Customer Experience (CX) has traversed quite the distance – from being a buzzword, to being one the most imperative integral parts of almost all business strategies.
The enormous relevance of customer experience has been substantiated by Forrester Research. A study by the firm states that CX assumed the numero uno status in the priority list for business and technology leaders in 2015. Moreover, it stands tall as a critical success factor for all enterprises in 2016.
Now, a lot has been said and written on customer experience and why it is important for all businesses to include it in their policies. Frankly, this blog post is not going to emphasize on the importance of customer experience.
Rather, let’s have a detailed look as what the future of CX might look like, and what aspects will drive its growth:-
- Millennials will be the Driving Force
People born between the 1980’s and early 2000 are termed as Millennials, and now comprise 25% of the US population. Millennials are the ones, who will command great purchases made, influence buying decision of others, and up the customer experience expectations. This lot is more than likely to spend more and drive the economy forward, than any other age group. Naturally, they will be the people with whom you have to do business, thereby altering decision making and strategy building for all brands. Also, the purchasing power of Millennials is only supposed to increase.
- Mobile-First User Experience will Rule the Roost
There is no denying the fact that mobile is the way forward for all businesses. This means all brands have to treat mobile as the primary mode for customer engagement – now and in the times to come. With the increased use of mobile data and speeds reaching 5G, driven by social media, enhanced use of a plethora of apps, instant messaging, and chats – mobile has become the ‘go-to’ medium for all customer communications. Therefore, in the near future all enterprises will have to adopt a mobile-first customer experience for greater customer engagement, and realising the true valuation of a brand.
- Massive Transformation with Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Now, I know this seems something that might only happen in the distant future, but in all likelihood, customer experience can only be taken to the next level with the early implementation of VR and AI. Virtual Reality can and will surely provide CX a facelift, as it allows users to witness lifelike, immersive 3-D imagery in all directions, thereby making them feel like they are part of the entire experience. A VR interaction can easily let customers to see and do exactly what the reps are portraying. Since Virtual Reality provides an all-inclusive 360 degree perspective, it can be easily used to provide a virtual design of products to customers. This way, they will gain a very good understanding of the products with minimum communication from contact centers.
Same holds true with AI, as it has truly transformed the way data is looked upon, analyzed, decisions made and acted upon. Artificial Intelligence interprets Big Data, a person’s browsing history, last known location, etc., and can arrive into what he or she is looking for, with a fair amount of accuracy. This marks the shift towards highly target oriented marketing strategy, for a specific user or set of users.
- Increased and Inclusive Use of Internet of Things (IoT)
By 2020, the amount of Internet-connected things will reach 50 billion, with $19 trillion in profits and cost savings coming from Internet of Things, over the next decade. The rapid growth of IoT has the potential to cause exceptional levels of activity in contact centers. Effectively, it means that IoT will add to the ever-expanding realm of Omnichannel customer support. IoT is slated to take customer experience several notches higher. A pretty good example of this can be summed – newly manufactured vehicles come pre-fitted with devices that can track how safely they are being driven. Thereafter, the insurance company can adjust the premium amount once someone chooses to share this data with insurance company’s contact center agent.
- Maximum Optimization of Self-Service
With the rapid rise of IoT will only lead to expanding the existence of self-service. In the times to come, the need for customers to call contact centers will reduce drastically as smart objects will have the ability to detect their own problems. This will result in significant reduction of call volumes. However, there is something very important that needs to be pointed out here that contact centers might want to focus on. Moving forward, customers will not have the time to call up customer care service and get their issues resolved. Therefore, they are most likely to switch to easy self-service options, and that is precisely why we are observing an upsurge in ‘in-app’ support and features.