Customers will favor digital-first companies that simply are easier to do business with. They demand integration because they experience it with digitally native brands because their technologies were created in an already integrated fashion. Legacy companies will need to invest or lose market share to more innovative competitors. Customers now expect businesses to provide them with a seamless, integrated digital user experience. In the next few years, we can expect this trend to continue, and customer-centric companies that focus on digital experiences will thrive.
Disconnected technologies create challenges for businesses when it comes to providing the best possible customer experience. Customers today demand that all their interactions with a company be easy and efficient—and disconnected technologies make that impossible. For example, if a customer has to complete multiple forms or logins to access different services from one company, this creates friction points which can lead to frustration for the customer as well as lost business opportunities. Additionally, if companies do not have a unified view of their customers across multiple channels and technology platforms, then they cannot accurately predict customer behaviors or address customer needs quickly and effectively.
Integration is key when it comes to providing an optimal customer experience. Companies should strive towards integrating all their various systems into one platform
Who uses the phone anymore? Even in business, we now message a party to check if it would be OK to call. The same trends apply to customer experience. Messaging is efficient and a more convenient channel for customer support, especially for non-urgent matters. Customers can start and resume the conversation at their convenience much like we message friends and family. They have the freedom to walk away to multi-task other activities. And the ideal experience is one where if a voice interaction is required it is scheduled so to respect everyone’s time. What is not to like about this channel.
In the next few years, customers and companies will realize the importance of asynchronous messaging. This type of communication is efficient, convenient, and provides users with the freedom to multi-task while engaging in customer support or other conversations. Companies should take advantage of this technology now.
Complicated transformations are not required to have excellent customer experience. In fact, they usually do not result in a materially different outcome. It is about rolling up the sleeves, listening to customer interactions, understanding customer journeys from a customer lens, and making changes across multiple functions within an organization that will drive tangible results. If your organization across all its functions is not walking the shoes of your customer, then you are lost in your core purpose. Customer service teams can provide a lens to the customer experience, but change comes from an organizational wide commitment to those customers.
Cross-functional teams—made up of representatives from departments such as marketing, sales, product development, operations, etc.—will become more important than ever when it comes to providing an exceptional customer experience. As we look ahead to 2023, it is clear providing excellent customer experiences will require more than just focus from service teams. ast response times or cutting-edge technology—it will require commitment from an entire organization to collaborate closely with one another. It is about adopting more agile methodologies and garnering insights from service channels to understand the opportunity for change within an organization from a customer perspective. With the right approach, companies can ensure they remain competitive by delivering top notch customer experiences. Remember, customer experience is more than just a service experience, and, in many cases, the best customer experience means no service experience at all.
This is such a novel concept. It is where the users of technology solutions are the ones that program and optimize how they work. Many technologies now have a low-code, no-code user interface enabling “citizens” to develop for their needs. Citizen development enables organizations to make significant gains quickly, creating an agile environment that can rapidly respond to customer experience trends and demands. An example of citizen development is robotic desktop automation which can deliver more than 30% efficiency in customer support handle times.
With citizen development, organizations can quickly create applications that address pressing customer experience needs with minimal effort. Additionally, it eliminates the need for expensive teams of software engineers or dedicated programming staff members, saving organizations time and money while still producing quality results. Finally, citizen development allows non-technical staff members to take ownership over certain tasks while gaining valuable skills at the same time.
We can expect citizen development to become even more prevalent in business settings across all industries. Organizations will begin investing more heavily in these types of tools as they recognize the potential benefits they offer—not only giving them greater control over their customer experience but also empowering employees who may not have had access to these types of resources before. By democratizing access to these kinds of resources and making them available on a wider scale, organizations will be able to invest in their personnel while also improving the quality and efficiency of their operations overall—a solution where everyone benefits!
Companies will stop attempting to delight the masses with generic solutions that attempt to be a one-size fits all approach to making improvements in the customer experience. Leading organizations peel back the onion and focus on customer intent analysis that enables a deep understanding of specific issues. From there, business can solve those challenges and produce an immediate ROI, increase customer share of wallet, and build brand loyalty with customers. It is like any relationship, if you apply effort, it brings rewards.
Customer experiences need to be focused on individual customer intent. Companies are realizing the key to success lies in understanding the specific needs and desires of their customers, instead of attempting to provide generic solutions. By leveraging customer intent analysis and data-driven insights into customer behavior, businesses can create personalized experiences that drive higher returns, increase loyalty, and build lasting relationships with their customers.
Cost reduction exercises in contact centers usually result in the same mess for less. This is great if you are ambivalent to your customer. Not happy with how much your service experience costs your company? What is creating the need for service experiences? Greater than 2/3 of service interactions result from failures within a company to do something as committed to a customer. We call this failure demand. Customer experience companies will want to eliminate failure demand interactions to create capacity for value-based interactions to bestow their brand’s culture, renew/elevate trust, drive innovation, and deepen relationships. They will minimize failure demand creating opportunity for value work and this equilibrium will be seen as the optimal cost to grow.
Failure demand describes situations where customers have been let down or disappointed by a company. This can happen due to poor service or products that do not meet the customer’s expectations. When this occurs, it results in the customer needing further attention from the company which leads to additional support costs associated with dealing with them. By reducing failure demand interactions, companies can save time and money while also providing better experiences for their customers.
When companies reduce failure demand interactions, they create capacity for value work such as establishing new customer relationships deepening existing ones. In this manner, businesses can focus on optimizing the ROI associated with enhancing their customer experience practices. By analyzing the impact of different failure demand interaction, companies can determine which initiatives provide the greatest return on investment over time. This helps ensure that resources are allocated efficiently and effectively towards initiatives that truly benefit both customers and businesses alike. Where is the best place to look for these insights? Well, the service channel of course. They are the lens to the overall customer experience within an organization.
Companies will want an out-of-box approach to omni-channel solutions so their customers can seamlessly shift interactions from one channel to another. This is best done on a singular unified platform where those experiences can be personalized based on the context of prior interactions. It is a singular platform that integrates all your customer touchpoints-from websites to mobile apps to messaging systems-into one unified interface. A leading provider, for example, is Amazon Connect/Engage. They provide a unified platform that allows customers to switch between different channels without having to reenter any information or explain their issue multiple times. This type of platform also allows businesses to better understand how their customers interact with them across different channels, allowing them to personalize experiences based on prior interactions.
By using an out-of-box, unified customer experience platform, businesses can save time and money while still providing a great customer experience. Not only does this help streamline operations internally but it also helps provide customers with the best possible experience by giving them access to the right information at the right time. Additionally, this type of platform allows for the collection and analysis of data from all customer interactions which can be used for further optimization and improvement in the future.
Getting started with an out-of-box unified customer experience platform is no longer daunting thanks to cloud based SaaS solutions. There are now platforms available specifically designed for businesses looking to make use of such solutions that offer preconfigured components as well as custom development options so businesses can get up and running quickly without a large upfront transition cost. 2023 is a year to stop talking about deploying omni-channel and actually deploying omni-channel integrations to drastically improve overall customer experience.
We’ve all heard predictions that AI bots will replace humans in customer service roles, but experts are realizing that this is not the most effective solution. In fact, a combination of both human and AI-driven customer service is ideal.
To provide an optimal customer experience, companies must understand how humans and AI bots can work together to deliver a more efficient and effective solution than either could alone. AI bots have access to vast amounts of data, which means they can provide personalized recommendations based on individual user preferences or past behaviors. For example, if you are shopping for a new laptop online, an AI bot may be able to suggest models with features that match your profile. This type of customization provides customers with more tailored experiences and increases satisfaction levels.
However, AI bots are not capable of providing the same level of empathy and understanding as humans. While they can quickly identify patterns and automate certain processes, they lack human intuition when it comes to understanding complexities or nuances associated with customer needs. For example, if a customer has multiple issues or requests that need to be addressed before they can be satisfied, an AI bot may struggle to handle them all at once whereas a human could easily assess the situation and produce a more holistic solution quickly.upfront transition cost. 2023 is a year to stop talking about deploying omni-channel and actually deploying omni-channel integrations to drastically improve overall customer experience.
If a digital worker is quicker and more efficient than a human, customers welcome them in an experience. The effectiveness of a digital worker needs human supervision and training. Front- line service team experts are best to take on this role and companies will move service teams to take on these roles. It helps to enrich the work of the service team and helps them to ensure digital workers are complimentary to their efforts vs hindrances or obstacles in delivering optimal customer experiences. Think of it as citizen development for the digital worker.
Service teams will be shifting their focus from reducing service volume goals to eliminating customer issues. This is because companies are beginning to realize that reducing service volume alone results in a bad customer experience, as AI bots or self-service menus can make it seem like a company is creating obstacles preventing customers from talking to a human support team. Fortunately, savvy companies recognize that they can optimize cost and improve the customer experience by resolving upstream issues and leveraging self-service solutions to create more efficient processes for customers.
Service teams have great insight to customer experiences. Their role in organizations is evolving to provide a company with insights and analytics to drive upstream issue resolution for customers. An organization must first understand that the ideal customer experience is no service experience. In order to eliminate the need for a service interaction, teams must identify the upstream friction that is the root cause for the inquiry. By proactively addressing the problems or challenges faced by a customer before they reach out for assistance, companies can make changes that eliminate this issue from occurring or they can provide self-service solutions that create a more efficient process for customers to resolve these matters on their own.
For example, if a company notices that many of its customers have difficulty setting up its product correctly after purchase, it could implement an onboarding program that walks users through setup step-by-step or create detailed installation instructions available on its website before customers ever reach out for assistance. By addressing potential problems before they arise, companies can prevent unnecessary inquiries from coming into their service team while also creating better experiences for their customers overall.
How is this different than volume reduction strategies? Eliminating customer issues may result in volume reduction but it is about addressing real pain points for customers versus creating systems that prevent customer interactions. It is also about determining whether the right volume is coming into your service teams. Failure demand should be reduced, but value demand where a customer wants to buy your product or service or deepen an existing relationship with your business should be a welcomed interaction within a service channel. The difference is having precision in your customer experience strategy. Precision is key in 2023.