Enterprises across all sectors are investing heavily in tools and technologies that would give them better insights into the behavior of their clients, all to enhance the future of customer experience (CX). With the behavior of customers changing rapidly, businesses feel the heat to keep up with change and grab their attention. Despite understanding the need to provide a great customer experience, most companies still rely on age-old techniques to understand consumer behavior and deliver a great CX. According to a Bain and Company survey, 80% of the brands think they cater to exceptional customer experience, while just 8% of their consumers agree with that claim.
As the disconnect between expectations and reality is clear, businesses must explore new ways of grabbing the attention of their clients and exploring the future of customer experience.
Before we dig further into the future of CX, let’s have a quick recap on what customer experience is and how it’s evolving. Customer experience refers to how a consumer interacts with a business at every point of the sales journey. From marketing efforts to the purchase to customer support, CX includes everything. Customer experience is not just actions but how the consumers feel and perceive your brand, which influences your business. With the changing times and the advent of new technologies, customer experience management is also rapidly evolving.
The power of customer attention
Every business ponders this important question: Why is the customer experience important? In this ultra-competitive world where customers are digitally empowered, an enterprise must grab the attention of people with competitive CX strategies. As a business, you must decide if your brand wants to just be a stepping stone for the customer experience or is an experience in itself. At every point of the journey, you must be able to save or seize the attention of the customer, lest it becomes wasted potential.
The need for urgent customer experience evolution
Today’s customers have a plethora of options in front of them, yet they feel like they pay for anything with their time and attention. The age-old question of whether the consumer is delighted or functional is still relevant, but here are a few reasons why this CX revolution is vital.
- Digitalization supercharges business models, enabling them to deliver anything from a pen to online consultations.
- Consumer data, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Machine Learning (ML) algorithms help businesses understand their consumers on a deeper level.
- The use of social media changes how consumers perceive brands or goods.
- Purpose-driven brands of all scales are paving the path to self-actualization.
With these changing trends, businesses have to change their CX strategies to grab the maximum attention of their customers and stay ahead in the game.
What drives customer expectations?
Customer expectations are increasing, with a few factors leading to this change:
The on-demand saga
The era of on-demand is here, with almost every business becoming a part of it. It’s now easy for a person to book a cab from their phone or keep updated with the latest Marvel Studios series via OTT platforms. Now, customers want everything immediately and on the go.
The advent of smart voice assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant has changed the way customers make their purchases or interact with brands. Powered with technologies such as voice recognition, natural language processing (NLP), and cloud-based intelligence, these voice assistants are very popular among users.
Why is data analytics important?
According to an article by Forbes, businesses are increasingly investing in predictive customer insights to improve their CX, with personalization starting from the first customer touchpoint onwards. Customer-centric brands understand how information about customer interaction helps them provide better services and deliver value.
To understand the power of data analytics to provide the best customer experience, here are some statistics as per Forbes:
- 70% of enterprises surveyed upped their spending on data analytics.
- 58% of the businesses found an increase in their customer retention and loyalty owing to the use of analytics.
- 60% of real-time analytics helped enterprises improve their customer touchpoints.
- 44% of organizations gained new customers, owing to the rise of bleeding-edge real-time analytics.
- 39% of organizations believe IoT to be the game changer in data analytics, with the usage of the technology increasing by 55% in the past two years.
CX experts now gather and unify data from all possible sources like social media, customer support, websites, stores, and others to create a holistic view of each customer. With technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), businesses can make informed analytics, leading to the creation of a personalized CX for the consumer.
The future of customer experience
Thus said, there are a few clear indications of what the future of customer experience could look like:
The future is personalization
In today’s world, customers look for personalized experiences, which a business looks to deliver. However, the key to personalization is not automating everything, but the enterprise’s discretion in automating specific areas and understanding what not to do. Today’s customers look for a seamless mix of digital experiences and human interaction. Businesses often make the grave mistake of enhancing and amplifying existing experiences rather than creating a whole new digital experience from scratch.
The enterprise must understand how to use automation to benefit customers and customer-facing teams. Automation must come into play to offer augmented human interaction and personalization, not to cut them.
A sustainable investment for marketing
In combination with authentic end-to-end personalization, CX gives brands a thick opportunity and puts them in the driver’s seat, since great personalization is something a competitor cannot buy. A superb customer experience automatically becomes a marketing tool for a brand. For a brand, growing through stunning CX and strong customer advocacy is more sustainable than spending heavily on paid advertisements and accelerations. However, you cannot build the best customer experience out of thin air. You need proper investment in building customer experience management.
Refocus business on customer value
The prima facie goal of a CX strategy is to refocus businesses around providing customer value. However, just by opting for automation, you don’t have to quantify everything. An organization must focus on customer service and give that priority. The enterprise can automate its mechanisms instead, freeing up employees’ time and space to put their focus on delivering customer value. By collecting ample data and analyzing it, the business can understand the customer’s opinions and cater to their needs more efficiently.
Redefine the growth of a business
Automating the customer experience could shatter barriers to an extent, helping businesses scale higher. An enterprise can focus and design its operations around the benefit of the customers. Roping in automation for an improved customer experience gives the enterprise the potential and ability to scale by running its operations efficiently and sustainably while providing the customers with value.
Differentiate, not commoditize
Rapid digitalization and ever-evolving customer expectations mean that businesses must have a solid CX strategy. However, the strategy varies according to the type of business and its environment. While technology brings enterprises tremendous power, it must act as a partnering tool for progress. CX, on the other hand, plays the role of the differentiator, giving the organization a recognizable personality and individuality.
With customer experience becoming the new buzzword, enterprises are revamping their CX strategies to involve more consumers. Keen on knowing more about the future of customer experience? Let’s take your CX journey one step further.
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