Today’s customers live in a digital, media-saturated world, where experiences online shape their perception of a brand before they ever engage with a representative. As a result, it is imperative to the success of a business that these customers have an excellent digital experience.
Providing the best digital customer experience is more complicated than merely providing extraordinary customer service online. Delivering on customer expectations requires the assessment and optimization of all touchpoints through various activities such as design, content, customer support, seamless offline-to-online engagements, and more.
During a digital transformation, brands use technology to improve business performance across operations, product development, marketing, sales, and other functional areas in response to the expectations of today's customers. This change creates a digital customer experience ecosystem where various technology platforms and tools are used to create delightful experiences through all the phases of the customer journey.
Like customer experience, digital experience (DX) is a broad and evolving term. DX includes the full range of engagements that a customer has with an organization on any digital touchpoint from the web and mobile devices to IoT and wearables. Using DX platforms and tools, organizations can analyze the information and have a complete sense of the customer’s identity, relationships, intentions, and sentiments allowing for real-time, personalized engagement. The digital experience and overall customer experience are essential elements of future success.
Businesses seek the right balance of traditional and digital experiences to reach and retain customers. As the world becomes increasingly more digital, there are more opportunities to exceed the expectations of today’s buyers - and prepare for those of tomorrow’s customers.
In 2018, we have already seen the role and expectations of digital experiences expand. As brands forge ahead in digital transformation, there are 3 trends to keep in mind:
Voice is playing an increasingly important role as a part of the digital customer experience. However, as is the case with new technologies and interfaces, it is not perfect yet. While solutions like Amazon Echo and Siri are great for simple requests, more complicated questions are a bit out of reach. However, with a tens of millions of users and growing adoption, the technology is rapidly improving.
As voice matures, it is unlikely to change UI design completely. Voice is a preference and should be used where it makes the most sense for a business and its customers. An open structure and fluid digital customer experience ecosystem that enable the use of content across all types of touchpoints and technologies are at the heart of a future-focused digital experience.
Traditional business intelligence allowed companies to make decisions based on what has happened and the outcomes of efforts. However, artificial intelligence (AI) enables enterprises to create a forward-looking strategy. Using big data and AI, businesses can garner insight into customer behavior, trends, and other essential metrics yet to be discovered.
Successful AI-driven efforts are a balance of people and machines. The AI tools do all the grunt work while the experts analyze the insights and execute creative solutions. With AI tools, business leaders can make strategic, forward-looking decisions, dramatically scale the amount of data analyzed, and spend less time running reports and more time exploring next steps.
Becoming an AI-powered company takes time. However, the steps are each beneficial on their own. Starting on the AI journey soon will help businesses get a leg up on competitors and begin to enhance the digital experience.
Even though digital transformation enables new types of engagement, customers still expect companies to provide more than algorithm-based communication and device-driven transactions.
Today’s customers look for brands that create personal connections. They seek out experts in their unique situation with the ability to quickly assess their request and address their questions or issues. Many businesses turn to visual engagement platforms and video solutions to provide engagement in challenging sales, support, or onboarding scenarios
Whether it is kittens playing or guided instruction, the most exciting and consumed content online contains video and immersive imagery. The vibrant visuals and interactive components allow people to connect on a much deeper level - similar to in-person communication. Visual engagement platforms and video-based customer engagement solutions provide the same type of connection.
Most modern visual engagement platforms utilize cobrowsing, in conjunction with other visual engagement tools, to promote customer collaboration. Cobrowsing allows 2 or more people to engage in synchronized activities by showing any participant’s actions on the screens of all other participants. This tool enables business agents to provide live, personalized guidance through any number of complicated steps.
Furthermore, with video-based ticket solutions, customers can create live, screen videos that show and explain their issues or questions in real-time. Without downloading any software, customers can use their own words and voice to record their mobile device or desktop screen. Once created, they merely click a button to send the video to the business for resolution. The customer-generated video routes through the support platform or email where a business agent can quickly identify, see, and hear the issue or question.
As part of a visual engagement platform, the combination of cobrowsing, video chat, and video-based customer engagement can replicate in-person dialogue and interactions. The added context and emotional cues enhance the digital experience and allow for improved reach and retention of customers.
The rise of digital happened rapidly, and many organizations have struggled to keep up. By focusing on the digital experience, brands can transform a siloed ecosystem into a connected, modular approach to technology that gives all departments visibility into how their work impacts the company and the customer experience.
The digital experience is an essential component of today’s businesses and emerging trends around voice, intelligence, and visual engagement provide even more opportunities to connect with customers.
To learn more about potential technologies for your digital customer experience ecosystem, check out Choosing Customer Experience Technology: What Every Business Leader Must Know.