A tale of two customer experiences


Perhaps the biggest business trend over the past several decades has been customer centricity, making the customer experience a top priority. Financial institutions continue to invest heavily in technologies that improve customer interactions and help to build long-term loyalty.

But in today’s digital-first world where most interactions are increasingly on screen, we no longer have a singular customer experience. Especially when it comes to service, we now have two separate, often disconnected customer experiences.

  1. The digital experience
  2. The phone experience

We know that high customer effort has a significant negative impact on the overall experience and long-term loyalty. The disconnect between the digital and phone experience has become a big challenge, threatening to drive up abandonment rates and drive down customer satisfaction.

Research shows that nearly 70% of customers who call a company started their service interaction online. Often customers go to a company’s website or app first to get more information or solve an issue.

Unfortunately, many financial institutions do not offer an easy way to digitally connect with an agent for customers who need live support. Customers are typically forced to stop in the midst of a digital experience and re-start their journey all over again by making a phone call. This feels out of step with today’s digital-first world.

Customers are trying to have ONE experience and the conventional model is to force them to have TWO totally different service experiences. Not only does this create unnecessary friction that all but invites customers to move on to a competitor, but it also breaks the digital connection. A seamless digital experience is better for the customer, but also valuable to financial institutions who can gain insight by analyzing the entire customer interaction as opposed to piecing together disparate digital and phone components.

It’s time to acknowledge that we have two separate customer experiences and develop better ways to provide a seamless journey with less friction. We need to get back to a single customer experience that doesn’t feel disjointed or frustrating. In today’s increasingly OnScreen world, we need to focus on the digital experience.

Employing a a Digital Customer Service (DCS) platform, provides customers with the appropriate assistance they need right on their screen—within their digital journey. Even if they need to talk with an agent, it all happens within the company website or app. And by the time the agent says “hello,” they already know who the customer is and have a general idea of what the customer is trying to accomplish. The agent has context and doesn’t need to ask how they can help the customer.

In DCS, the digital experience and the phone experience are completely seamless because they are all ONE experience—there is no “switching” involved. The entire interaction takes place on the customer’s screen where the agent has visual context of each customer’s needs to better guide them to success. The customer chooses how to engage—chat, phone, OnScreen voice, video, etc.—and the context of their interactions follows them through the conversation regardless of which agent helps them or by what means. That makes it a virtually effortless experience. And we know the impact that can have on long-term loyalty.

We have largely evolved to a digital-first lifestyle. We live on our screens and that means companies must meet us there for service. In fact, providing digital customer service is probably the most customer-centric strategy a financial institution can take today.

Glia is reinventing how businesses support their customers in a digital world, supporting a growing list of financial institutions. Glia’s solution enriches web and mobile experiences with digital communication choices, OnScreen collaboration and AI-enabled assistance. Learn more at glia.com

To learn more about Digital Experiences, check out the new book Digital Customer Service: Transforming Customer Experience for an On-Screen World