Translating latest tech into better CX
One thing doesn’t change. It’ still all about the customer experience. And that customer experience begins the moment a visitor lands on your site and continues through any interactions with you/your site, through purchases, through follow-up customer service and through maintaining long-term relationships.
This is a tall order, indeed. And, traditionally this has all been done manually. After all, it is good for real people to deal with real people, right? In the physical world, this is often true. In the digital world, not so much. When technology can do a better job than people, it’s time to let technology take over. After all, as a recent Forrester report states, today’s consumer is fickle, and one bad experience with a company is all it takes to lose a customer to a competitor.
What Consumers Say They Want
Research shows that customers want three things through technology:
- They want their individual preferences and interests addressed
- They want their needs not to be aggregated into generalities
- They want personal engagement
Summarized into one word – it’s all about personalization
Using Tech to Personalize the Experience
Here are technologies and tools that businesses of any size can now incorporate into their CX.
Everyone is now familiar with Taco Bell’s Tacobot. This is basically a machine that takes customer orders, remembers customers through machine learning, makes suggestions based upon past behaviors, etc. The technology is really nothing new. Amazon and other big boys have been using it for a long time. That’s why customers get personalized emails from Amazon after having look at a particular product – emails that address them by name and give more information about that and related products.
Using AI and Big Data to Personalize
Consumers supply a lot of information all over the web – when they purchase from you, on their social media channels, through comments and feedback they supply. All of the information has traditionally been disparate and disconnected. Combining big data and AI, however, can change all of that.
Not only can you track consumer behavior on your platforms, but you can gather data from elsewhere as well. All of this can be synthesized, so that businesses can have a much more detailed picture of their customers, their behaviors, where they have been and what they have looked at. Once those profiles are developed, customers can receive marketing/advertising that is totally personalized for their needs and wants. All of this can be automated too, through such tools as Marketo, ExactTarget, and Hubspot.
Apps for Personalization
Customers want information when they want it. And sometimes, they may not even realize that they want it. You, however, with all of the data you have gathered, do know.
Creating apps in the cloud that are accessible on mobile devices, allows you to provide/send personalized information to your customers anywhere. Those apps have the data you have collected and analyzed and that your AI tools use to tell you what your individual customer may want. You have the “perfect storm.” You can send out personalized messages; you can track location; if a customer is in your store and looking at a specific product, you an offer an immediate discount.
What does all of this give the customer in terms of experience? Convenience.
You are not Disney, but look at what it does while a customer is visiting one of its theme parks. They have an app called My Disney Experience.
Once the customer has downloaded the app, his information is synced, and special offers and suggestions are made based upon where he is and prior preferences/behaviors. If they approach a specific amusement, the app can relay approximate wait-time; meal reservations can be made; times of shows can be found; and the app itself can make suggestions, much like TacoBot does.
Do Not Ignore the Improvements of Existing Technology
Part of CX still relies on many of the traditional elements of your online presence. For example, stay abreast of your web host and continue to look at those that may offer greater speed, state-of-the-art security, etc. According to Small Business Web Hosting Reviews, most companies fail to think about a basic such as bandwidth, until its growth results in negative customer experiences. Losing customers due to failure of basics is just not excusable.
Technology to Unify Customer Service Channels
Customers reach out to companies in many ways, directly and indirectly. When they are on several social media channels; when they are contacting you via email; when they call; when they chat; when they access your site to engage in self-service customer service – all of these channels are impossible to follow manually.
Now technology can bring all of the customer service channels into a central system – this system will match up customer personal information and their social media accounts.
By syncing all of this, everyone on your team has access to all of the information, to all of the conversations and contacts that have taken place. This keeps the CX consistent throughout all of your departments – this is a good thing.
This certainly has stimulated renewed interest since Pokémon Go. Most marketers see this as something for the future, but it is upon us, and it will continue to evolve to provide even more personalized customer experiences. Already online clothiers are asking customers for their specific tastes, providing suggestions based upon that, and then allowing customers to “try on” that clothing.
America’s Best Eyewear has an app on its site that lets customers try on frames before they go in for their exams and selections. These are all early applications of AR and VR; however, when customers can “place” themselves in resorts they are considering; when customers can access the entire story of a bottle of wine by simply swiping their phones over the label (actually they can already), the implications for e-commerce are limitless.