By now, businesses across most industries found that customer experience is more tech-driven than ever. Not only are leading companies embracing this fact by implementing the latest developments into their strategies, but technology has also become so accessible that companies of all sizes have a shot at disrupting their markets.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, data has been fueling all of this development. So, with a whole year ahead of us, it is every business leader’s duty to find ways in which technology can help them use data to create innovative, engaging and honest experiences. In that sense, here are some of the trends that can help them do just that:
1. Understanding Customers Through Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is perhaps the only way we can bring data to life. There’s just no way any human could go through the massive amounts of information available today, let alone translate it into actionable insights. For the first time ever, businesses are able to filter, analyze, interpret and learn from data to paint a super-realistic picture of their customers’ behaviors, desires and expectations.
In this context, we must think of AI as an “enabler” of customer experience strategies. Without it, getting too far is unlikely. Coupled with machine learning, AI can influence every aspect of any organization. We are already seeing its effect on customer interaction through smart chatbots, as well as micro-targeting strategies so businesses can send the right message to the right group of people at the best possible time.
Of course, all of this requires businesses to also take a proactive approach to data collection, be it directly from the customer, from partner companies or from cloud services. Once it is organized into a taxonomy that your employees are able to understand, it’s just about creating and seizing opportunities.
2. Becoming Part Of The Internet Of Things
Without a doubt, connectivity defines the past five years of technological developments. Such a concept is the key to providing an actual 360-degree experience. The Internet of Things (IoT) has changed the way people interact with their devices and their environment. In fact, IoT functionalities have almost become an unconscious desire. Customers now want products and services that integrate smoothly with the devices they use on a regular basis.
We are living in a hyper-connected world where customers expect real-time experiences and feedback. The sooner a business taps into the world of IoT, the sooner it will be able to gather real-world data on their preferences, habits and interactions, all of which make for a highly personalized experience.
A good starting point is to find a way to integrate your brand with smart home technology. Features like proactive data reporting can help you make smarter decisions about the relationship customers have with your brand and identify usage patterns for new product development, marketing efforts and relationship opportunities.
The IoT movement will continue to transform more objects into connected devices, and along with the massification of 5G, customers will expect the same experience not only from their smartphones but also from their cars, TVs and even appliances.
3. Giving Mobile Micro-Moments The Value They Deserve
Micro-moments take place when consumers use a device to learn, do, search or buy something. These brief periods of time are filled with intention, where customers will feel very inclined toward making decisions. However, this intention also comes with high expectations and little tolerance for discontent, which is why they are so hard to tackle properly.
What most businesses are still not aware of is that micro-moments are direct pathways to major brand engagements. To take advantage of them, you need to unify your communication channels and use data to make them work together. The goal is to deliver a consistent, enjoyable experience in as many platforms as possible.
Keep in mind, though, that the mobile platform takes the crown. Think about this statistic: According to Google, 82% of smartphone users check their phones before deciding which product to buy, and 52% of them are less likely to engage with a brand after a bad mobile experience.
Some Final Words
Whether we like it, customers no longer remain loyal to a brand based on price or product. Instead, loyalty has become a scarce resource that only companies that provide valuable experiences can aspire to. If you fail to keep up with your clients’ increasing demands, the chances they will reach out to your competitors increases.
I believe using technology and making decisions based on quality data is the best way to provide the best customer experience possible. If you ask me, the information you collect about your customers throughout their journey is far more valuable than an actual sale. This year, the way you use tech to engage with them will define how your company propels growth. Keep that in mind when revising this year’s strategy.