The digital technologies keep changing the way brands build and nurture the relationship with customers. In addition to creating new customer support channels, the digital technologies also compel enterprises to stay relevant and competitive by upgrading customer experience. No enterprise nowadays can drive sales without exploring innovative ways to boost customer experience.
A survey conducted by Gartner in 2015 predicated that over 50% of enterprises would make changes to their business models to deliver optimal customer experience. Can an enterprise boost customer experience without changing its business model? Each enterprise must explore ways to improve customer experience without changing its business model.
While implementing customer experience (CX) strategy, they must integrate CX design and CX insight seamlessly. At the same time, the CX strategy also needs to adopt the emerging trends to create a base of loyal and happy customers 2018. The enterprise further needs to keep the CX strategy flexible enough to adopt the emerging CX trends in 2018.
7 Trends that will Shape Customer Experience in 2018
#1: Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies like machine learning and deep learning enable enterprises to manage customer interaction without deploying additional customer support executives. In 2018, over 85% of customer interactions will be managed through chatbots and AI-based customer support tools. Many enterprises will switch to AI-based customer support systems and tools to perform routine and repetitive customer supports tasks quickly efficiently without building and maintaining physical infrastructure.
#2: Shorter Customer Journey
The conventional CX strategy covers pre-purchase to post-purchase customer journey. In addition to identifying the key stages in customer journey, the strategy also needs to address pain points throughout the customer journey. But the real-time customer data collected from various sources enable CX professionals to understand the preferences and buying behaviour of individual customers. Many enterprises will leverage the historical customer data to shorten the customer journey without impacting customer experience.
#3: Seamless Omnichannel Communication
The new devices and latest digital technologies create new channels for customer support. But the enterprises must keep the customer experience consistent across devices and platforms to boost customer loyalty and satisfaction. The enterprises must assess their CX strategy based on new metrics to identify and prevent the conflicts in frictionless omnichannel communication. Also, they must leverage robust digital technologies like sensors and AI to track the customer journey and communicate through the appropriate channel.
#4: Location Based Communication
The wireless beacon technologies enable businesses to identify current location of customers exactly. The enterprises can further detect the current location of customers precisely through their mobile devices. The beacon technologies even enable customer support executives to provide more proactive support and services to each customer based on his real-time location. They can even decide the right communication channel and deliver more relevant message to the customers by identifying his exact location. The information collected through beacon technology will further help enterprises to launch targeted marketing campaigns to drive engagement and facilitate cross-selling and up-selling.
#5: Speech Analytics
Many enterprises nowadays use analytics tools to gain insights by analyzing huge volumes of incoming data. But the enterprises will need speech analytics in 2018 to gain customer insights through voice and speech recognition. With more and more customers operating devices through voice commands and using personal intelligent assistants on a daily basis, it becomes easier for enterprises to conduct speech recognition and analysis. The enterprises still require advanced tools to gain customer insights through speed and voice analysis.
#6: Pre-emptive Customer Support
A number of leading brands have already prevented customer issues from escalating by providing pre-emptive customer support. They leverage predictive analysis and machine learning to predict and identify customer problems quickly based on use cases. The use cases further help customer support executives to address and resolve customer problems proactively. Many enterprises will deliver pre-emptive customer support in 2018 to identify and resolve common issues proactively.
#7: Internet of Things
The continuous machine to machine interaction facilitated by Internet of Things (IoT) will change the ways brands connect and communicate with current and future customers. IoT will enable enterprises to connect a variety of devices to each customer support channel. The additional devices will further help enterprises to improve customer experience by analyzing huge volumes of real-time customer information collected from varied sources. IoT will further make it easier for brands to deliver proactive customer support and customize their customer support systems to meet changing customer expectations.
How Can Enterprises adopt the Emerging CX Trends in 2018?
In 2018, the enterprises have to adopt an array of CX trends to drive sales and stay competitive. Some of these trends will require them to create a robust infrastructure and invest in next-generation customer support tools. Also, these metrics will compel certain organisations to re-examine their CX metrics and deploy skilled customer support executives. An enterprise still has some options to adopt the top CX trends of 2018.
- Outsourcing CX management to a competent company
- Upgrading their existing CX infrastructure and environment
- Recruiting skilled and energised customer support executives
- Upskilling current CX professionals
- Integrating next-generation customer support tools in existing CX system
- Revamping existing CX strategy and re-examining CX metrics
No enterprise can adopt the emerging CX trends without investing additional resources. An enterprise even has to deploy a dedicated CX team consisting of professionals with varied skills and expertise. Many enterprises prefer outsourcing CX management to adopt the emerging CX trends on time by overcoming these challenges.