According to Sitra’s recent report on the use of digital services, 90% of the general public in Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and France are looking for easy-to-use solutions. Over 50% of respondents said they appreciate personalised services based on their user histories.
As users, we expect digital services to be intelligent and the user experience to be pleasant. If a digital service fails to live up to our expectations, we’re quick to switch to another service provider. Naturally, no company can afford this risk.
What makes a great service experience, then? According to Jyri-Pekka Makkonen, Head of Business Automation at Sofigate, the key is to pay attention to things happening below the surface: integration and automation. These are the two areas which can really improve both productivity and customer loyalty.
How do we create value?
The value of a digital service comes from timely integrated information
The value of a digital service is calculated based on how the service utilises and offers timely information to users. The key here? Integration. One of the most common digital service integrations is a connection to an authentication service. For example the Suomi.fi authentication service used in many government online solutions in Finland transmits relevant user information so the user can continue using a digital service.
Authentication and basic user information should be integrated to a digital service automatically. In most cases, the information is available on the company CRM.
From the user perspective, nothing is more frustrating than being forced to type in the same information over and over again in order to perform a task, for example when placing an order. The customer experience rises to a whole new level when the service understands who it’s dealing with and what the user is likely to do next.
In some cases, API-based services are used to give mobile service users real-time information. The APIs can be connected to for example payments, location, weather and traffic. Through APIs, applications are able to communicate with each other. APIs also combine data from different sources securely and in real time. The technology is like a neural network moving information to where it is needed the most.
Automation ensures the user doesn’t get lost
A good digital experience means that the user is able to perform a task easily. In order for the users to do that, they can’t waste time wondering what to do next. If you design a digital service with a focus on look rather than feel, you’re going to lose users. Special attention must be paid to data and automation.
Workflow and subprocesses for digital services can be easily accomplished through background automation and integrations. They combine pieces of the service process into a single entity. Without functional automation, the service results in an unnecessary manual workload and costs for the service owner, as well as poor quality and an even poorer customer experience.
A good digital service is built on integrations and automation happening below the surface. Through automation, the user is able to get the necessary information quickly and automatically AND is able to see what is happening in the service in real time. For organisations, there are still lessons to be learned. Business automation could be one of the ways to improve service experiences.
About the author
Jyri-Pekka Makkonen is the Head of Business Automation at Sofigate. He has over 20 years of experience from leading business using intelligent automation.