Customer Experience Goals and the Technology Roadmap to Successfully Achieve Them
It’s 2018, and we are already well into the digital age. ‘Why customer experience (CX) is important?’, ‘how it is different from your traditional customer service setup?’ – we need not dictate companies on that anymore.
However, majority of CX initiatives are still failing (80-90%, according to different studies). The reasons for this alarmingly high failure rate are – companies are either not clear with their CX goals or they lack the required knowhow (technological and strategic) to achieve these goals.
To make things easier, here is a comprehensive guide on what technologies and tools you should use based on the goal of your digital customer experience project.
Understand Customers Better
Your website, social media, sales and customer service department, coupled with Google Analytics or similar tools are all good resources to gather customer information. But in the digital age, you need more sophisticated establishments.
Technologies to consider : Big Data Analytics, IoT, AI
Big Data Analytics – to know customer expectations at every digital touchpoint
Start by integrating big data analytics tools (such as Hadoop, Tableau, etc.) with your organization’s database. Besides helping you store and manage your data better (through AI-based machine learning algorithms), these tools also provide insights on customer behavior across a multitude of digital touchpoints, enabling you to recognize behavior patterns, understand & predict trends, and segment customer groups more precisely.
IoT – to monitor customers’ experience with your product in real time
On the other hand, IoT (coupled with sensor data collection and analytics capabilities) can enable companies to capture consumers’ experience with their product/services at a whole new level. For instance, see how sensors record crowd’s level of engagement with the game in this video.
Companies with physical products (retail, manufacturing, etc.) or real-life services (such as banking, insurance, real-estate, hospitality, and travel) can leverage these data collection practices to understand and serve their customers better.
Provide Seamless Experience
By nature, customers of the digital age are tech-savvy. To retain them, you need to offer them a seamless and personalized experience across all digital channels. And that requires more than just a responsive website.
Technologies to consider : AI, RPA, IoT
AI – for personalized and efficient customer services
Chatbots are already becoming an industry norm for enhancing customer experience across verticals – ecommerce, healthcare, and professional services such as IT-support, banking, finance to name a few. Besides chatbots, AI-based support systems are also enabling organizations to provide their customers uninterrupted, real-time, and round-the-clock support.
RPA – to quicken customer query resolution
RPA (robotic process automation) automates a number of customer layer tasks such as auditing documents, processing complaints, and logistics management; therefore, comes as a handy tool to deliver a richer customer experience. Finance, insurance, govt. and many other sectors are already massively benefiting with its implementation.
Recommended Read: 3 Steps to Successful RPA Implementation
IoT – to be of more value to your customers
When it comes to IoT, companies from a number of verticals can use the technology as a differentiator. To give you some cue – smart appliances, smart switches, smart lighting, and so on. Other sectors can leverage the ‘smartphone-wearable’ duo to be of more value to their customers. Applications include – real-time order delivery tracking, medical emergency triggers, real-time product/promotion details, etc.
Offer Innovative Products/Services
The current dynamics is like this – if you don’t disrupt yourself, someone else will do it. So, today, offering something innovative is not just about going the extra mile for your customer, but also to secure your future.
Technologies to consider : AR/VR, AI, IoT
AR/VR – to visually wow your customers
The business community does not seem as expectant of AR/VR as it is about AI and robotics. Nevertheless, with applications like interactive virtual tours, real-time visual navigation, virtual trials of products, AR/VR is helping businesses make revolutionary customer experience strides in a number of industries – tour and travel, entertainment, gaming, retail, and food, to name a few.
AI – to deliver next level services efficiently
Amazon Echo, Google Home, Apple HomePod – these AI-based virtual personal assistants are already becoming a household think (at least in the US for now). By creating AI-based apps for these virtual assistants, brands can connect with their customers in a more seamless manner. For example, Municipal Corporation of Cary’s Town in North Carolina built an Amazon Echo app to simplify utility tasks for its citizens.
IoT – to make transactions, as easy as it gets
Amazon is setting good example for retail and ecommerce sector with IoT as well. The concept of dash buttons (little IoT devices for one touch online orders for specific products) and Amazon Go stores (which use customers’ smartphones for self-checkout) can be used by many other businesses to enhance their customers experience. Some of the use cases may be – bus/subway ticket booking, tour/theater entries, and so on.
Customers’ expectations are rising with technological advancements. As a result, customer experience has become a prominent brand differentiator. So, in current dynamics, it is imperative for businesses to always stay one step ahead of the customers (and competitors) in the technology domain to be able to constantly redefine customer experience and stay relevant.