The Future of Customer Experience
With the speed at which technology is moving, companies are finding themselves armed with more data and possible touch points than ever before. It can be challenging to keep up with the latest trends in customer experience, yet not doing so can result in losing prospects to competitors who are more informed on new experience channels and how they work to enhance the customer journey.
On our Movers & Shakers podcast, we like to ask our guests, who are innovators in customer experience, what they think the future holds for CX and customer experience platforms. As we march into a new year, let’s take a look at what some of those movers and shakers who we believe will champion important developments within the CX space.
Karl Haller is the leader of IBM’s Retail and Consumer Products Center. Having previously held the position of Senior Vice President of Brand Strategy and Customer Engagement for Brooks Brothers, it is only fitting that he would know a thing or two about customer experiences that he calls “bespoke interactions”.
Karl pointed out, “I think the future is going to consist of many more personalized and individualized experiences. The interface will evolve and change, but I think the main idea is really creating what I would call ‘bespoke’ interactions based on predictions of what a customer is actually interested in at a given time.”
Because we have so much customer data readily available to us, it only makes sense to use that data to tailor-make experiences that meet customer expectations. Customer experience platforms will continue to become more and more sophisticated, and it’s up to CX developers and professionals to make sure that these data points are woven into each step of the customer journey.
Artificial Intelligence and Chatbots are being written and spoken about a lot lately. While they can be remarkably effective pieces of customer interaction, it may leave customers longing for the days when they could expect the empathy and warmth that only human customer service agents can provide.
Nina Alexander-Hurst is the VP of Customer Experience and SWAT (Service With Accessorizing Talent) at BaubleBar, a fashion jewelry business. When asked about the future of customer experience, Nina said “People keep bringing up the idea of bots and how fast they are going to take over. I still strongly believe that it is the people behind the technology that really make the difference.”
We can automate so much more of the customer journey than we could a few years ago. That doesn’t mean we should put all of our customer experience platforms on auto-pilot and rely on technology to create and conduct all of our customer interactions. Using talent on-site and giving CX teams the power of these technologies creates a blend of high touch and high effect approaches to keep the customer coming back to the beginning of the customer journey loop.
In the Hands and On the Go
No conversation about the future of CX would be complete without mentioning the pervasiveness of mobile technology within today’s customer journeys. Ashish Jain, the Director of Digital and E-commerce at BayCare Health Systems is seeing mobile CX interactions continuing to surge. According to Ashish, “More and more powerful devices are coming in the future that are traditionally replacing all other forms of the way you can access information.”
People have become accustomed to immediate and real-time solutions. Instead of logging into laptops or personal computers at home, they expect to be able to interact with service providers while standing in line or while they are out and about. Opportunities with these customers will likely be lost if a platform does not exist to provide them with on-the-go service.
One thing in common with all of these predictions is that they focus on the customer first and work backward from there. Using customer data will allow for more personalized experiences. Providing human interaction in the world of bots will make customers realize they are being listened to, and allowing immediate on-demand-anywhere access to CX channels will keep them loyal and engaged.