Customer experience is for everyone, not just people who fit into certain categories. As the world changes, technological advancements run the risk of leaving behind certain types of people. This week brought three stories about potential CX-related biases and how they can be avoided to provide great service to everyone.
New York Bans Businesses From Going Cashless
New York City joined the ranks of other major states and cities by banning stores, restaurants and other businesses from going cashless. Although many consumers and businesses prefer card or digital payments, banning cash can discriminate against customers who only use cash or don’t have access to credit or debit cards. Although some stores say accepting cash slows down transactions and increases the risk of theft, moving away from a cashless economy creates a society where everyone has access to businesses.
Customer experience applies to everyone, not just those with bank accounts and credit cards. With the large emphasis placed on technology and providing options for customers to make purchases faster and digitally, businesses can’t forget about all of their customers. That doesn’t mean that companies shouldn’t push for new forms of payments, but it just shouldn’t come at the expense of other customers.
Young Consumers Are Done With Demographics
The traditional marketing practice of segmenting consumers based on demographics could be on its way out. A new survey found that overall, Millennials and Gen Z no longer identify with the traditional segments used by marketers. Instead of being defined by their age, race or sexual orientation, they consider themselves a fluid compilation of their interests. 76% of consumers feel strongly that their passions and interests are an important part of their identity, and 73% said it is important for brands to share their same values.
The classic lines defining gender, age, religion and sexual orientation are getting blurrier, which can make it difficult for companies looking to target certain types of customers. Instead of putting consumers in boxes, brands need to look at the entire picture and offer personalized services to each person. Understanding who a customer really is instead of just what demographics they meet gives companies a better understanding of each person and helps avoid biases.
Google CEO Supports AI Regulation
As artificial intelligence becomes more mainstream, the topic of regulation has become more prominent. This week, the CEO of Google and Alphabet, Sundar Pichai, said there was “no question” that AI needs to be regulated. In an op-ed for The Financial Times, Pichai shared positive developments Google is making with AI but also pointed out many of the risks that come with a lack of regulation, including deepfakes and nefarious use of facial recognition. Google has its own internal AI guidelines and wants to encourage other companies and governments to do the same.
AI is everywhere, but many consumers don’t understand the pros and cons that come with regulation. This week, IBM also highlighted potential biases that come from AI, including discrimination against women, minorities and the elderly. Just like other major technologies, AI needs some form of guidelines to be used effectively and in the way that best serves consumers and society as a whole. For that to happen, however, companies will likely need to join forces and push for regulations.
To create effective customer experiences, brands must evaluate their own internal biases and ensure they aren’t leaving anyone behind.
Blake Morgan is a customer experience futurist, keynote speaker, and the author of two books including her new book The Customer Of The Future. You can learn more by signing up for her newsletter here.