Am in Chicago today at the Forrester Consumer Forum.
Notes from the keynote by Henry Harteveldt, on Digitizing the Human Experience
Harteveldt poses three questions to ask about the state of the market:
1) How do today's digital experiences fall short?
Ex: Bloomingdale's has a distinguished in-store experience, but that experience is missing online
- Site set up in "industry-speak" (what the heck is "casual china?")
- No photos
- What is a " Portmeiron USA Botanic PL 8" " (apparently it's some kind of plate, but you'd never know that unless you were a buyer for Bloomingdales)
Ex: Sheraton Hotels
- Looks great...gives options for "Instant Answers" and "Online Chat"....but clicking gives an error that says "Your inquiry is best handled by Live Assistance, but our offices are currently closed. Please try again at a later time."
Henry gives a good anecdote about service. The question:
"When contacting a company's customer service, were you satisfied with the experience?"
52% were satisfied using a retail location
29% were satisfied using a web site
21% were satisfied using live chat
2) What is a humanized digital experience?
"An interaction in which the human benefits are more visible than the technology"
- "we feel part o the community"
Three building blocks of a humanized digital experience
- "Useful"...offers value
Good example: VW online car configurator
- "Usable"...provides easy access to value
Good example: Netflix, desktop widgets
- "Desirable"...appeal to emotions
Ex: E*Trade ... invites to chat, while they are applying for a mortgage "Thank you for visiting E*trade Mortgage. Would you like live assistance with a mortgage loan consultant? "
Apparently..13% of those who chat go on to complete a mortgage application.
Engaging: Mentos example, shown from Revver (about 20% of the audience had seen the video previously)
"Social media allow people to engage with one another."
3) What priorities should guide your digital experience creation?
- Give users control ... "It's not about how you want to sell, but how the customer wants to buy"
- Explore new technologies that give consumers more control
- Use an approachable tone of voice
- Don't overlook the small things (e.g. allow users to dynamically adjust font size on web sites...it's small, it's useful, it's usable)
Overall, a good baseline. However...didn't hear a thing about actual relationships between individuals. There was almost an undertone of how can technology be used to replace, rather than augment actual experiences. (The one exception was the E*Trade live chat example). Based on the agenda (especially the Social Computing track this afternoon), I have a feeling this was an anomaly. Still, would think that concept would be much more strongly presented in the foundational session of the event.