CRM guru Denis Pombriant has launched a new article series over at E-Commerce Times discussing the "four basic attributes" required to build customer loyalty in the digital age. The first article in this series focuses on the "automation" attribute, and it appears that the entire series will be worth reading.
The "four attributes" that Pombriant outlines are essentially technological capabilites that he views as essential to competing on the customer experience. Those essential attributes are, according to Pombriant:
- Proactive Personalisation
- Contextual Interaction
- Journey Mapping
The first article focuses on Automation, which appears to be Prombriant's shorthand for technological capabilities - mobile apps, in particular - that provide for a frictionless customer experience. He uses Starbucks and Hilton as examples of brands who automate well to remove friction from the customer journey. Money quote:
"The purpose of automation always has been to reduce labor input to derive greater throughput from business processes, maximizing the utility of the resources we invest. On the employer side, this usually is called 'productivity,' but automation can have the same impact on the customer side.
"Simply because a customer isn't on the payroll doesn't negate the importance of respecting a customer's time and effort; thus, automation is a great way to take some friction out of a business process on behalf of a customer - and it works."
The analogy of customer experience automation to labor productivity is an intriguing one, and no doubt a legion of doctoral candidates are exploring this connection as we speak. Whether customer experience alone is sufficient to build loyalty with best customers is a topic for another day. In the meantime, you can read Pombriant's article here.