The biggest mistake with digital experiences

CX Network

Onsite at the Artificial Intelligence for Customer Experience Summit, Michael Wolczyk, Head of Online Processes at Commerzbank talked to us about one of the most costly mistakes businesses make with their approach to digital experiences.

Customer relationship management

What is the most costly mistake that businesses make with digital experiences for connected customers?

Michael: “Focusing too much on technology. Technology’s very fascinating, I love looking at technology, but most businesses look at technology first and then search for a problem it can solve, which is a big issue. In Germany we have a saying: If you have a hammer, not every problem is a nail.”

“You really need to listen to your customer. This doesn’t mean just churning out one survey, it’s about constantly listening to them.

“At Commerzbank we visit our branches and stand next to our staff, we go to our call centre and sit next to our agents and we listen for a few hours to get a feel for our customers. I think this is really important, because back in headquarters, especially in large corporations, you are so far away from the actual customer. You may think you have the greatest idea, but it is probably not aligned with what the customer really desires.

“You have to ensure you are in tune with the things that are most important. Some of the most important things in the pyramid of needs are: firstly the right product, but also convenience. Most companies are struggling with this, but you can really add your own touch to this and then you have a real nice experience for your customers.

“Brand alone is not as persuasive as it used to be, in the past customers picked a product because they liked the brand. Nowadays, they make purchase decisions because they like a process, a business model or a service. Nowadays successful companies do everything to let you “use” their product or service.

“So, coming back to basics, it is very important to get this right and make sure you listen to your customers.”

Please give us two tips for perfecting the digital customer experience for connected customers?

Michael: “The most important thing is having a good omnichannel experience – having all channels connected, that 360 view. Based on this you can understand your customer needs and suggest the next best offer (NBO) or next best activity (NBA) to you customers.

“To master this you start learning very slowly, in very small steps. You adjust to collect the data, you look at this and then go from there.”

In your opinion, what lies ahead for digital experience management in 2019?

Michael: “The core of the future is that we really need to listen to the customer. You need to understand them so then you can find the right tool that can support you.

“For instance, if your customers desire a 24/7 service, you may want consider using AI to interact and hold simple conversations with clients. Why is AI a good tool for this?  Well, if you want to achieve timely service sometimes you can’t scale your call centre as much as you would like to. So this is where technology can step in and help you with basic conversations with clients.”

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To finish up, what's been your biggest learning in your career so far, looking at customer experience?

Michael: “That interacting with your clients doesn’t have to be very costly. You can just go to a coffee Shop , show a few people a screen of a new [work]flow you want to implement for instance. You buy them a coffee for their time and then you have already five or ten interviews.

“You see the big corporates investing in expensive tracking technology or uselabs, but I think there is great value in using more cost-efficient methods on a more regular basis. This provides you constant and rapid feedback during your product development."