As SVP, Professional Services at BairesDev, Damian oversees the entire customer relations life-cycle, safeguarding the company’s operations.
Today’s hyper-connected consumers demand seamless and personalized experiences across every touchpoint with a company. Meeting these expectations is critical for success, and the future of customer experience depends on staying ahead of the curve.
Businesses need to pay attention to the latest trends in technology and integrate them to improve the consumer journey to achieve their goals. With that in mind, I’ve selected some key areas leaders in every industry should consider and with thoughts on how to incorporate them into existing offerings.
Personalize the customer journey.
Personalization refers to using data analysis, such as customer demographics, interests and purchasing behavior, to offer individuals custom messages, offers and deals to keep customers engaged. Think of the emails you receive from Amazon after you’ve completed a purchase or left something in your shopping cart or the ads you see on the internet just after visiting a seller’s profile on Instagram.
Customers expect companies to know who they are, what they want and how they like to interact. And it has clear benefits, too. According to a McKinsey report, customers are 78% more likely to purchase from a company that personalizes.
To apply it, you must first understand your customer’s journey and where the bottlenecks are. Set up a way to collect and analyze feedback from your clients. Then, incorporate the data you already have and use it for things like adding customers’ names to emails and tailoring your offerings to their interests and behaviors.
For B2B companies, there is also plenty of room for personalization. At my company, we adapt our offerings to accommodate each client’s needs. Depending on the project they require from us, we provide teams that vary in size and with people of different skill sets. It is never a one-size-fits-all since everything is custom-built. But to do that, we need plenty of data and the right tools to do our jobs.
Offer omnichannel experiences.
Customers don’t want to be limited to a single channel when interacting with a company. Instead, they want to seamlessly move across channels, whether it’s through a website, social media, email, phone or chat. This is significant because omnichannel customers generally spend 10% more online than those who only interact through one channel.
Let’s remember offline channels as well. Most customers still use online and offline marketing channels, like direct mail and print, local events, trade shows, etc. With this in mind, don’t neglect the offline to focus solely on the online channels, or you might be missing potential customers.
Companies seeking to buy an omnichannel experience should first map the customer journey without forgetting the post-sale. Make all your platforms responsive and optimized for different devices. Implement support services, ranging from chatbots to human customer support, and decide at which points of the journey it makes sense to highlight the presence of live help.
Set up the use of voice technology.
With the popularity of smart speakers and voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Home, voice technology is rapidly becoming a preferred method of interaction for customers. This technology helps companies understand precisely what customers want because voice commands and the terms used are likely to be highly specific.
To add this to your business, update your website to ensure it is optimized for speed, enabling virtual digital assistants (VDAs) to reliably access the information users request in less than three seconds. Optimize content for feature snippets and perform SEO to find the right long-tail keywords for whatever you offer.
Get into augmented reality and virtual reality.
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) can vastly improve customer experiences with immersive and interactive experiences. However, the main difficulty in adopting VR for your business might be the cost of the necessary hardware. Still, as it becomes more prevalent, the offer of different companies will likely make prices dip.
This technology is not for every business, but those who use it could benefit greatly. For example, an online furniture store might need an app showing you how their new sofa would look in your living room, while a trucking company could be thinking about training their staff on how to use the new trucks through VR.
Add chatbots and AI-powered customer service.
While chatbots are not necessarily new, with AI and natural language processing advances, companies can provide 24/7 customer service that’s personalized and efficient. In fact, almost 25% of all online businesses will reportedly adopt some form of AI-powered chatbot by 2027. Many companies offer these chatbot integrations. Do a thorough search online to determine which services best suit your needs.
In conclusion, some of these trends can seem intimidating, but like any other technological development, they just require some getting used to. Plus, some are a lot of fun, too! So, I encourage you to start analyzing your consumer journey and visualizing where these options could improve the customer experience.
Forbes Business Council is the foremost growth and networking organization for business owners and leaders. Do I qualify?
Read the full article here