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What happens when communicators lose sight of humans?

Have Digital Communicators Lost Sight Of Humans (1)

At the core of product design, for many years, has been the principle of human-centered design – producing products and services that solve a real problem for customers by putting them at the core of the creative design process.

Sound logical? Of course it is – then why aren’t the principles being applied to customer communication?

Companies do a lot of talking about improving customer experience, but the initiatives on the priority list are much more aligned with reducing costs or improving operational efficiency.

Projects targeting a single view of the customer, tend to become focused on gaining access to, and deriving value from, the quantitative information which resides in various sources of customer data. Because these projects tend to be long, expensive, complex and challenging – it’s understandable that a lot of resources get thrown at them.

Unfortunately, when tasked with improving customer experience, the company seldom invests in initiatives to actually ask their customers for input. Likewise, there’s another group of people – employees – who are close to the real needs of customers, but whose input is not sought when it comes to designing customer communication.

What’s missing from many digital communication design initiatives is . . . well . . . the humans themselves.

Human-centered communication is the marriage between the quantitative data a company has access to, and qualitative information that is obtained directly from customers and employees.

The approach draws on both of these sources to design communications that address the customer’s individual needs and preferences.

In this 3-part blog series, Nicola Els looks at ways to tell if your customer’s digital experience is fractured, the focus areas of the journey towards human-centered communication and how collaboration is replacing competition in the bid to achieve a consistent customer experience.

Nicola Els

Nicola Els

Commercial Strategist - Striata Africa

Nicola is Commercial Strategist for Striata South Africa, focused on assisting leading brands in SA and Africa with their digital communication strategies.

Nicola began her career working for a property related IT company. In 2008, she became Head of eBilling for Striata SA and was promoted into the role of Commercial Director. Nicola has since gained significant experience in the banking sector, as Head of Commercialize for Absa Digital Channels and Barclays Africa, followed by a position with Standard Bank, where her focus was on building socially integrated customer banking channels. Nicola also has a number of years’ experience in consulting within the digital space, helping startups and small business grow their digital assets.

Nicola’s professional certifications and licenses include a Bachelor of Arts (English and Law) and an LLB from the University of Johannesburg.

Read more of Nicola's blog posts here or connect with her on the following social channels: :