27, December 2016
With every New Year arrives the urge to come up with resolutions that we vow to stand by. Pragmatic aspirations that are essential to creating moments of personal triumph. It is human nature, after all. Everyone is on a journey to constantly pursue a better life. It is only natural that we pause every now and then to see if we are on the right track. And to ponder over what we can do differently to simply make things better.
In the world of customer experience (CX) too, it can pay to reflect over how you can keep your customers happier. In fact, you may have already made your CX resolutions for 2017. We just want to make sure that you made all the right ones. And to ensure that you are aware of the hottest trends likely to take the industry by storm; not just in 2017, but in the years to come.
Here are five suggestions for your Customer Experience-related New Year resolutions.
Less artificial, more intelligent
Drive towards digital is compelling brands to adopt Artificial Intelligence technologies to bridge the gaps between customer and service. According to Gartner, about 38% of consumers have used virtual-assistant services on their smartphones. The onus is machine learning so that companies can dispatch humanlike voice and chat-based agents to simulate live agents. From initiating customer conversations to delivering information and taking actions on their behalf. Harnessing the power of big data and analytics, it can also detect customer’s emotions and augment context and personalization. From instantaneous analysis of recent transactions, demographic and behavioral data, it is easy to mine the customer’s interaction intent.
With the rise of analytics in Artificial Intelligence, you can now offer a differentiated customer experience that is contextual and proactive.
The million-dollar Mobile question
Every year, there accumulates more reasons for companies to heavily invest in mobile-friendly customer experience strategies. In 2015, more than 55% of traffic for Black Friday came via mobile devices. During Black Friday 2016, in the US alone, mobile revenue exceeded over $1 billion and broke all sorts of records. It isn’t a seasonal trend either. The overall numbers are telling. By 2017, mobile search is expected to generate 27.8 billion more queries than desktop search. Of course, it is easier said than done. If it wasn’t, 90% of customers wouldn’t be saying they have had poor experience seeking customer support on mobile. Clearly, it is a gap that companies still aren’t fully recognizing as one. But it may shrink your customer-base unless you are quick to address it as 2017 rolls in.
Your customer’s mobile expectations are ready to soar higher than ever before. The question is, will you be there to meet them?
On top of the cloud
There has been a traditional bias towards ‘on premise’ infrastructure until recent years. Faced with business uncertainty and pressure to shift to frugal yet efficient systems, more companies are adopting the cloud. It helps in reducing capital investment and better managing operations costs while making it effortless to add new channels to existing infrastructure. Forrester has predicted that 16% of buyers will move their contact centers to the cloud very soon. A 2016 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report also reported that 60% of respondents had said that they plan to migrate their technology to the cloud.
With communication becoming increasingly digitalized, customer engagement models are being relooked at, in order to ensure maximum reach. With the world shrinking, so should your infrastructure costs. What better way than to go cloud?
The journey that never stops
By adopting Customer Journey Analytics (CJA), brands can personalize their customer experience strategies and streamline operational efficiencies. Leveraging data sciences to analyze various customer touch-points is crucial. Since, in this day and age, customer journeys go way beyond mere call metrics. Customer journey analytics is the process of analyzing and mapping customer engagement and interactions through myriad channels and touch-points. You can identify who the customer is, what they own, what channels they prefer and know what they are trying to achieve, and more importantly, how to assuage their frustrations.
According to Gartner, during the next three years, 60% of digital commerce analytics investments will be spent on customer journey analytics.
Experiencing the Center of engagement
As far as customer experience goes, an exemplary understanding of past does not even guarantee a minimum insight into what is to come. That is the rate at which interaction technologies and customer expectations are evolving side-by-side. Hence, it is important that companies have a razor-sharp focus on designing future-ready Customer Engagement Centers rather than go through the rigmarole of building old-school Contact Centers that offer basic inbound and outbound services. Gartner said it best when it defined the goal of the CEC as “to provide service to customers as they move among communications channels — including social media and community forums — while retaining the customers’ context, but also to deliver the appropriate business rule to determine the next best action”.
With the advent of proactive omnichannel experience, the “power of contact” has shifted from the company to the customer. It is up to you to recognize it and empower your customers to keep coming back for more.
Even if you aren’t the sort who is into New Year resolutions, it may be very useful for you to stay abreast of the new and exciting ways that your competitors may be satisfying their customers. If 2016 has taught the customer experience world anything, it is that if you aren’t ready to ride the wave of changes that are sweeping across the industry, you might be lost at sea as to how to win some customer love. Get onboard with what your customers want. What they expect from you. Only then will you prepared for the next time they want to reach out to you.
Happy New Year.