There are two sides to good digital marketing execution, whether it’s email, website, mobile, social or even customer service. One side is the technology. Without good technology, you’re crippled in today’s marketing environment. You need a fast and responsive website. You need software to help you manage social networks. You need versatile email software that perhaps even serves as a customer relationship management portal. Technology is critical. But it’s only half of the prerequisite for digital marketing success.
The other half is humanity, or perhaps better put, human-ness. The technology only gets you down the field a bit. Humanity takes you across the respective goal line.
An example: Two weeks ago I booked a flight via Priceline.com. I thought nothing about it for a few days, then couldn’t remember if I had or not. My inbox showed no Priceline confirmation, so I decided I’d not booked the ticket yet. (I’m absent-minded on the non-imperative details of things sometimes.) So I booked the flight again, only this time I received a confirmation.
But about an hour later I got a phone call from a number I didn’t recognize. I answered to a customer service representative for Priceline informing me that I’d double-booked that flight. They were going to hold the reservation from earlier since it was cheaper and credit my account back for the over-booking. Delighted, I asked why I didn’t receive a notification on the first one and it turns out I’d input my email address incorrectly. But since the charge was made on the same name and credit card number, their system caught it and they could prevent my mistake from being costly.
Two things happened here, both equally as important in delivering an outstanding digital marketing experience. First, Priceline has their system set up to throw up a red flag when someone of the same name, account, email address or credit card number books the same flight, or even a flight on the same day from the same city. The technology gets them down the field and in position to score a touchdown with the customer.
But the second piece of the equation — the humanity — punches the ball into the end zone. The customer service representative proactively takes that information and does something with it. In this case, they called the customer and explained their system noticed a mistake and they want to fix it.
Without the technology, I’d have been double booked and charged an extra $300 or so for the mistake. Without the humanity, I’d have never known, nor would I have an awesome experience to talk about surrounding the brand.
Don’t let your technology babysit your customers by itself. Make certain you are adding in the human-ness it takes to make the advantages of the technology ultimately relevant to your audience.
Had a similar story where technology plus humanity has delivered an outstanding experience? Tell us about it in the comments.