Over 1 in 3 companies value high-quality digital customer experiences
Digitizing customer experiences is no longer merely an option in 2022; it’s a must-have for businesses. Over the last two years, customers have increasingly turned to online channels to research brands, read reviews, and get customer support. A 2021 survey by CMS Wire revealed that over 1 in 3 companies value high-quality digital customer experiences, and another 46 percent believe it to be extremely important.
Digitizing customer experiences entails migrating existing processes, tools, and offerings to an online medium and envisioning new processes, tools, and offerings that will take advantage of cutting-edge technology when engaging with customers.
In other words, it has two parts:
Today, CX digitization is no longer limited to large companies with sizable budgets. Channels like social media have very few barriers to entry, and it is easy for small businesses to get started without any coding or initial investment. Further, this digital transformation process does not only cater to customer needs. It allows companies to unlock data and insights that can be invaluable when shaping the future CX but which would be inaccessible through traditional offline mediums.
To digitally transform CX in 2022 and strengthen existing technology capabilities, companies can:
Live chat is one of the most accessible digital CX tools to implement, and companies only need to move existing agents to a web-based chat platform. Live chat increases satisfaction and, as a result, loyalty. By conversing with customers, agents may ascertain the nature of the complaint and suggest appropriate solutions. Live chats result in increased sales, decreased cart abandonment, increased conversion to final purchase, and a rise in average order value. It also enables proactive outreach and multitasking.
The success of live chat and other channels hinges on agents’ ability to use them most optimally. Digitally mature businesses differentiate themselves from their competitors because they have the necessary personnel to maximize the return on their investment in digital CX. They hire individuals with specialized experience and abilities in digitalization so that when they invest in technologies, they are more likely to deploy them and obtain maximum value effectively. In addition to hiring agents with digital skills, organizations also need to upskill their current workforce.
As you progress along the digital transformation curve, there is an opportunity to drive more value by integrating the channel presence. Remember, friction leads to irritation and negative experiences. Organizations must enable smooth movements between channels via integration to deliver high-quality digital CX. Customers should be able to choose their preferred channels, and their data should be available for analysis. Companies that break out of their silos will obtain a new perspective on their customers. They may utilize the data to relate client happiness and journey to the overall CX strategy.
One of the most significant benefits of digitizing customer experiences is that organizations can drive personalization while making the system consistent, standardized, and low on human effort. Not only can tailored experiences increase income and loyalty, but they are also becoming more expected by consumers. “Intelligent personalization” aided by artificial intelligence (AI) improves relevance and engagement levels for each interaction, resulting in a better CX.
Robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and live chat are transforming the definition of CX. However, just because something can be automated at the contact center does not mean it should be. Knowing which duties to delegate to artificial intelligence is critical to successfully digitizing customer experiences. Overuse of AI may result in unexpected exceptions and errors that only add friction instead of removing it. Iterative tasks, high-volume processes, data transfers, and language analysis are best done through AI.
A standardized digital transformation plan will make it easier to train agents, design processes, configure systems, and implement technologies to shape the future of CX. However, an over-conservative focus on standardization could make companies resistant to change – which is antithetical to the drivers behind digitizing CX in the first place. Companies must ensure a reliable customer strategy framework to drive daily and operational decisions, even as a center of excellence or innovation team focuses on forward-looking innovation.
Companies new to digital transformation often start with front-end tools like conversational AI, social media, mobile apps, etc. However, back-office CX processes are equally important, and usually, they are easier to digitize. For instance, organizations can use RPA to automate data transfer between systems and reduce the post-call workload for contact center agents.
There are a few roadblocks that organizations must keep in mind as they commence digital transformation. A common pitfall is putting the cart before the horse, which happens when one digitizes CX without a strategy or framework. A clearly articulated blueprint will define the objectives and expected outcomes from the initiative so that the company does not only innovate for the sake of innovation. The second pitfall to avoid is using legacy tools to meet emerging CX needs. While existing infrastructure may be able to support a basic online presence and voice and email interactions, typically, it is advisable to invest in a cloud-based suite to power long-term goals.