To be digital is to be human

grab digital
I used to be bamboozled by the world of digital. The new language was scaring the pants off me. Digital disruption, IOT, AI, big data, sophisticated and mysterious algorithms, bots…and the list goes on.
I was feeling well out of my comfort zone until…
I realised that the heart of all of this is still about delivering on the fundamentals of business – to provide a great customer experience and a great employee experience in a cost-effective way.
Big data is about taking customer research to a deeper level, AI is about scanning data efficiently and being able to add value at unbelievably fast speeds, algorithms help uncover customer needs, and the IOT is the new environment that is enabling this to happen.
I may be simplifying a bit. But here is the point: Don’t get bamboozled by the new digital wizardry and the terminology that goes with it. Fall in love with the possibilities that it creates to add value to your customers and your employees. The money will come after that.
So, how do we apply those fundamentals in the world of digital disruption?
Let’s start with the digital experience.
grab digital zone
Why I love the Grab digital customer experience. Grab has changed my life. Before Grab, taking a cab was mildly stressful. Would I be charged by the meter? Would the inside of the vehicle be clean and tidy? What experience would I have with the driver?
Grab has disrupted a traditional taxi industry through the digital experience. Or, I should say, a customer experience that combines digital and traditional elements. The Grab experience is designed to give its customers a stress-free, good value ride. It understands the expectations of its customers and then designs a process to consistently deliver on those expectations.
So, what are those expectations? While I am not privy to the research that Grab has carried out, I have a feeling it revolves around a few key factors.
First, it’s about control. When you order a Grab, you have a feeling of control. You know the price in advance. You know how long it will be before the car arrives. You can see exactly where the car is on its way to you. I am a Grab passenger, and yet I feel that it puts me in the driver’s seat!
Second, I want it to be easy. Grab makes it easy for me. The app is super easy to understand. And, it makes it easy for me to pay automatically by credit card. It emails me my receipt. And, I can have the receipt put on a company account. How easy is that?
Third, Grab fares are good value.
Fourth, Grab has a process in place to deliver a consistently good cab experience. It makes it easy for me to give feedback. And, at the same time, the customer feedback is a mechanism to motivate drivers to be friendly, or, at least, not grumpy! As a result, I get a consistently good experience from Grab drivers.
Grab has stuck to the fundamentals in the digital world. And, success has followed.
Digital gone wrong
I heard about hand-held water flosser machines to replace my evening floss. (Hey, we are getting really on close terms now – I am sharing some personal stuff with you!). So, I checked a popular online shopping website. I decided not to buy one.
And then, all of a sudden, when I was surfing the net, I found that these water flosser machines were stalking me! They seemed to appear on different sites that I visited. I really did not appreciate this. I felt that my privacy was being invaded.
This is an example of very sophisticated digital technology gone wrong. If anything, it put me off the offending website. The technology is not focused on me, and my expectations. Rather, it is focused on getting a sale – even if people like me get annoyed!
This strategy may win the company sales in the short term, but there is a chance that the emotional tide will turn against the brand on privacy grounds. So, here is the message.
Amid all of the shiny bells and whistles that technology provides, remember to design it to deliver a digital customer experience that puts a smile on customers’ faces. Digital is not about technology. It’s about delivering a human experience. Focus on your customers in a digital world and, like Grab, you will be a winner.
Until next time.
George (pic) is the Group CEO and International Partner of TMI, TACK International in Malaysia and digital learning consultancy, Elementrix. He will be moderating an electrifying panel session at the Digital Transformation Conference on July 19. Details with Amira on 03-77262588.
george aveling digital

dtc logo
Is the Customer at the heart of your Digital Transformation?
On 19th of July, MARKETING will be organising a conference on Customer-Centric Digital Transformation (#DTCX2018) to help you answer that question. The conference will be driven by Paul Stewart who authored the best-seller ‘Branded Customer Service’ and currently is the Special Advisor, Strategy & Transformation for TMI Malaysia. Drawing from his 25 years of diverse experience as a Chief Economist, CEO and consulting in organisational change, transformation and innovation Paul will be sharing his learnings and current trends in this realm.
He will be joined by key thought leaders in the areas of transformation, data analytics, customer service, branding, marketing, digital, human resources and more! Some of the key names who will be joining us include:
* Imran Kunalan Abdullah, Advisor/Principal Consultant – Digital Talent Development & Leadership and People Analytics
* George Aveling, CEO, TMI Malaysia
* Laurence Smith, Head, Asia Region, SmartUP
* Falko Leonhardt, Principal Consultant Transformation Strategy and Change, TMI
and MORE!
Get ready to be inspired by case studies on transformation, honest conversations on driving change and actionable insights you can take back to implement in your organisation.
Date: 19th July 2018
Time: 8.30 am -6.00 pm
Venue: Sime Darby Convention Center, Bukit Kiara
For more information on DTCX 2018 contact Amira today at [email protected] or Book your spot early to avoid disappointment!

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The APPIES is an annual event that presents a rare opportunity for creative, media, digital and marketing agencies or brands to present their best campaigns to the industry.

This is the only event where Live Presentations meets Live Judging.

Similar to TED Talks, The APPIES is the chance for great presenters with outstanding work to show it off to some of the industry’s most important industry leaders.

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APPIES Festival – Judging & Presentations
11th – 12th July 2024 (Malaysia)


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