Shep Hyken's Customer Service Blog

Guest Blog: The Evolving Nature of Digital Customer Experience – Are You Ready for the Future?

This week we feature an article by the Strategy Institute featuring insights on key Digital Customer Experience factors from different business leaders. A customized digital experience is your opportunity to connect with the customer as an individual. 

The continual advancement of digital technology is nothing new, yet providing an outstanding customer experience is now becoming more impossible to do without incorporating the latest digital elements into it. As Andrew Watson, Director of Customer Experience & Partner Marketing at Vivint, states “CX professionals have been pioneers in driving the digital backbone that now permeates the entire business ecosystem; inserting themselves into product development, policy making, marketing, operations and more”.

The following industry experts provide a number of different insights on key Digital Customer Experience factors and the potential impacts on the industry that could result.

Automation and Artificial Intelligence

Automation and artificial intelligence are adapting to serve many different customer experience needs, such as automated chat-bot responses that improve resource efficiency. Automation was the area that industry experts bought up most frequently and saw as the biggest change that is coming in the future.

Dutta Satadip, Director, Customer Success, Americas, Google says “I believe that Machine Learning will have a big impact on the future of customer experience. While computers will not replace humans we will be in a position to deliver better customer experience as technologies will be able to provide more assistance especially to problems that are pattern based.” Dan Gingiss, Senior Director, Global Social Media, McDonald’s emphasises however that “when customers need real help with complex problems, “bots” will most likely fail them, because there is not a replacement for human-to-human interaction. Companies that understand this will figure out how to integrate automation into the digital customer experience in a positive way for both the brand and the customer.”

If companies are going to be able to integrate automation into a company whilst also maintaining customer experience it is essential that it is seen as complimentary to the human skills the company already has. Finding this key balance will be critical to success.

Personalization

Personalization is becoming increasing important as customers crave individual experiences rather than cookie-cuter replies and solutions. As Andrew Watson puts it “ten years ago, companies had to focus primarily on delighting the most lucrative customer segment, whereas today we have the ability to craft a relationship strategy with all types of personalities, communication styles and preferences, and other data points.” Using all the newest ways to communicate with your customers at every touch point will ensure your relevancy but if you are able to offer these services in a personalized manner, it provides a great opportunity as a differentiator for your brand.

Alex Genov, Head of Customer Research, Zappos goes a step further and thinks companies should be “using new technological advancements to measure non-verbal expressions of emotion, such as facial expression, voice modulation, psychophysiological reactions, etc.” which is going to allow businesses to understand customers more as people which will allow the personalization process to go that step further.

Big Data

Companies are swimming in customer data and often have the tools to understand that data. However, Kristen Engelhardt, Vice President, Voice of the Customer, Salesforce questions that “data without the story behind it is just numbers. How will organizations drive an effective experience…?”. Companies must ensure they are using all of the intelligence tools available to them (such as big data analysis, predictive intelligence, and artificial intelligence) to truly understand their customer, utilize their data to its full potential, and ultimately to make the experience better for the customer.

Overall, the future of a successful digital customer experience will require proficiency in and the ability to leverage all of the above aspects (and more such as mobile, VoC, etc.) into a seamless process.

The above contributors will all be speakers at the 4th Annual Digital Customer Experience Strategies Summit at the Fairmont Chicago, IL September 19-20, 2017. The event is a one-stop-shop for all the freshest cross-industry insights into innovations in mobile, social, AI, personalization, VoC and big data. Speakers include Google, McDonald’s, Twitter, Verizon, Salesforce, Comcast and many more. To find out more about the summit please visit the website: www.digitalcustomerexp.com

For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com.

Read Shep’s latest Forbes Article: How Brands Stay Classy In An Age Of Internet Trolls

 

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