We’ve found that CX could soon even replace product and price as the key brand differentiator as the ever-advancing digital age redefines expectations and gives customers more choices than ever before. However, we’ve also discovered that there may be a huge lag between companies’ commitment to customer experience and actual performance. Why is this, and how can companies succeed with the help of new technologies?
How Intelligent Automation Helps Raise the Customer Experience Bar
Focus effectively on customer experience (CX) and your business will witness significant performance improvements across the top- and bottom-line. This is just one of the key takeaways from our new whitepaper, ‘How to Raise the Customer Experience Bar in the Digital Age’, in which we take a deep dive into a vast breadth of research establishing the impact CX can have on a company’s performance.
Download our whitepaper to learn:
- Why customer expectations are often not met
- Which success formula enables your business departments to create outstanding customer experiences
- How to select a suitable customer experience solution
The Rising Tide of Customer Expectations
Today, CX matters more than ever to customers. In the digital age, buying is an experience, not just a transaction – and customers are willing to pay more for exceptional buying experiences. According to the second edition of the State of the Connected Customer report from Salesforce Research, over two-thirds (67 percent) of customers will pay a premium to companies that offer superior experiences, creating opportunities for not only competitive differentiation, but increased or even new revenue streams as well.
But the CX difference works both ways – and today’s customers are just as likely to take their business away from a company on the basis of CX as they are to be drawn to one. 57 percent of customers have stopped buying from a company because a competitor provided a better experience, while 62 percent say they share bad experiences with others – including on peer review sites and social media.
The bottom line is this – in 2019 and beyond, customer experience matters more than ever, and how well a brand can cultivate memorably positive connections with customers will define its success in the market.
The Stagnation of CX
However, our whitepaper also reveals that a surprising number of companies may not be taking these new realities seriously enough – or at least not as seriously as they think they are.
Research uncovered that although 94 percent of companies now rate CX from “moderately important” to “extremely important”, in reality, most fail to follow through on their CX commitments with adequate investments across the people, processes and technology required to create a truly experience-led business. While more and more companies are likely to rate themselves as experience-led, less than one-third actually are.
The Age of Intelligent CX: AI + Automation + Experts
Unsurprisingly, technology will be the key enabler of effective CX in the digital age. As new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and voice-activated personal assistants emerge to impact customer expectations and purchasing habits, it’s not just the customer experience but specifically the digital customer experience (DCX) that is growing into the number one brand differentiator.
DCX is a data-intensive process. As such, in the digital economy, progressive companies will turn to a mix of emerging and maturing technologies to usher in an era of intelligent and automated CX. Intelligent automation – i.e. the combination of AI and automation – will become an indispensable tool for companies seeking to leverage their data into a personalized and contextualized experience for every customer.
Importantly, however, the role of AI-enabled automation is not to replace existing CX staff, but to empower them. The technology enables companies to automate many routine customer-facing interactions, freeing up agents to handle more complex tasks – such as managing exceptions, escalations, and highly-contextualized interactions – where the human touch is still required.
Our whitepaper uncovers why AI + Automation + Experts is the winning formula that allows companies to leverage technology, data, and agents together to exploit each of their unique strengths and create outstanding digital customer experiences.
The Role of AI in CX
There are three broad ways in which AI can transform CX. These are:
- AI-Based Chatbots and Virtual Assistants: These technologies are constantly evolving in sophistication and have long transitioned from simply answering customer questions to actively streamlining the customer experience.
- Extreme Personalization: Going far beyond conventional segmentation strategies, AI-enabled personalization uses real-time behavioral analytics to enable context-driven communications at scale.
- AI-Automated Data Analysis: With AI’s advanced capabilities, companies can delve into unstructured data to extract actionable insights and drive intelligent decisioning.
Three Key Criteria for Evaluating Intelligent DCX Solutions
With such powerful capabilities, investing in intelligent DCX solutions has the potential to transform the customer experience program of every business. However, the key to harnessing that potential lies in investing in the right type of solutions.
Our whitepaper defines three key criteria for making this selection:
- Ease of Adoption: The most powerful DCX solutions are those that empower non-technical business users to combine their knowledge of CX with AI capabilities without expert IT support.
- The Ability to Scale: Solutions should also come with flexible licensing options that enable companies to start small if they need to – perhaps with just a single implementation – and then scale gradually according to results and the business’s precise needs.
- Data Protection and Compliance: Data protection laws such as GDPR require businesses to provide end-to-end explainability into how customer data is stored and processed. Companies need to look for solutions that can guarantee high security and full compliance.
Today, customers are demanding a high degree of personalization and contextualization when engaging with the brands they do business with. But delivering such experiences requires a robust, data-driven approach to CX. With AI-based intelligent automation, companies can deliver measurable real-world performance benefits to a company’s customer experience efforts while meeting all regulatory requirements.
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