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Humanizing the customer experience (CX) begins and ends with trust

Customer experience (CX) is defined by people, yet the human factor is often overlooked as companies expand their digital initiatives. With continuous improvements in artificial intelligence (AI) and data and analytics, providing impactful experiences is now within reach for businesses of all sizes. But impact falls flat when customers are not the focal point of these efforts. To truly drive successful CX, company leaders must work together to bring back the human factor within their digital platforms, which will help cultivate customer trust and loyalty, ultimately leading to retention.

Create organic interactions throughout the buyer’s journey

Investments toward digital engagements have the power to drive significant growth. According to recent research from Hubspot, customers were more likely to engage directly with brands that provided human interactions as part of the customer journey. Meanwhile, 16% of consumers abandoned a purchase when they weren’t able to find a brand representative to answer their questions at key moments. With this in mind, brands should consider incorporating opportunities for human interaction touch points throughout pivotal parts of the buyer’s journey to help build trust and provide clarity around customers’ questions and concerns.

Understand your customers better than your competition

What works for one company’s customer base may not hold true for another. Rather than pulling pages from your competitors’ playbooks, keep a constant pulse on what your customers want. Per Deloitte, customers who perceive brands as reliable and competent are 1.6 times more likely to provide the brand with their digital information. Business goals and customer demands may not always align, but the old rule still applies: companies that listen to their customers are ahead of the curve in achieving key milestones. These are the people using your products and services, and they’ll continue to do so when they know you’re taking their feedback to heart.

Provide transparent data procedures

Data plays a critical role in creating intuitive customer experiences, but can also breed an atmosphere of discomfort and distrust among customers when it’s unclear how their personal information is being used. Because of this, as Deloitte points out, “people are increasingly rebelling against the idea of brands following their every move.”

In a recent study of 7,500 consumers and employees, Deloitte found that transparency and humanity are essential components when it comes to trusted data experiences. “In fact, when brands demonstrate transparency and humanity, customers are 2.5 times more likely to provide personal information that helps improve the product and 1.7 times more likely to feel they have received more value than expected,” the consultancy notes.

Takeaway

Living in a digital world means businesses must work even harder to put the human touch front and center — and that begins and ends with trust. Understand what your customers want, make them feel heard, and provide experiences that aren’t just personalized but are also personable.