15 May Analog and Digital Customer Experience in Harmony
Music recording has evolved from analog to digital and now many musicians use a blend of both. Digital has created more immediacy and access. However, some ‘real’ sounds lose warmth and organic feel when digitized. The same is true for customer service. We are in a digital age, but customers still want an analog feel. Customers don’t want to go into a store and stand in line for ages for service, but they still want to be treated like a person not a number. Analog and digital customer experience isn’t a binary choice.
Analog = not digital or computerized (in this context)
When we refer to an analog experience it means a more organic one. No matter how much computers can streamline our processes and lives we still have very organic needs as human beings. That is the reason vinyl has such devotees – the association of the record with a more ‘real’ sound. It is also why, even though digital recordings have great quality and are more consistent, people still attend music festivals and concerts in droves. Nothing replaces the live experience.
“…research suggests that effective marketing can elicit an emotional response from consumers that actually drives them to buy and shapes their image of brands. And when it comes to evoking emotion, those who have ever received a handwritten note or listened to a vinyl record know that traditional, analog experiences do it best.”
Digital = electronic, computerized tech (in this context)
It is this power that allows us to preserve music recordings, deliver them to more listeners and with the cleanest, clearest audio possible. From a wider consumer standpoint, technology has enabled businesses to exist entirely online. It has made fast international commerce a reality. Technology has empowered businesses to scale and accommodate more customers than ever before.
Analog and Digital Customer Experience – The Best of Both Worlds
How does this translate to customer experience? Even with the necessity of digital tools the analog feel doesn’t have to be lost. We can now have live sax played with EDM beats and it’s cool!
Both analog and digital customer experiences can work together for overall success. The live, in-person exchanges between customer and brand like shopping in a store, special events, and pop-ups build customer relationships. Stores benefit from digital tools. CVS has interactive computer screens where customers can print coupons and order photos. Sephora has screens where shoppers can scan an item and get a printout of details about it like ingredients and usage instructions.
“Shoppers are still just people. Robots might be packing and shipping their favorite products, but that doesn’t change human nature. People still want to feel good. They want to feel welcome.”
Even online analog and digital customer experience can come together. Maintaining data on customer preferences allows for faster online shopping. Special offers customized based on a customer’s history add personalization. Birthday freebies, seasonal offerings and point systems are examples already in use.
Using human or computer interface, empathy toward customers is key. Examples:
- Give customers the omnichannel access to customer service so they can connect in the easiest way for them
- Provide customers the option to escalate to a live agent if a chat bot isn’t able to address their issue
- Maintain customer information across channels so the customer doesn’t have to repeat information on each platform
- Include and thank customers for feedback on upgrades and innovations to digital platforms
The Next Level
Digital is here to stay with increased use of AI, VR and IoT on the horizon. The future of customer service is using the advantages of digital: speed, access, omnichannel; while maintaining the human-centric analog experience: personalization, fun, connection.
How can we go further? What is the next level of this analog and digital customer experience?
Can you use the power of images and video in social media to connect with customers in a personal way?
Just like rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot can make the audience dance when he performed with the Seattle Symphony, your analog and digital customer experience methods can be remixed into customer satisfaction.