Frictionless Brands

Creating a frictionless brand experience by tightly stitching together human and technology interactions is quickly becoming table stakes.  Two of my recent experiences in buying a digital TV box, demonstrate how high our expectations have become in today’s time-starved world, and how high the bar has been raised by companies that truly understand this.

I decided to replace my 2-year old Android box, whose interface was not up to today’s user-friendly standards.  After some online research, I settled on an Apple TV box.  I watched a short video that demonstrated ease of installation, cementing my buying decision.  Online, I checked the inventory status at the closest retail store of a major electronics distributor to ensure the item was in stock.  Because I wanted same day delivery, I drove the 10 minutes to the store.  That’s where the experience fell apart. They couldn’t find any units, despite the “in stock” status on the website, and the sales staff did not quickly identify an alternate solution.  So, I drove another 20 minutes to the closest Apple Store.  My experience contrasted dramatically from the moment I walked into the store.  Although the store was crowded, within 30 seconds, a “concierge” spotted me and asked what I was looking for.  They led me to the relevant sales associate.  While he was answering a few of my questions, he typed a few key strokes on his handheld device.  As he explained the benefit of AirPlay (which I didn’t know I needed, but now cannot live without), the device and a shopping bag magically appeared before us, delivered unobtrusively from the stock room.  I provided my credit card, and he offered to e-mail the receipt to the address on file in my Apple account.  My total time in the store was likely less than 7 minutes.  I had my new Apple TV box set up and operational with half a dozen apps downloaded, less than an hour later (including travel time), thanks to the magic of Bluetooth on my I-phone, Siri voice commands, and ultra-simple set-up.  It’s impossible not to marvel at Apple’s completely frictionless human / technology brand interaction.  Although it appeared effortless, I can appreciate the countless details that had to be executed flawlessly to deliver this experience.

These lessons cut across all industry lines.  As machine learning and artificial intelligence play an increasing role in wealth management, there is a real opportunity to effectively integrate the role of wealth management advisors with outstanding technology to deliver a high-value seamless service.  At InvestorCOM, we understand the growing expectations of our clients and their customers, as the bar is continually raised for human / technology interface.  We are embracing these needs and integrating new capabilities, including AI & ML, to enable our technology as we partner with our clients in our quest to be their “Bridge to a Digital Tomorrow”.

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