When Tech Becomes the Enemy: How Tech Can Actually Ruin CX

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Towards the end of last year, a curious redditor thought it wise to run some benchmarks on his iPhone 6 Plus to gauge the performance of his device before and after replacing its battery. Surprisingly, there was a significant improvement in CPU performance after replacing the battery, leading many to conclude that Apple intentionally slows down older devices.

And when Apple finally came clean a few weeks later, there was uproar as many customers had upgraded to new iPhones instead of just replacing their batteries, thinking they had no choice.

This is just one of the many cases in the real world that show the ugly side of technology, especially when it touches on customer experience.

In recent years, advances in tech have changed life as we know it. AI-powered cars and robots are becoming regular parts of a typical workday, with the ever-growing Internet of Things (IoT) enabling us to communicate remotely with the thermostats and refrigerators in our homes.

But despite the many benefits that come with these emerging technologies, they still carry a considerable amount of downsides that could negatively impact CX from a business standpoint. These usually stem from a variety of issues – from a failure of tech policy to information gaps within the organization.

Check out how your newest tech installation can turn out to be a nightmare for your CX strategy.

1. Leaving it all to technology

Tech is always good until it’s not.

There’s really no amount of technology that can ever replace the human touch, especially when CX is concerned.

Chatbots, smartphones, and other tech tools are all effective conduits for doing business and, in many cases, avenues for enhancing CX and customer service. However, they can also be huge distractions from the actual task of interacting with customers and solving their problems.

Take the all-too-popular robocalls and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems that many companies use as a first line of contact with customers. When used correctly, these automated platforms can help reduce the workload for support staff without any adverse effects on customer service.

However, when companies leave huge chunks of their customer support to robots, CX is almost always negatively affected. When IVR systems consist of long, deep, and complex selections, 45 percent of customers will often abandon the call, leaving with nothing but a bad experience. And while there are many ways of dealing with robocalls, you wouldn’t want your customers to get to the point where they have to look for ways of avoiding your calls.

2. Poor integration with existing systems

One of the biggest hurdles for businesses that are trying to bring in new technology is aligning the new tech with existing infrastructure and how to make it work with existing legacy systems.

Just because a competitor has implemented an AI-powered CRM platform for their business doesn’t necessarily mean you should blindly follow suit. If you do, you risk catastrophic failure in CX as customer-facing tech additions fail.   

Unfortunately, many businesses often rush to incorporate new technology without first analyzing the impact of such technology on existing business processes and infrastructure.

For instance, when questions such as “will your customers be comfortable migrating to information kiosks that are replacing your human customer service tellers?” or “will they be able to use the new online payment system you installed for your business seamlessly?” go unanswered after bringing in new tech, you probably need to reassess your implementation strategy or risk chasing away your customers with bad CX.

3. Lack of tech skills within the organization

The easiest way for any technology integration to fail is trying to match new hardware or software with unskilled users – irrespective of how advanced or expensive the new piece of tech is. It gets even worse when such new tech integrations directly affect the customer, for instance, AI-powered chatbots on websites or mobile payment platforms on your customers’ smartphones.

When employees are not technically competent or adequately trained to handle new technology, there’s usually a higher occurrence of blunders and mistakes, underutilization of hardware or software, and a myriad of other negative effects.

Consequently, these often create bottlenecks within your organization, slowing down growth and severely impacting CX.

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