“My definition of ‘innovative’ is providing value to the customer’. The words of Mary Barra, General Motors CEO, provides a great starting point when thinking about the trends that will shape customer experience in the next three years. It’s easy to get carried away with tech fads but if they don’t have a real tangible benefit for the customer then they’ll find themselves going the way of the MiniDisc player, Pokémon Go and 3D TVs.
We know that the need to provide exceptional customer experience will continue to drive innovation and investment because customer service is only going to continue to be one of the main areas where companies can truly differentiate. We also know that automation will be the only way that companies can do this effectively. So here are three trends within CX automation that will give your business the edge by 2024.
The rise of emotion analytics.
In three years’ time it won’t simply be enough to get your customers to tell you how they feel about your service. Brands will be increasingly using AI to find out for themselves. The days of asking shoppers to hit a green smiley face button on the way out of a store will (thankfully) be in the past.
The global market for emotion analytics will be worth $1.6bn by 2024, up $200m on 2019. With this comes swathes of investment that will enable brands to pinpoint weak links in their business that negatively impact their customers. Companies will be able to go beyond NPS and customer feedback to be able to truly judge themselves on how happy their customers are.
This is particularly exciting for us at ContactEngine. Our platform can respond effectively to questions no matter how they are phrased. The opportunity to help brands make sense of the emotions behind such messages and then tailor an intelligent response accordingly is one that all companies need to seize.
Catering for the mobile workforce
There appears to be no sign of a return to 2019 with regards to how most people want to work. With 18m sq ft of office space vacated in the UK since the start of the pandemic, projections of 1 in 10 British offices no longer being required and a further prediction of 70% of G2000 organisations deploying remote or hybrid-first working models by 2024, the behavioural shift will have a drastic effect on businesses ranging from multinationals to the independent café near the business park.
The challenge is two-fold for companies, who need to deal with the shift from both customers and their own workforce. For the former, the end of office working could dovetail the end of working the 9-5. While this reduces some pressure from high inbound call volumes before and after work and during the 1-2pm lunchbreak, it does mean that the need for being 24/7 is greater as night owls exercise the freedom to work and run their lives at a time that works for them.
We’ve written previously about keeping staff engaged when working from home, but as the shift to home working becomes normal, then companies will need to use some of the same tactics they employ to nurture customer loyalty with employee loyalty. Larger businesses may find it useful to employ proactive communication using AI to check in with their staff on IT issues or for ongoing feedback.
AI in the contact centre
We all know it. Humans alone can’t win the customer service battle, which means that AI has to fill in the gaps. It’s a market that will rocket by 250% from its 2019 levels to $2.8bn by 2024. If proactive AI can field the majority of calls, and hand over to a human for only the most complex or sensitive, then businesses can drive efficiency and provide a much better experience. It’s likely that your contact centre has all the data you need to introduce these intelligent models, and the winners of 2024 will be the ones that utilise it most effectively to give a personalised, authentic experience.
Most interactions with customers can be completed by AI, but only if you frame the discussion. Relying solely on reactive measures, such as chatbots, means that the inquiries you receive will be too broad. However, if you can use natural language processing to focus on proactively resolving half a dozen of the main reasons why your customers phone you then you can be there before they even know they need to call and ensure you stay on the front foot.
Seamless, subtle, intelligent automation will continue to transform customer service in the next three years. Any technology that can be used to better understand your customers and meet their needs must be taken seriously as service will remain one of the top battlegrounds in remaining competitive. If you’re not currently automating, you’re wasting money to do a worse job at providing customer experience than your competitors that are, so start or continue the journey today to truly reap the rewards.
ContactEngine is a Conversational AI technology that enables brands to proactively engage customers in conversations that fulfil business objectives. ContactEngine automates outbound customer engagement across all channels and generates unique insights into the changing patterns of communication by applying demographic and intent analysis, linguistics and ground-breaking artificial intelligence principles to mass volumes of raw data. ContactEngine transforms the way global brands engage with their customers – saving brands millions and making their customers happier. For more information about ContactEngine, please visit contactengine.com.