Nearly every customer experience in any industry is driven or supported by digital technology. Customers expect elevated, personalized, and seamless experiences. Therefore, companies must invest in the right technology to power proactive, personal experiences and service. Latest CX technologies like Machine learning (ML), Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Mixed Reality (MR), drastically change the way businesses interact with customers. Each customer interaction is an opportunity for firms to learn more about individual customer and improve their end-to-end journey through service and technology. By using the most suitable enterprise technology, companies can outpace competitors’ actions and customers’ expectations.
How the customer experience (CX) has changed!
- The digital transformation has led to customers expecting brands and businesses to always be available to get consistent, convenient and personalised experiences.
- Social media has given customers a platform to know opinions of friends and peers about products and services. Hence, the customer can easily switch between competitor products based on reviews.
- Customer expectations and market change in real time. Businesses must be able to respond quickly to these changes in order to deliver exceptional experiences and capture new revenue opportunities.
- Data is the most valuable resource and companies must effectively utilize actionable insights extracted from internal operations and customer interactions.
- Organizations can choose to adopt automation for improving productivity and efficiency, and help generate more time for employees to focus on customer-centric tasks.
Why should CX matter?
How customers experience when they are associating with a company is very important for the growth of that company. CX should matter to organizations because it can do the following:
- Drive positive customer engagement
As per reports, 94% of consumers who give a company a ‘very good’ CX rating are ‘very likely’ to purchase more products or services from that company in the future and 95% are ‘very likely’ to recommend the company. The importance of CX can be seen from the fact that 82% of business buyers and 59% of consumers are willing to pay more for a great experience.
- Grow the bottom line
More organizations are deploying AI to capture customer behavior. Companies that have adopted AI report that they have seen an increase in their revenues. Reports say that digital transformation and a focus on customer experience can generate:
– a 20-30% increase in customer satisfaction,
– a 10 to 20% improvement in employee satisfaction
– economic gains of 20-50%.
- Power competitive advantage
Majority of the large companies are planning to increase their focus on CX. Those companies who performed well responded quickly to customer demands and insights. According to reports, 93% of IT leaders believe improved customer-facing technology is critical for their company to compete and 77% of IT leaders are increasing investment in the customer experience.
CX transformation step by step
Having known why CX should matter to an organization, let us see how a company can achieve this. The three pillars on which we build the CX transformation framework are:
- Engaging customers
- Empowering employees
- Optimizing operations
Organisations must not only address buyer concerns, but also invest in building proactive, personalised relationships with their customers. Engaging customers include creating 1:1 interaction that scale, empowering customers to achieve on their own and anticipating customer needs. To achieve this companies need to:
- Gather information about customers from each channel and every stage in the user journey so that you can derive actionable insights about their needs and preferences.
- Use technologies like AI and MLto find patterns in customer behaviours, choices and feedback. This will help customise future recommendations and action plans.
- Enable NLP that leverages the company’s big data to guide customers to the products or answers they need hassle-free.
- Gather historical and real-time data from one-to-one interactions, IoT-enabled devices and other customer touchpoints. Use this data to enable AI-based software predicted future needs, roadblocks, or events. This way, companies can change the course of business to address these situations before they arise.
Employees are the ones who develop innovative solutions and deliver exceptional service. Companies should digitally empower their employees by automating tedious tasks and incorporating digital tools that can deliver real time insights about customers. This allows employees to use their time for creative thinking and problem solving. Companies can support their employees by building 360° customer profiles, streamlining anytime and anywhere collaboration, and embedding intelligent assistance inside workflows. Companies can:
- Use AR and VR platforms for enabling employees to iterate on product concepts, designs and schematics in real time.
- Implement AI software that processes text, voice and facial recognition data. This will help employees better understand the emotional states of customers and decide the course of action accordingly.
- Support real-time remote assistance in which employees can leverage encrypted video streaming and augmented reality platforms to see first-hand what customers are experiencing. Then they will be able to provide in-the-moment assistance or troubleshooting.
Digital transformation requires organisations to re-envision their business models and reorganise people, information and processes to accelerate the speed of doing business and anticipate new opportunities. This approach of optimising operations includes eliminating organisational silos, enabling operational agility, refining operations in real time and forecasting future to ensure success. Solution that can enable companies to optimize operations are:
- Choose new platforms that leverage drag-and-drop components and graphical user interfaces to enable employees with little to no coding expertise to program applications to solve unmet needs. These platforms also support professional developers in relevant scenarios.
- Use open-source software to allow teams to inspect, monitor and contribute to each other’s digital or data work. This will speed up the process of alignment, collaboration and innovation.
- Promote on-demand manufacturing as just-in-time manufacturing reduces flow times of production systems to bring ideas to market faster.
- Use predictive analytics to generate and refine forecasts about customers, markets or trends for businesses to act upon.
Investing in CX technologies will empower companies to excel in customer engagement and operational efficiency. With increasing digital capabilities, the customer expectations and demands have changed. Customers are preferring a personalised experience and expect 24×7 support from companies. Capturing and understanding customer behavior is the basis to provide a personalised customer experience. But that alone is not enough. Companies need to derive actionable insights from customer behavior and work upon it to maximize company revenue by engaging more customers. To implement a successful customer experience transformation, companies must:
- Look out for suitable solutions that are also flexible. The solution must makes it easy to evolve and extend existing business operations, while introducing new technologies.
- Transform from a reactive to a proactive model of responsiveness. Make use of the right data to anticipate change and plan accordingly.
- Make use of AI tools like chatbots, voice assistants and personalised insights to have a frictionless effective interaction with customers 24×7.
- Bring in technologies like AI, RPA to increase speed, efficiency and moreover to expand operational capabilities.
Source credit: Microsoft