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Guest Times: New paradigm of tech-driven customer experience

Why is customer experience more relevant today than it was ever before? Sevantika Bhandari, Head Marketing, DHFL Group, takes look at how technology is rewriting the paradigm

Delhi | December 10, 2015

Sevantika Bhandari Sevantika Bhandari

Much is being said about customer experience and how technology will change customer experience. I want to look at it from a different perspective.

There was a time when every service was delivered via a person whether it was a banking transaction or car service. Today a lot of it is done via technology assisted platforms. We transfer money via mobile and cars have software upgrades to fix things. It’s truly a brave new world.

Why is customer experience relevant more today than it was ever before? Why have conversations on customer experience escalated in the past few years?

Some interesting trends which have emerged may help find the answers.

·  Customers are changing on one hand both in their habits and their usage of /interaction with mediums.

·  Providers are changing in terms of their offerings and their distribution and access points.

So, as the story goes, a few years ago, a user woke up in the morning, did all his morning chores and went to the bank to transfer money to his family who lived in another city. The family received the money at a later date (anywhere from a few to many days – depending when this story is being told).

Cut to today. User is just going to bed after watching his favourite show on Netflix. At midnight he transfers money from his mobile phone and gets an instant confirmation that the money has been received by his family! The concerned family member gets a message about the money being credited into his/her account.

In the first story, if there was a problem with the transaction, the consumer will wait and have a human interaction and his experience will be determined by the response and the courteousness displayed by the individual. If his experience is poor, he will talk about it to a few friends at the next coffee get-together.

In the second narrative, if there is a problem, he will expect it to be resolved at midnight and will definitely talk about it online and on various social forums at the same time.

The world has changed as technology changes have made the seller of the product/service adapt to the new order. But the user is changing faster. Our adoption of the new order is faster as consumers and slower as employees. We love the instant gratification we get as consumers; we are slow to change as corporates.

Therein lies the crux of the increased conversations on customer experience. Customers are running on an experience treadmill and certain corporate offerings are able to keep up or lead them while others seem to lag. It is not a comfortable scenario because consumers have choices today and are racing forward. Those who are slow to deliver will be left behind.

So, yes, customer experience is key – and will be the critical differentiator as to who runs the full race with the customer and who gets left behind.

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