lending platforms build applicant profiles.
Do: Identify the consumer technology choices that are most relevant to your business and develop a plan to both capture the moment and build on these data points to deliver individualized experiences.
The ‘Creepiness’ Factor
According to Forbes, “one in five consumers report that they would switch to another brand if a personalization experience was too creepy, and one in five also said they would talk about the creepy personalization with others.”
Sometimes consumers want more tech in their lives, and sometimes they want less (or none at all). Recognizing this is the key to toeing the line between being perceived as useful or creepy by your customer (and keep in mind that this line will vary for each person).
Fortunately, the technologies that make singular experiences possible can also help companies determine consumers’ preferences when it comes to privacy. Information such as how best to communicate with a particular customer, or how best to provide support, can be used to calculate the creepiness quotient in advance.
Do: Build a plan to combine your existing customer knowledge (from marketing, support, and other teams) with data gleaned from technology identities, to determine the relevant creepiness
factor for your customers. Be transparent about the data collected from customer interactions and how it will be used.
Accessibility and complexity of tech used by your customer
Companies need to be aware of the expanding choices of technological ecosystems. But they also need to be aware of accessibility and limitations.
Despite being nearly 10 years into the 4G rollout (and with the 5G standard completed in 2018) consumers in just five countries have access to a 4G connection more than 90 per cent of the time. If a consumer in an area without 4G coverage isn’t using a smartphone, it may not be a strict “choice.” Companies will have to deal with a spectrum of access levels as they attempt to reach a global market with technology-driven experiences. Dependable networks, like all-fibre networks, can be crucial in delivering consistent, optimized data flow, minimizing interruptions.
Do: Understand consumers’ full technology context. By ensuring that products work in multiple areas, and on different digital ecosystems in the same area, you’ll be able to serve more people more consistently. Keep a clear and constantly updated picture of your customer’s technologies, and you’ll be able to deliver rich, seamless experiences that consumers are looking for in the post-digital age.