When it comes to dealing with brands, customers have a clear idea of what they want. If they aren’t happy, they will let it be known. While enterprises have embraced new technologies to meet customer needs, it hasn’t always translated into seamless customer experiences.

It is therefore important to re-examine your customer experience strategy, on yearly, quarterly or even on a monthly basis, to stay ahead of the game.

Here are our top eight customer experience trends, in no particular order, to track in 2019.

Trend #1: Predictive analytics – To keep your customers coming back

Contact centers have always been able to address issues on a reactive mode. While this allows them to manage large call volumes and track past interactions, can just being reactive meet customer expectations?

With predictive analytics, enterprises can identify glitches, even before customers take notice - leading to faster decisions and higher customer satisfaction levels. For instance, Facebook sends out app updates every two weeks to fix bugs proactively and avert support calls.

"81% of management leaders predict they will compete mainly on CX. But only 22% have claimed to create an experience that exceeds expectations"

Trend #2: Natural Language Processing (NLP) – To interpret every customer’s need

In today’s world, communication is either sugar-coated or straightforward. For brands with high interaction volumes, it is a tedious task for agents to go through and filter them manually.

NLP enables computers to understand human language without manual intervention. When equipped with Natural Language Understanding (NLU), it can holistically understand customer’s context, emotions, goals, and behavior - even without them having to state it explicitly. As channels of communication increase, NLP can unlock the power of open-ended feedback. For instance, NLP algorithms can analyze customer sentiments about the latest MacBook based on their tweets.

Trend #3: Conversational AI – To keep the engagement going

Artificial Intelligence is at a phase where it can only go upwards. It has made its way into how we interact. As customers become accustomed to using this technology, will it be able to deliver human-like conversations?

Enterprises are blending AI-driven customer interaction systems such as chatbots, and virtual customer assistants with NLP algorithms to build conversational AI systems. This allows them to automate and drive personalized customer engagements at scale. Conversational AI isn't a technology meant only for enterprises. It is the force behind a growing $2.68 billion industry that’s projected to reach over $11 billion by 2023.  For instance, Google Home smart speakers allow users to have a full-fledged conversation with the bot. 

2019_customer experience trends

Trend #4: Process automation – To meet customer needs faster and improve agent productivity

The average customer doesn’t have patience, especially when they face a customer service problem. They don’t care about your systems; all they want is an immediate solution and expect customer service agents to be superheroes. The future certainly belongs to brands that give customers instant gratification.

While it’s not possible to turn customer service agents into superheroes, an increasing number of enterprises are looking at process automation as a tour de force. Automation streamlines back-office processes and improves operational efficiency. It can even help agents solve customer problems faster by minimizing time-consuming tasks and manual errors so that they can concentrate on more critical activities.

Trend #5: Hyper-personalization – To redefine the meaning of CX

Personalization has made customers feel special and helped enterprises build long-lasting relationships. How can brands continue to wow them with each experience in 2019?

Personalization needs to go beyond identifying the customer by their name and recognizing subtle details that are otherwise tough to catch. But when you integrate technologies such as artificial intelligence and IoT, hyper-personalization with customer interaction channels, it can be effective. In the era of the evolved customer, hyper-personalization can provide targeted services, promotions, and campaigns, like in the case of the Netflix's recommendations engine based on individual viewing patterns. According to Accenture, 75% of customers will respond more to offerings personalized to individual preferences.


Trend #6: Voice search – To offer more convenience to the customer

From Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri, to Microsoft’s Cortana and Samsung’s S Voice, voice search has come a long way; it has begun to replace text search, as a more convenient routine. But, can voice-based technologies be optimized to suit the customer’s changing needs?

With its ability to interpret user intent and behavior, voice-search will reach new levels of sophistication in customer experience. ComScore predicts that by 2020, 50% of all searches will be powered by voice searches. For instance, customers can look for flight tickets to Hawaii for a holiday using voice; also, the device will anticipate their needs and suggest sunglasses or sunscreen.

Trend #7: Interactive technologies – To create immersive experiences

With the rise of smartphones and digital media, customers are more distracted than ever, especially the millennials. With a diminishing attention span, they get easily overwhelmed and often chose to avoid engagements that are not authentic. But it's crucial for any brand to consistently engage with their customer. So, how do they keep a distracted customer, engaged?

The answer lies with technologies like Augmented and Virtual Reality that provide an extra sensory appeal. For instance, Ikea, the Swedish furniture retailer, uses augmented reality for a more immersive online shopping experience. With an AR-powered app, customers can use their smart devices to assess how a product fits in the space along with the rest of the furniture. In 2019 more brands will switch to an AR or VR based experience.

Trend #8: Voice of the Customer (VOC) – To listen and improve experiences

Most customers want brands to listen to them, understand their anxieties, and act on their feedback. According to industry research, 78% of customers think it’s important for a brand to listen to them and respond thoughtfully, but feel only 17% of brands are truly listening.

In 2019, more brands will adopt Voice of the Customer tools to minimize this gap between expectations and the experience. They will provide a direct line for customers and employ techniques that capture feedback about a brand, product or service. By connecting VOC, enterprises can engage with them across their customer journey, spot potential crisis early, gain customer insights on new launches, customize offerings, and increase loyalty by giving customers exactly what they want.

The past year saw many enterprises hedge their vets on omni-channel and personalized experience - powered by artificial intelligence. With 2019 just around the corner, set out to make to your customers’ lives easier and better. Once you get your CX right, profits will follow.

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