When prospects browse through your website, looking at your offerings, they don’t tag themselves as the ‘end users’ of a product or a service. They don’t think of themselves as, “I’m in the millennial target group,” or “I belong in the retiree category.” Instead, they approach your brand as humans who seek a solution for a need they have. To truly understand and satisfy your prospects and customers, I believe that is the kind of approach that businesses must also adopt – a shift in focus from merely augmenting the customer experience to elevating the “human” experience.
It may not be as simple as it appears. To undo decades of conditioning of service providers who look at customers as those who have bought products from them is difficult. After all, understanding the human being, their needs, emotions and aspirations with which they buy from a business, could be challenging for most large organizations. But there’s also no denying that it can be incredibly rewarding. Developing a “human experience” mindset for your customers, begins with your organization’s workforce, partners, and even the technology solutions employed.
To put things in perspective, I’ve curated a simple formula that encapsulates this idea.
|(EX+DX) x TX = HX
EX is the employee experience
DX is the distributor experience
TX is the tech experience
And HX is the human experience
Let me explain further. In the context of any service provider, when the sum-total of the employee experience and the distributor experience is multiplied by optimal technology experience, it results in great human experience across the value chain. I would like to break this down element by element, so we, as manufacturers and service providers, can understand the secret to unlocking unparalleled human experience.
Enhancing the employee experience
The link between employee engagement and customer satisfaction is a strong one. To put it more directly, empowered employees work doubly hard to enrich and empower customers. One of the key steps to enhancing the employee experience in the insurance industry is to consider them as brand evangelists and upskill them as and when it may be necessary. Skill gaps are undoubtedly on the cards, and your workforce knows it too. In fact, broadly speaking, data shows that over 90% of Indian employees believe in the need to upskill in order to keep pace with their industries.]This holds true across sectors.
By recognizing this need and by giving your people the opportunity to upgrade their skills, you ensure that your employees feel like valued assets. It works wonders if you educate and involve them in the design and understanding the benefits of the products and processes they are a part of. That way, they become an integral part of your organization and enjoy a more humanized experience at their workplace. In facts some of your best customers are employees themselves, especially if they passionate about what they are promoting and consuming.
Upgrading the distributor experience
Distributors bridge the gap between the manufacturer, service provider and the customer. However, the distribution channels are often looked at as separate from the company they serve. As service providers, we need to replace this with a more empathetic outlook. The need of the hour is to look upon distribution partners as an extension of the organization. That is, of course, only step one.
To redefine the distributor experience, it is also crucial that we equip the frontline force with the knowledge, data, customer-related insights and capabilities that they need in order to connect better with the people they pitch to. The more humanized the experience you offer your distributors, the more human connect they will pass on to the customers. This could minimize the sales cycle, thereby reducing costs and improving the returns for the distributors in turn. But it also takes things further than merely selling for the sake of achieving numbers by introducing a feeling of belonging and the empathy required to address every prospect and customer interaction.
Taking the technology experience to the next level
Technology is the great force multiplier of our times. And it can be the unifying multiplier force that, when combined with enhanced employee and distributor experience, achieves the elusive goal of giving prospects and customers the wholesome human experience they seek. With technological tools, it is possible to streamline the selling and servicing experience from end to end in a way that was never possible before.
The use of AI and data analytics in almost all customer facing industries has, in particular, proven to be a game changer. With sophisticated analytics tools, it is possible to create consumption personas to design personalized experiences for the customer and create intuitive journeys for them. But that’s only one page of the story. Technology can help service providers deploy a form -factor agnostic approach, leverage AI to gain insights into the human side of their customers, and even gain a deeper understanding of future needs and expectations.
The end-result: A wholesome human experience
So, you see, the formula is surprisingly simple. Investing in these three key areas – your employees, your distributors and your technology (combined with your data practices) – ultimately makes it possible for you to display higher levels of knowledge, understanding, and above all, empathy. That’s what gets the market and your customers to take notice and develop a coveted sense of loyalty to the brand you represent.
The wholesome human experience that service providers seek to deliver begins with a change in perspective. Mere customer experience looks at things from the organization’s point of view. For instance, CX (Customer experience) enhancement tells you that you need to deploy a friendlier user interface on your website or that you need to place chatbots for added assistance. But the human experience – that is all about recognizing the individual beliefs, values and emotions that make your customers who they are. These aspects are significant because they hold the answer to what your customers want and why they choose to engage with you.
Simply put, I believe service providers need to now start thinking about what the customer needs, expects and anticipates rather than merely focusing on what they, as organizations, are selling and servicing. This is the first step to delivering a holistic human experience for the people our customers really are.
Authored by By Kayzad Hiramanek, Chief – Operations & Customer Experience, Bajaj Allianz Life