Brands that are digital humanists will get further with customers, says Paul Cash, CEO of Rooster Punk…

When it comes to B2B marketing, many brands have been quick to embrace automation thanks to the acceleration of digital innovation over the past decade. It has undoubtedly revolutionised the customer experience but also sacrificed the human touch in the process to favour scale and efficiency.

In the rush to utilise digital technology to communicate at scale and streamline the customer experience, some businesses have lost sight of making those important human connections.

Which is worrying seeing as research (conducted by the EIU on behalf of Marketo) indicates that 86% of marketers say they will own the end-to-end customer experience by 2020.

An authentic human customer experience is not about tech, channels, process or call centres, it’s about the people. And even though I believe technology and the customer experience are almost inseparable – just look to the likes of Airbnb, Uber and Kickstarter who are all hailing a new era of customer engagement in digital business – it’s about putting customers at the centre and using technology to help them achieve any goal or solve their problem. You should never try to engineer people out of the process!

You need to start understanding the digital journey your customers go on, and how you can harness the experience they have with your brand. Start by putting yourself in your customer’s shoes. The countless touchpoints a customer has with your business is ever-growing, so you need to take a step back and re-evaluate how they’d like those experiences to be at different touchpoints. It’s crucial that when customers are engaging with your business over the phone, email or on social channels that they feel like their needs are being met, the history of their interactions with your business are recognised and that empathy is shown at all times.

Don’t make the mistake of being so absorbed by the bottom line, that you neglect to look at the end-to-end customer experience. Yes, profit is important but if you plan your communications holistically, and put human-focused service and experience at the forefront of everything you do, sales will look after themselves.

When it comes to feeding technology into enhancing and choreographing the customer experience and all its touchpoints, using a CRM system will give everyone within your business a clear view of all the communications and decisions customers have gone through. And although digital technology can help empower your team with seamless knowledge, you must remember that customers are ultimately human and always ask yourself what will give customers the best human experience.

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