runner about to push off from the starting line marked 2020

Five customer experience resolutions for 2020

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The start of a new year marks the perfect time for reflection and promise for improvement in the 365 days ahead. Here are five tech-related resolutions that companies and their contact centers can embrace in order to better meet customer needs.

1. Start the digital transformation discussion (if you haven't already)

Rapidly evolving technologies and shifting customer expectations require businesses to be agile, innovative and customer-focused, making digital transformation essential in order to compete in today's digital-first market. Research from IDC found that approximately 60 percent of businesses confirmed that digital transformation initiatives had improved productivity, and over 50 percent reported delivering better customer support. That said, digital transformation can be an overwhelming concept, with many leaders unsure of where to start.

The good news is that just by asking where to begin, you are already on the right path. Asking questions and assessing the current state of your organization is the first step in implementing a successful digital transformation initiative. Some of these important inquiries can include:

  • Have we clearly defined what we mean by digital transformation for the organization?
  • Do we have a stated customer experience goal (CX)?
  • What is our current infrastructure? Is it capable of supporting a unified customer view?
  • Have we invested in new technologies such as AI to support our strategy?
  • Is my CX partner focused on knowledge sharing?

Through this discussion you'll be able to highlight areas for additional research and consideration, while gaining a better understanding of the people, process and technology requirements needed to embark on your digital transformation journey.

two people working at a computer in the office

Preparing for the digital customer experience: Asking the right questions to turbo-charge digital transformation

Guide the strategic digital discussions and evaluations within your organization with this workbook created in partnership with IDC.

Workbook

2. Ensure a personalized experience with small data

Personalization has become a priority for customers. According to research conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of TELUS International, 76 percent of Americans are more likely to complete a purchase when a company/brand provides a personalized experience.

One of the ways organizations can accomplish this is through the use of small data. Unlike its "big" counterpart, which is only useful if you can take the massive amounts of information being produced and turn it into actionable results, small data is readily available and derived directly from customer interactions. Small data can help brands by uncovering customers' likes, dislikes, preferences and values.

For example, being able to see how many times a customer called in the past, along with any previous issues, purchasing history, feedback survey results and support channel preferences, can all help to paint a better picture of the person on the other end of the line. Going beyond transforming the customer experience, this information can also inform brands on how to enhance their product/service offerings.

3. Keep it effortless with omnichannel

Extra customer effort can cost a company greatly. Analyst firm, Gartner, found that the vast majority of customers (96 percent) who had high-effort customer experiences reported being disloyal to the brand, compared to only 9 percent of customers with low-effort experiences. With technology adding new channels of engagement, the challenge lies in creating effortless interactions between brands and consumers across all touchpoints.

An omnichannel strategy is about delivering seamless CX across multiple support channels where customer data is shared for a consistent experience. Yes, omnichannel will require investments in technology in order to execute, but to quote Steve Jobs: “You've got to start with the customer experience and work back towards the technology."

Over the top view of a desk with an open laptop and a person using their phone

From Multichannel to Omnichannel Customer Experience

A checklist to help organizations assess their readiness to make the jump from multichannel to omnichannel CX.

Preview of the checklist paper

4. Be flexible when supporting the Internet of Things (IoT)

More and more people are adding IoT devices into their daily lives. Given the complex ecosystems of connected devices, the need to deliver clear and efficient customer experience is even more important. "We are more connected to data than ever before," says Michael Ringman, Chief Information Officer of TELUS International in an IoT for All podcast. "You almost need to assume that the customer calling in has already tried ten things in order to get their device to work."

It can be a challenge to determine the root of the customer's problem – their internet provider, their smartphone or the device itself? Today's agent must be patient, well-versed in all facets of technology and have the ability to troubleshoot alongside customers to be able to correctly, efficiently and effectively assist them. Although scripts can be helpful to frontline agents, the key skill required to serve today's IoT customers is the ability to remain flexible and dynamic.

5. Inject personality into your technology

Customers are becoming more and more accustomed to speaking with robots, so what can you do to make yours stand out? Infusing a bot with personality through natural, on-brand language can make it fun, and not simply informative. "I like to think of bots as both an extension of your brand and a representation of your customer," said CIO, Michael Ringman, in an article for Forbes. "Just be sure to keep your bot's language consistent with the brand voice your customers have come to know through other platforms and channels."

Although bots are a tech-based tool, remember that the ultimate objective is always to make a human connection. With machine learning capabilities, brands can continuously fine-tune their bot to use up-to-date terminology and determine what type of interaction is resonating with customers, and what isn't. By setting the goal of providing a meaningful and memorable brand experience, bots don't need to be boring.

As we move further into 2020, it will be paramount for companies to effectively leverage and combine the best of both the 'high-tech' and 'high-touch' worlds in order to delight and retain customers. While most new year's resolutions tend to fall by the wayside after a month or two, investing in a contact center partner that can help navigate new technology while maintaining strong customer connections could make all the difference in achieving lasting success.

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