Are Your Analogue Experiences Complementing Your Digital Assets?by Tushar Mehta December 5, 2016 0 comments
There somehow seems to be a misconception that by having a sound digital strategy could only mean you are providing great customer experiences.
– By Finny Chellakumar (LinkedIn), Digital Business Head, Aspire Systems
Indian Railways, the largest government-owned enterprise in India, operating around 11,000 trains carries over 23 million passengers every day. However, one of the biggest complaint passengers have when it comes to the railways is poor customer experience. From ticket booking to taking the last step out of the station on completing travel, the journey proves to be hectic for many customers.
While a lot of emphasis was given to building better digital assets for the railways, one of the major requirements in the wish list for the railway budget was to improve the punctuality of trains, the quality of food served and the comfort of the travelers. I personally believe that by implementing sound digital assets the latter problems will solve its way forward.
One of the reasons I picked the Railways is because I see a huge scope here where analogue combined with the right digital elements can bring together a remarkable customer experience.
Let me quickly define Analogue in this context. I define it as the well-oiled system already in place that is currently engaging customers. It could be your helpdesk services, your in-store experience or the interaction with the store personnel. In contrast, Digital is the technology assistance provided at the point of confluence to enable in understanding the needs of the customer, preference, buying patterns and engaging them outside the physical boundary of the retail establishment.
There somehow seems to be a misconception that by having a sound digital strategy could only mean you are providing great customer experiences. However, in lieu of proper analogue practices, a digital strategy will only heighten customer expectations while leading to many customer disappointments.
My initial experience with e-commerce was terrible as I was never satisfied with what I received. The products I saw on the portal were so different from what was delivered. Either the color didn’t match or the quality of the product I received was terrible or it was broken. Every time I faced this, I tried reaching out to customer care and all I got was hours of talking on the phone, countless executives to speak to and finally resigning to the fact that there is no resolution to my problem.
Tackling the Divide between Digital expectations and Analogue experiences
The further the divide is, greater the disappointments will be. Here are a few questions you should be asking yourself if providing better customer experience is your top priority.
Are you providing digital and analogue experiences that complement each other?
Customer Satisfaction is the difference between the Customer expectation and their experience. When expectations are very high and if the experience does not match, then there is a disappointment. A survey was taken among companies that implemented a digitally-enabled customer experience strategy, the results read as below:
- 3% of the customers said that their customer experience has improved
- 2 % said that the Experience remained the same
- 5% said that the Customer experience has actually declined
However good your digital strategy is, if your real-time operations don’t complement digital expectations, it leads to disappointment.
Are you overselling through your digital channel?
Last time when I went on a vacation, I came across a resort with a great website and a happening social presence. However, I was quiet lost when I arrived at the resort as the soft aspects of the resort were completely missing. The hospitality, ambience, food and the décor were completely different from what I was expecting. The resort that I kept stalking on various digital channels was not the same resort I went to, it was alarmingly different!
Can you up keep the same experience across your digital and analogue presence?
Omnichannel strategy is one of the paramount digital initiatives for all retail firms that are looking forward to taking as part of digitizing their business. While implementing this, it is important to understand that the experience of multiple customer-facing channels (including stores) needs to be consistent. Take, for example, if a product is available in one channel, an obvious assumption would be its availability across the other channels as well. If the customer walks into a store and finds out it’s not available or if there is a slight price differentiation between channels, it’s going to lead to a severe burn in customer loyalty.