Gartner reports in “Customer Experience in Marketing Survey 2017: Greater Expectations, Greater Challenges” that more than two-thirds of marketers surveyed said their company competes on the basis of CX. Gartner expects this to rise to 81% in 2019.
In this post, we explore technology solutions that are essential for providing a quality customer experience in 2019.
Although CX is the new competitive frontier for businesses, measuring and improving it remains a challenge. Business leaders often fail to connect the external factors influencing CX outcomes to internal operations and processes. As a result, these leaders are often swayed by technology trends, jumping at new and promising solutions, such as artificial intelligence and augmented reality, that might hold great promise in the future but fall short of meeting the expectations of today’s customers.
The lack of vision leads to uncertainty, which can further delay the adoption of simple measures and tools that can directly impact the CX.
It is possible to improve the customer experience while also enhancing business operations and keeping up with technology trends.
Customer experience is the overall quality of direct and indirect interactions a consumer has with a company and its products or services. These interactions include both pre- and post-sale communications.
While jumping at every emerging trend is not necessary to deliver a valuable customer experience, the best CX strategies include the thoughtful integration of technology into traditional customer engagements.
In 2019, businesses should focus on incorporating tech solutions into the following 5 areas of the customer experience. As a result, companies leverage the CX for better outcomes and form a core technology ecosystem that expands with new tools as they mature.
1. Mobile Customer Engagement - Provides customers the interactions they need on their platform of choice
Today’s customers are mobile and often rely on these devices to search for information, browse the web, engage with their peers, and seek support. However, many businesses are not providing a user-friendly mobile experience on their website or through their support platforms.
Reaching today’s customers requires business leaders to invest in mobile experiences and ensure that their customer journey is as supported on a mobile device as it is on a desktop or laptop.
2. Visual Engagement - Allows agents to see, share, and show with their customers
The majority of customer engagement happens remotely. While this allows for a faster buying cycle, it also removes opportunities for personal, face-to-face communication. With visual engagement platforms, agents can replicate in-person contact without leaving their computer or device.
Utilizing a combination of video chat, cobrowsing, and screen sharing, customers and agents can engage, communicate, and complete tasks as though they were in the same room.These tools are easily integrated into a website or chat to allow for seamless escalation from an existing communication channel. Furthermore, integration with a CRM provides for the storage of essential customer data.
3. Live Chat - Connects customers with business agents often when they are most in need of help
Live chat is a seamless way for customers to contact a company and receive an immediate response without leaving the company’s website. With the rise in messaging apps, such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, customers are more accustomed to communicating personally and professionally via chat.
Live chat solves the customers’ immediate need for quick resolutions to issues. Additionally, many live chat platforms offer more than simple communications. For example, some chat solutions integrate with visual engagement platforms, allowing customers and agents to escalate to cobrowse or video chat from within the live chat.
Many live chat tools also integrate with a business’ CRM allowing the agent to see customer context and for the chat to update the customer record.
4. Self-Service - Provides online resources that save the customer time
Self-services resources allow customers to find and use support information to answer questions or solve issues. While customers tend to prefer self-service, businesses should be cautious of the plan backfiring. When business resources are incomplete, unclear, or do not answer the question, customers can be frustrated, which hurts the CX.
Various self-service enablement tools help business leaders ensure that the information is complete and identifiable. Furthermore, some devices provide agents with resources to identify common questions and create content or videos to address the need. Self-service reduces agents’ time spent on other channels, allowing them to focus on the most complex issues.
5. Social Media - Enables companies to engage with customers and demonstrate great service
Today’s customers share their life and experiences using products with their family, friends, and acquaintances on social media. Simultaneously, social media provides easy access to competitors. As a result, a social media presence and support is essential for exceptional customer experiences.
A delay in a social media presence puts access to prospective customers at risk and harms the CX by being unresponsive to customer questions or complaints. As a result, it is vital for both marketing and customer service to closely monitor social channels.
In 2019, there will continue to be a lot of discussion about the opportunities offered by new and exciting technology. Including these new tools on a roadmap and preparing for their integration is essential. However, before diving into an untested territory, it is crucial first to ensure that these 5 core technology solutions are an integral part of your ecosystem.