Technology Drives Improvements in Customer Experience
AMY ROSS, MANAGER — BRAND AND PRODUCT MARKETING
It’s hard to achieve perfection in customer communications management because we can always get better at it. That’s why it’s important to stay current on the forces shaping the ways in which we communicate. Consider the following trends:
Deeper dive into customer experience: Ensuring a quality customer experience tops the list of what matters most to successful organizations. And within the sphere of customer experience, businesses are paying more attention to the consistency of their communications (e.g., tone of voice, look and feel). They’re also paying more attention to how interactions are driven and how captured information can be conveyed more easily.
Greater integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics: Communications platforms increasingly rely on AI and data analytics tools to anticipate customers’ needs and actions. Furthermore, AI can help customer communications become more interactive, which can increase the feeling among consumers that they are being “heard.”
Expansion of unified communication platforms: Customer communications are becoming less channel-focused. Teams now employ unified communication platforms to improve how they communicate with their customers – no matter which area the customer contacted or which business unit initiated the communication.
When deciding who to do business with, 73 percent of people claim customer experience is an important factor. Yet, only 49 percent of consumers say those companies are providing a good experience. Source: Forbes
Increased dominance of end-to-end digital experiences: Many organizations are putting most of their communications in digital form, employing paper communications as an “opt-in” feature instead of the default. In fact, some businesses are making paper options available only for a premium fee.
Print is still in the picture: As mentioned above, the digital footprint continues to expand but print is far from extinct. Many consumers still want to receive print communications or at a minimum, they want to choose between digital or print. And some businesses are finding ways for paper and digital to co-exist for the benefit of their customers.
Even more motivation to outsource: Outsourcing is nothing new, of course, but with the flood of new media, new touchpoints and new tools for personalized communications, a great many enterprises are looking for outsourcing partners who can help them stay competitive. In addition to acquiring new expertise and specialized skills, businesses use outsourcing to gain cost advantages. To learn more about the factors behind the decision to outsource, as well as the top criteria for external service providers be sure to read our white paper.
Reliance on measurement and repetition of processes: When creating and implementing an effective customer communications strategy, enterprises don’t want to rely on guesswork. They want to know what’s going to work, and that’s why they invest in data to gain insights into their customer bases. It’s also why they seek easily repeatable communications processes (such as links to a web site rather than calls to a call center) that can reduce complexity and lower costs.
As you can see, technology is driving most of the trends in customer communications management and its effects on the consumer experience. But even in a digital world, the “personal touch” will always have its place.