How Customer Experience is Increasing in Importance in Today’s Connected World

How Customer Experience is Increasing in Importance in Today’s Connected World

‘Customer is King’ has always been an oft repeated mantra for the success of a business.  Today, customer success isn’t just about designing the optimal product of service for a customer.  Customer satisfaction and providing a positive customer experience has become primary business driver for success, and has rapidly snowballed into a key business strategy for enterprises to work with.

One of the reasons driving this change is that customers today are always connected, and demand a seamless experience across channels. With technology enabling customers to maintain a single digital profile, transitioning across platforms has never been easier.This has businesses scrambling to offer omnichannel options to reach customers, which allows for a smooth transition between their bricks and mortar, mobile, and online channels. Some of the best examples of businesses that have nailed the art of offering an effortless, seamless experience for customers include Starbucks, Bank of America, Disney and many more. They have focused their efforts on removing any extra effort needed on the customers side while also providing a high level of personalization[1]. Another brilliant example is Amazon. This etailer, after revolutionizing online retail has taken it a step further, seamlessly blending online and offline experiences in the delivery and returns of its products.

Technology and automation it supports is giving businesses the ability to focus on innovation and customer service. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is ensuring that tasks run without a hitch and contribute to the seamlessness that we aspire for[2]. Take 24/7 chatbots that are equipped to handle simple queries in an expedited manner, negating the need for direct human interaction, even while putting customer satisfaction as top priority[3]. A leading bank found that 85 bots handled the work of 200 humans at a mere 30% of the cost[4] when it revamped its claims process, using bots to handle 1.5 million requests per year.

Big Data analytics, Machine Learning, SaaS applications such as customer databases, etc., along with cloud-based solutions are also enabling a 360°view into every single detail about the customer[5]. These technologies help capture customer data at several touchpoints in order to understand and measure the customer satisfaction levels – a crucial step in getting to know your customers and mitigating potential risks[6].

When the conversation is about the shift to digital, can the subject of AI be far behind? AI or Artificial Intelligence has become the core of every customer experience-committed organization. It helps businesses fully understand the customer’s right from their needs and buying patterns to their aspirations and rationale behind their purchase decisions. Another technology that is contributing to understanding of the customers is Internet of Things. IoT assesses the customers based on how they search and shop on the internet and captures a thorough assessment of how, what, why and when they need a particular product or service[7],[8].

Therefore, ‘one-size-fits-all’ is not an approach that businesses can afford to continue to deploy. Mass messaging is a thing that will stay firmly in the past, replaced by highly personalized customer loyalty solutions . As per a recent study, 75% of customers are more likely to buy from a company who recognizes them by name, knows their purchase details and recommends purchases based on past purchases. It is also said that highly engaged customers are 90% more likely to purchase on a regular basis and spend 60% more for every purchase[9].

All this is not possible without relying heavily on technology. Which is probably why, it is being said that by the end of 2019, over two-thirds of all global companies will shift focus to modern, digital strategies[10]. A recent study also showed that those who did so had 26% more success than their peers, who did not make the shift. According to Gartner, over 66% of CEOs are planning to change their model to accommodate this shift in less than three years[11], which is an acknowledgement of the importance of customer experience for today’s always connected customer.