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The mantra in sales is “Always be closing.” In customer experience it’s “Never stop innovating and optimizing.” The customer experience (CX) industry is faced with constantly evolving technology and explosive growth of artificial intelligence (AI). Plus, customer expectations continue to rise. They insist on more — and better — service.
CX strategies and employee experience (EX) tactics must be agile, fluid and evolutionary. When they are, it’s powerful.
With all shifts happening in customer and employee experience, it can be difficult for CX leaders to decide where to focus their energies. Seeing beyond the current trends to those emerging on the horizon is critical and will give your organization a competitive advantage.
“Customer Experience Horizons,” a report from MIT Technology Review Insights, supported by Genesys, reveals which strategies and technologies are transforming experiences now and will propel continuous changes in the coming years.
“In the future, we’ll see a much more functional, proactive contact center with less wait and better service. Instead of waiting for the customer to call you, you’ll make the proactive right action to address something the customer might not be aware of,” said Olivier Jouve, Executive Vice President and Chief Product Officer at Genesys, in the report.
“Customer Experience Horizons” examines five customer-centric transformation tactics for CX leaders.
Most organizations already use customer data to personalize interactions. And many plan to optimize every interaction along end-to-end customer journeys.
About 40% of CX leaders say their top strategic CX priorities over the next two years include enhancing data capabilities for real-time insights, analytics and reporting, and using data AI for understanding customers personalizing their experiences.
Customers will immediately see the benefits of sharing their data, which will build trust and customer loyalty — and revenue. Eighty percent of consumers globally say they’ll buy more products and services, more often, from brands that consistently personalize their service experiences.
And all that personalization will retain customers. They won’t want to switch to a brand that doesn’t use their data to personalize experiences.
Leading CX-focused brands no longer consider queries solely as problems they must resolve as efficiently as possible. They view interactions as opportunities to deepen customer relationships and increase lifetime value.
Increasingly, businesses will proactively share knowledge and act as trusted advisors. They’ll use digital channels and employee-customer interactions to build engagement and nurture ongoing relationships.
Some CX leaders encourage their customer support specialists to spend time with customers to learn more about their needs and preferences. This has helped deepen customer relationships and increased revenues. That’s why these organizations plan to use AI and other tools to help facilitate these interactions in the future.
Organizations will increase their use of contextual and real-time data to streamline service interactions and reduce customer frustration. They’ll use their existing data and insight to reduce or even eliminate the need to ask customers questions they already have answers to.
First movers are already developing comprehensive roadmaps that combine conversational, generative and predictive AI throughout the customer and employee experiences. Nearly 70% of business leaders sayusing AI to identify customers and predicting and driving outcomes is the most important strategic priorities across their company’s customer experience. And 42% say the same about personalizing each customer’s experience.
Organizations are rethinking what it means to treat customers and employees with empathy. They’re making interactions more personalized for both groups and looking for additional ways to show them they’re valued.
One example is using predictive routing to send interactions to the employee who is best skilled to handle a specific issue. This practice also provides a more relevant and fast interaction, as well as first-interaction resolution — all of which improve the customer experience. These more personalized experiences will increase employee and customer engagement, reduce turnover among both groups and manage costs.
About one-third of organizations are using predictive analytics and another third plan to implement it in the coming year. Similarly, one-third are using interaction routing and next-best action recommendations, with 40% planning to launch those tools in the next year.
The contact center is a rich source of real-time and trending customer data. More than 70% of CX leaders say implementing a customer experience platform that integrates systems is the No. 1 way they’re planning to support their strategic CX priorities over the next two years. Half say the same about connecting data and technology to deliver an omnichannel experience.
Shrewd CX leaders are advocating for the customer by sharing that insight with the full organization to improve the experience across entire customer journeys. Many organizations are also using the contact center as an innovation hub to test new technologies, such as generative AI, to improve productivity, performance and decision-making.
“The advancements we’ve had in the last years in the contact center are absolutely phenomenal,” said Jouve.
It’s just the beginning of what will be possible when we reach just beyond the CX horizon.
Read “Customer Experience Horizons” to gain perspective on what’s transforming customer and contact center employee experiences in the years ahead.