Striking the Balance: Automation and Self-Service Interactions for Customer Experience


When everyone set up at home, the focus was on maintaining customer experience (CX). Initially, customers were considerate and willing to accept delays and automated messages about staff shortages. However, customers soon expected services to resume and lost sympathy if poor service became the norm.  

Successful CX is a result of well-thoughtthrough customer journeys. Automation and self-service materials should save time on both sides, with human touch points at exactly the right time. When the balance is right, CX will improve but this balance varies significantly depending on industry, product or audience.  For example, we have introduced comprehensive online support through training webinars, tutorials and online help, to widen accessibility and promote engagement.  

For the times where human engagement is critical, external video meetings have helped us to build closer relationships, breaking down barriers through a glimpse into someone’s home life, living through COVID and interruptions from pets or family! Many relationships are now less formal, built on humanity rather than just business. 

Automation should always be carefully considered as it can provoke extreme emotions. We all love tech when it works, but if ‘computer says no’ and the automation doesn’t match the question being asked, CX suffers very quickly. The right balance of digital vs. human interaction is critical. The key is to understand your audience, the types of enquiry, the ideal journey and critically when humans should interact.