Ask a researcher: Automating the consumer experience

Ask a researcher: Automating the consumer experience

Dunya van Troost, research manager, Google Benelux
October 2020

Automation enables companies to be more helpful by offering personalised services to consumers, but not all automation and personalisation is welcome. Google Benelux's research manager Dunya van Troost explains how striking the right balance can help build and retain customer trust. 

Learn more about the research in this summary article.


Imagine that you’re hungry, you're on the way to the station, and someone runs up to you and offers you a nice sandwich.


Would you accept it would you say "oh yeah thanks"?


No, you wouldn't.


But if it was someone you trusted like a family member you would say "Ah that's wonderful, great."


My name is Dunya van Troost and I work as a research manager for Google Benelux.


Technology is becoming more human, but so is our relationship to it


which means that what we currently expect from brands really isn't any different than what we expect from people.


Rather than humans having to learn machine


it's important for brands, and they should think about this, how are they actually going to humanise the interfaces that they offer to their clients?


And while doing so they should be mindful of the social rules.


So when is it actually welcome to offer up help and when is it deemed inappropriate.


Be in the moment. You can delight your customers by offering a service that is right for that customer at that particular moment.


Connect emotionally. Having a close relationship with your customer gives your brand a real competitive advantage.


Trust is key. Your consumers need to know who you are before you can help them.


One of the major challenges of a study like this is that it's very difficult for people to actually imagine how they see automation as part of their lives,


how they see technology as part of their lives, how technology can help in their lives.


It’s important to know who your customers are but what this research has shown us it's that it's equally important that your customer actually knows who you are.


So that means can they trust you, do they know what you stand for, do they feel emotionally connected with your brand?


And, if that's the case, there's a lot more you can offer them through data and automation when they interact with your brand online.

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