What Is the Role of Technology in the Future of Customer Experience?
Technology is changing everything, and it will continue to do so. Make no mistake, there is no industry or aspect of business that is not affected by it, and the future of customer experience is no different.
Let’s look at some examples:
- We now have voice-activated devices and smart appliances to help us manage our home lives with more ease.
- Our kids have virtual reality game consoles.
- We are constantly learning new software for our jobs.
- Stores that couldn’t figure out how to offer online shopping (such as Toys”R”Us) have gone out of business.
- There is an app for everything.
And what is the link that holds all of this together? It’s customer experience (CX).
More and more, consumers are demanding special treatment, and many are willing to pay more for it. In fact, 69% of consumers want a personalized customer experience. As a result, technology will have a major role to play in the future of customer experience.
It’s what will allow the most successful companies to offer the convenience, personalization, and engagement that people want in this new decade.
Will that be you?
Listen, when a company’s technology is outdated, it speaks volumes to their customers. And what it says is this: “You’re not important enough for us to keep up with what you want and what will make your life easier.”
The fact is we are at a place in time when no one wants to fumble around on a website or app that isn’t seamless, intuitive, and basically able to predict our needs as we use it.
Why You Should Use Technology to Improve the Future of Customer Experience at Your Company
Good CX, and especially CX through technology, is hands down one of the best ways to differentiate yourself in today’s business landscape.
In fact, Business Wire found that 81% of business executives say they will focus almost entirely on CX in the next few years.
Want some examples?
Just look at apps such as those from Uber, Airbnb, and Amazon. These apps are so simple and so convenient that we love using them.
And if you’re fortunate enough to have a supermarket near you like Giant, which offers the most convenient and inexpensive way to shop online for food, you know what I mean…
Here’s how it works:
- You place your order online, taking advantage of coupons and weekly deals just like you normally would.
- You book a pickup time.
- Then, all you have to do is drive up and sit in your car while they load up your groceries for you.
They aren’t allowed to take tips, and it only costs an extra $2.95 for this service. What could be better?
Once you try that, why would you bother shopping anywhere else? Next thing you know, you find yourself watching the people walking into the store as your groceries are being loaded in your car, and you’re thinking, “Man, they’re doing it all wrong.”
7 Ways Technology Will Affect the Future of Customer Experience
Let’s break this down into some different areas of focus so you can see what we are talking about here…
1) Artificial Intelligence
Chatbots and social messaging have become huge in the CX space. That’s because they free up customer service reps to handle the bigger issues and to integrate more advanced technologies (like the ones listed below), which can lead to better improvements and gains.
This technology also provides companies with historical data so that they can give their customers a more personalized experience. This is why 80% of businesses have already implemented AI as a customer service solution or are planning to do so.
It’s no secret that analytics are what help companies evaluate what is and isn’t working in every area of their business. But let me be frank, no matter what customer touchpoint you are looking at, each one has the potential to have a positive or negative impact on CX.
The trick is to use historical data to give your customers more relevant and personalized options. This is what is known as data-driven marketing.
Predictive analytics uses historical customer data, as well as statistical algorithms and machine learning, to predict future outcomes. It’s a much more efficient and reliable way to optimize campaigns and improve operations and CX.
Take Netflix and Amazon, for example. They both use predictive analytics to obtain browsing and viewing history so that they can make more personalized recommendations.
3) Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality
One of the hottest sellers this past Christmas was the Oculus Quest, so clearly virtual reality is the newest, most exciting thing in the gaming world. But did you know that virtual reality and augmented reality will also affect how we shop and do business in the next couple of years?
In fact, according to B2BMarketing.net, it will account for 40% of all B2B experiences by the year 2022. Plus, a Virtual Reality in Retail publication by PYMNTS.com predicts that the use of VR in retail could reduce clothing returns by 25%.
How is this possible? You have to get a little creative when you think about it.
For example, these technologies can be used for customer support and product demonstrations that allow you to virtually try on makeup colors or see how furniture will look in your home.
4) Headless CMS
Headless CMS is what allows companies to deliver content anywhere the customer is so that they can have a seamless experience from touchpoint to touchpoint. It’s how we put an end to multisystem chaos.
It works by removing the front-end framework, such as web page templates, so that you are left with raw content that can be used on any device, on any channel, in any framework or touchpoint.
This is how businesses can create a truly omnichannel marketing campaign that will work on websites, apps, smartwatches, VR headsets, smart home assistants, billboards, kiosks, etc. API calls are used to retrieve the content on each channel.
Trust us, your customers want this. It’s just a matter of getting on board.
5) Geolocation Services
According to a Segment report, 85% of companies are planning to use location data to improve the future of customer experience by 2021.
Geolocation services are how that is being done. It’s simply geographical information that is received from an IP address or the radio-frequency identification of a smartphone or fitness tracker.
It’s why when you are visiting a different state, your phone shows you ads for local stores. It’s also how you can look up local businesses, track your workout route, access the local weather, or check in to places on Facebook.
As this technology develops, marketers will be able to become increasingly more relevant to their customers, which will help them optimize their profits.
6) On Demand
We are now living in an on-demand world. We want what we want, and we want it NOW. Why? Because we’re used to getting it. And that certainly isn’t going to change, other than to get even worse.
These days, most people will pay extra for same-day delivery (60% to be exact). By the year 2023, on-demand food delivery is predicted to be a $161.7 billion global industry. In America alone, 93 million people are expected to participate in the on-demand economy by 2022.
On demand is what customers want, so developing ways for that to happen should be a priority for improving the future of customer experience at your company.
7) Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) just means that everyday objects can be connected via the internet. It is predicted that 80% of retailers will use IoT for a more personalized in-store experience by 2021.
When we look around us, we see that this is happening everywhere. In fact, every single second, 127 new devices are connected to the Internet.
It makes tasks easy for consumers, offers them personalized experiences, and provides the real-time experience people want.
Consider creating an Alexa Skill and an action for Google Home so that people can access something related to your business through these voice-activated devices.
The future of customer experience simply cannot come into being without technology. Though there will always be a human element to it, we can’t deny that advancements in technology are what give our customers the personalized, convenient, seamless experience they not only desire but demand.
If you want to stand out in your industry, your technology must reflect that.
Want to discuss how improving the future of customer experience at your company fits into your strategy? Contact Viral Solutions today for a free consultation!