Combining Intimacy and Industrialization to Create Winning Customer Experiences

Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs are typically described in the form of a pyramid with each layer building on the last. From the base of the pyramid to the top, the layers are physiological, safety, belonging and love, esteem, and self-actualization. What if we imagined these needs differently… like parts of a body, and the heart is really “belonging and love?” Without the heart, the rest of the body cannot live. With the heart, the body thrives and the possibilities for a fulfilling life expand. And now, what if you apply this theory to business?

Mark Taylor is the Senior Vice President and the Global Practice Lead for Cognizant Digital Experience and for him, the heart level of belonging and love in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is what he is most concerned about.

“If you think of a hierarchy of experienced needs, at the bottom you would always see convenience and ease and simplicity,” he says. “But then you have to go up, you have to move past a brand. You have to learn, you have to listen, you have to be able to respond, because at that second level, you’re really more proactive. But your objective here is to get to the top level, where you’ve built a relationship of immense value with your customers.”

In his career in marketing and advertising that started in France, Taylor realized that companies were no longer able to lean on messaging to explain their brands. They needed a new way to stand out and connect with customers and technology is the key.

“You can only convey your brand promise through the experience you enable, that requires extraordinary depth and breadth in technology to be able to deliver those experiences,” he says. “Customers re-evaluate their relationships with brands at every interaction. Every interaction matters so the ability to deliver against those interactions is primarily a technology problem, or technology opportunity.”

But a technological problem — or as Taylor sees it, a technological opportunity — does not solve itself. It requires people to point the technology toward a solution. Cognizant helps brands to figure out the experiences that its customers value and how to leverage technology but in a human way.

“Artificial intelligence can help us do that, at a scale that is otherwise unimaginable, and scale is important,” Taylor says. “So, is it a 100% human equivalence? Absolutely not. But, it’s brands behaving like humans, because it is brands who are listening, brands who are reacting to stimuli and brands who are meeting the needs of the person they’re talking to.”

For Cognizant, the name of the game is helping its clients increase their awareness so that they can determine why they really matter to their customers. Like the luxury car company Cognizant helped by creating a personalized marketing platform to provide customers with the perfect offer at the ideal time via the best channel using the company’s data, AI and computer learning.

“So [it’s] really understanding customer and business insights to enable us to understand what our customers care about, and then deliver against it ,” Taylor said. ”I call this intimacy and industrialization… Intimacy is insight but it’s also business context, it’s really understanding the problem our clients are trying to solve for their consumers. It’s also understanding the market context, the competitive context around it. So, you understand the drivers of behavior in your audiences, that’s intimacy.”

Taylor believes employees and their experience is interconnected to the customer experience.

“This I think, is something that many companies don’t do,” he said. ‘So, it’s just a mindset, improve my employee experience? Think about it together. Thinking about it together is not 100% harder, and probably delivers 200% of value.”

But what’s the fundamental difference between intimacy and industrialization that serves customers — and employees.. How are these processes interconnected?

“Intimacy is listening,” Taylor says. “Listening really, really carefully and industrialization is about creating the ecosystem to be able to support what your customers care about.”

To find out how Cognizant brings intimacy and industry to all its interactions and helps clients and customers to fully understand and address wants and needs and then go to the last step of self-actualization at the top of the Maslow’s pyramid, tune into Business X factors.

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