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Top 5 growth opportunities in the customer experience industry for 2021

Enhancing CX is a Critical Success Factor
Leading companies recognize that improved customer care gives them a real opportunity to stand out from their competitors. In fact, two-thirds of companies say that CX is also a leading indicator of performance among board-level executives.

Brand Loyalty in a Digital World
Satisfied customers spend more and stay loyal to a brand over time. Understanding that the client must be at the center of any competitive strategy is a significant step. Moving CX from its current state to an improved one is a process with multiple phases that can deeply impact every company’s organizational culture.

What’s Driving Growth?
Delivering an exceptional CX can be the difference between a dying business and a prospering one: the majority of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services, and more than half claim they have stopped buying from a company to go to its competitor that provided a better experience.

Recommendations & Best Practices Decision-makers must understand that CX is more than just a differentiator; it’s a crucial part of doing business in a world where switching brands is easier than ever before.

Why is Omnichannel Important? Omnichannel allows end-users to begin their customer journey on the channel of their choice, and then combine or switch between channels seamlessly without losing context and history. Since legacy applications are often developed in siloes, delivering omnichannel service can be difficult.
While organizations still plan and design their customer service strategy based on each interaction channel, customers perceive all the channels they are using as one conversation or engagement.
Customer contact will continue to evolve from interactions on disparate channels to seamless customer journeys that are proactive, asynchronous, and persistent. Only through the addition of new capabilities enabled by mobile, cloud, social, WebRTC, Big Data, and personalization, along with richer integrations, will companies unleash new demand and drive user-base expansion.

How are Solution Providers Making Implementation Easier?
Due to the challenges presented by the pandemic, solution providers are now even more pressed to incorporate new channels into CX solutions.

Successful solution providers are developing enhanced capabilities across channels and platforms that allow for the easy addition of new channels and capabilities. The goal is to make it effortless for agents, or any employee in the organization, to handle multichannel interactions.

Undoubtedly, omnichannel CX is crucial to shifting toward a new digital landscape and is the key to competitive differentiation. Providing omnichannel CX capabilities will be the leading differentiator for vendors in the years to come.

Happy Employees = Happy Customers
The contact center workforce draws from millennials and younger generations, which favor a more flexible work environment with better work/life balance than prior generations. Creating an environment where agents feel empowered, enthusiastic, and engaged is vital to employee retention.

In addition to having the best technologies and optimized processes, how agents behave is what gives a company a quality leap in its customers’ relationship. Employee experience (EX) is as crucial as CX; without satisfied employees, it will be virtually impossible to achieve satisfactory results for customers. Yet, only 22% of companies across sectors see hiring and retaining employees as a top business objective.

How CX Solutions Engage Employees
Building a better workforce means incorporating elements that engage, recognize, enliven, and ultimately, empower the workforce. Happier employees improve CSAT, strengthen brand loyalty, and deliver more profitable outcomes.

With the augmented role of employees at the center of a seamless CX model, creating an engaged and high-performance workforce is a key factor in delivering best-in-class customer experiences.

The degree to which employees feel connected and supported by the company is an accurate measure of how they will usually interact with customers. Hence, providing better tools for agents and employees is extremely relevant to meet customer expectations.

Benefits of AI
Vendors have been adding several AI functionalities to their solutions. However, until recently, this was an emerging technology.

Virtual assistants, chatbots, voice bots, behavioral applications, AI-powered IVR/natural language processing, speech recognition and machine translation, and automated models for scheduling and forecasting within workforce management are some of the most popular AI- based APIs or functionalities embedded in contact center solutions.

For businesses, AI-powered applications enable time and cost savings, smarter customer services, efficient CX management, and the generation of reliable, actionable insights that facilitate decision making.

Improving Self-Service and Agent Capabilities
AI technology is still in a growth phase, far from maturity, and it should be considered as a technological tool that supports agent activity rather than agent replacement. In reality, AI improves agent performance by providing seamless, ideal-match routing, with full historical awareness and real-time context to drive recommendations.

However, AI is only as smart as the data it can leverage. The power of AI comes from the combination of analytical insights, continual learning, and automation.

Frost & Sullivan expects a sharp growth in AI-based capabilities and apps assisting consumers and agents over the next few years. In fact, 86% of businesses around the globe plan to invest in AI capabilities over the next two years.

Ensuring Customer Trust is Crucial for Brand Loyalty
While personalization offers substantial benefits for individual optimization, it can also pose significant issues for those worried about the increasing amount of information that organizations are collecting. Building trust and reaching a balance between personalization and privacy are priorities for every organization.

Maintaining security and privacy, and complying with government and industry regulations, are of increasing concern to businesses. Today, more data points are recorded, retained, and monitored than ever before, requiring companies to face an increased cost for compliance and adapt their operations to a continually fluctuating regulatory environment. Without a doubt, compliance management is an essential priority forcing companies to consider new technologies to reduce manual tasks, mitigate risks, and reduce costs.

Overcoming the Challenges of Assuring Secure Interactions Across Channels
Contact center security is complicated, multi-faceted, and difficult to manage across multiple sites, countries, and regions. It certainly is challenging, but not impossible, to build a security-conscious culture within the entire organization by reinforcing customer trust, reducing agent churn, and uncovering gaps that may put client intellectual property at risk.

Information security takes a novel, essential status in this new normal. Building a robust set of security tools allows companies to successfully deploy WAHA and significantly increase the value per dollar provided to their clients and even become a security broker and advisor.

If before COVID-19 security was a “nice to have feature, it has now become an absolute imperative. No one can deny the mission-critical nature of stringent security and privacy policies as a critical benchmark for best-in-class contact center performance. Frost & Sullivan

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