According to Forrester, 2019 is a pivotal time for customer experience. Less than impressive gains in CX quality, coupled with rising customer expectations, will drive some significant watershed events this year.
- Stagnant CX quality levels will cause short, destructive price wars as some companies decide not to differentiate on CX and start a “race to the bottom” fueled by slashed prices.
- The need to present more sophisticated business plans to leadership will be critical for CX pros who want to maintain support for their CX transformations.
- Hot job markets may see more movement for CX pros who look for firms willing to invest in CX.
In order for companies to improve CX quality, Customer Experience leaders will have to put themselves in their customer’s shoes and understand them on a deeper level. According to Shep Hyken, customer service/CX expert, keynote speaker, and NYT bestselling author, one of the ways to do this is by making it easier to do business with your company. Providing customers with ways that are convenient for them to contact you such as webchat, social channels like Facebook and SMS/text messaging.
“A large portion of your customers want – and expect – a quick answer or resolution to a question or problem, and unlike an older generation (as in Baby Boomers), they don’t want to make a phone call to get it.”
In Shep’s recent Forbes article, “Ten Customer Service/Customer Experience Predictions for 2019”, he predicts customers will continue to get smarter and compare companies against their competitors, as well as the best service they’ve ever received. He encourages customer experience leaders to identify who they personally enjoy doing business with and use that as a benchmark to bring their own organization to the same level.
There were a few recurring themes that popped up while researching this article. One of the biggest themes woven into all of the trends and predictions for 2019 is the increased use of technology. With so many companies focused on creating a more customer-centric organization, it makes sense that leadership will look for ways to provide speed and efficiency with uncompromising attention to delivering a great customer’s experience.
Adopting technology, such as Quiq Messaging and our bot approach, enables companies to do just that. According to customer experience speaker, futurist, and author Blake Morgan, the increased use ofRobotic Process Automation or RPA(think chatbots) will allow humans more time to dedicate themselves to tasks such as innovation, problem-solving and giving customers the human interaction they crave.
“Most of those changes are driven by consumer demand. Customers crave personalized, frictionless experiences, and companies are sprinting to deliver them.”
International market intelligence company,Aberdeen Group, recently surveyed top CX leaders to understand what technology they plan to adopt in 2019. The top 10 technologies include a few classic tools that have been utilized by customer service and experienced leaders for a long time such as live chat, knowledge management, and customer self-service tools. Although these tools have been around for some time, more than a quarter of the respondents stated that they plan to employ them in 2019.
Other tools such as artificial intelligence, real-time decision assist and guidance, and workflow automation come to the forefront. At Quiq, we’ve seen how the automation trend has developed over the years and created our platform to provide many of these features and providing tools to increase productivity.
Take the Quiq Bot API, for example, which allows clients to create their own custom bot to help augment interactions with human agents. Bots can be used to collect information to help inform the agent/customer interaction, determine the nature of the customer’s inquiry and route to the appropriate department or agent. Depending on the nature of the customer inquiry a bot can even handle a customer conversation from beginning to end.
We’ve also included workflow automation features, such as the ability to route conversations based on pre-set rules and our Adaptive Response Timer, which automatically prioritizes conversations based on how quick or slow customer’s responds to agents. These features greatly improve the overall customer experience by increasing the speed companies can respond to customer needs.