Technology can be a huge boost to customer experience. But it can also leave a bad taste in customers’ mouths. Brands need to be constantly evolving with new technology and evaluating their approach to make sure the technology is effective and strategic.
This week brought stories of technology being used in all aspects of customer experience, from robots reaching customers to customers sharing their experiences online. Not all technology adds to the customer experience. Here are three recent stories from the world of customer experience.
Robot Doctor Shows Downside Of Telemedicine
Is more technology a good thing when it comes to customer experience? Not in the case of one dying patient. Ernest Quintana was recently rushed to the hospital in an ambulance when he couldn’t breathe. His family knew he was dying of chronic lung disease, but they didn’t expect the news to be delivered by a robot. Instead of a human doctor giving the prognosis in person, a robot rolled into the hospital room with the doctor on the screen, telling Quintana and his family that he only had days to live. After the family took to social media to complain, Kaiser Permanente apologized for the use of a robot but still defended its use of technology in healthcare.
This story shows the need for empathy in customer experience. Technology can be a great asset, but it shouldn’t take away from human connection, especially in times of need when customers need humans the most. Technology can be part of the normal process, but in unique circumstances like this, humans always need to come first. Customer experience should always prioritize customers’ emotions.
Instagram Adds Checkout Feature
Instagram is a valuable marketing tool for many direct-to-consumer companies, but that could soon change. The company announced that it is testing a checkout feature with 20 brands that allows customers to pay for and manage orders directly through the Instagram app. The new feature potentially streamlines the customer experience, but it changes the power dynamic for brands. Instead of moving customers to the retailers’ sites, everything would happen on Instagram, which means Instagram would own the data instead of the brands themselves. This could hurt brands’ ability to provide personalized service and recommendations.
Customers may like the convenience that comes from the checkout feature, but in the long run it could hurt customer experience. DTC companies are giving up control of their individual experiences and losing their access to customer data, which means customers might not get the personalized attention they crave. It comes down to what’s more important for customers: convenience or personalization?
Swimwear Company Sets BBB Record For Number Of Complaints
Customers hoping to get a new swimsuit for summer haven’t always gotten what they wanted. Since launching in June 2018, Vancouver-based e-commerce retailer Bikinishe has had an increasing number of complaints with the Better Business Bureau. In the last four weeks, the company received 62 complaints—the most ever in that period out of the database’s 4,300 companies. Customers say they never received their orders and didn’t get a response from customer service. Even the company’s location is questionable, as some people found the address it listed doesn’t exist. BBB is warning customers to read reviews and take their time before making any online purchases.
In our modern world, a bad customer experience doesn’t go unnoticed, especially when they come in mass quantities. Customers have lots of ways to share their experiences, which can greatly hurt businesses. The best way to avoid this problem is to use honest business practices and focus on customer experience so that happy customers want to leave positive reviews.
These stories show that technology can connect customers and create convenient experiences, but it can also lead to problems like a lack of human connection and data security. To ensure technology is used properly, brands should regularly re-evaluate their approach so that technology is adding to the customer experience, not making it worse.
Blake Morgan is a keynote speaker, futurist and author of “More Is More.” Sign up for her weekly customer experience newsletter here.