We are living in an era of overabundance. Each year, an average of 100 million businesses are born, pouring rains of choices onto consumers’ selection panel. The paradox of choice takes effect immediately and bolsters customers’ reluctance to purchase, thereby makes the market competition much fiercer. It’s a war of attraction, where businesses that give the best experiences to customers take all.
Customer Experience is the competitive edge to win the market
Let the numbers tell the stories:
- 76% of customers expect companies to understand their needs.
- More than 80% of companies who prioritize customer experience are reporting an increase in revenue.
- Customers will spend 17% more for a good experience.
- Customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies that aren’t.
Traditional Customer Experience was in the past – Digital Customer Experience is the “now”
Adopting a customer-centric mindset is definitely not a new concept. However, it is undeniable that customer experience has changed drastically over the last decade, from which technology is the momentum. The more technology develops, the more innovative and creative customer experience grows into.
Today, customer experience in almost every industry is either migrating to digital platforms, or being driven by quickly evolving digital technology. Just think about why Google beats Yahoo in the search engine, why Apple can sell a smartphone twice the average market price, or why Uber has taken over the taxi market. The common constant is that these companies are so proficient in knowing what their customers need and accordingly leverage their technological edges to satisfy those needs. They provide a holistic set of solutions and meticulously plan out the whole journey for anyone using their products and services: from the digital touchpoints to the post-purchase services, backed by the power of technology, which makes the customer experience they offer relevant and seamless. The borderline between technology and customer experience is likewise quite blurry, and in many cases they work closely together as a single strategy to business. It is safe to conclude that the combination of digital technology and customer experience – to which we refer as digital customer experience – is and will be the wild card for business sustainability.
The Digital Customer Experience trends of tomorrow
Curious how digital customer experience will evolve in the next few years? Here is a peak:
Mobile Experience is the potential channel to lead Customer Experience
According to a recent Adobe survey report, 92% of respondents said their smartphone is their primary device. Besides, smartphones have also overtaken computers as the top e-commerce source thanks to its convenient size and friendly interface. Mobile is, without a shadow of a doubt, a prosperous land for customer experience.
The drop? Only 22% of consumers think mobile experience is good.
Despite the claim of 60% of businesses about their excellent mobile experience provision, mobile experiences are in fact lacking in quality, which reflects in the dissatisfaction of 78% of users. However, it is not a reason to be pessimistic about the future of mobile in customer experience – it in fact creates a need for good mobile experiences and leaves room for their future growth. Grasp the opportunities and be ahead of the mobile experience revolution.
Virtual assistants will be in the main line of Customer Service
Back in 2011, Gartner predicted that by the end of 2020, 85% of customer relationships will be managed without human interaction – and that seems to hold true to today. The aggressive development of Siri, Alexa, Google Home,… is making people’s lives much easier. Virtual assistants will answer common customer service questions, eliminating the need to wait “on hold” for the next available agent to help customers with a simple problem as in bill, product, or service and therefore allowing customers to get in and out in a jiffy. It will take orders, provide support and answer questions. It will upsell, issue refunds and tactfully solve many other problems – in less time and effort, which later enhances the rate of customer satisfaction.
Banks, for instance, are linking with Alexa and Google Home to allow customers to schedule transfers and bill-pay. Stores are allowing them to order products by voice. Movie theaters can allow them to purchase tickets, select seats, and pre-order popcorn before they even leave the driveway—without even hopping on their smartphones.
Furthermore, since such virtual assistants are built with AI/Machine Learning, they will constantly learn and evolve without any expensive coaching and training courses and become more clever as each day passes. It will be a tireless, need-no-sleep, productive and tactful representative of your company, and a cost-effective HR solution within the Customer Service/Customer Experience department.
AI/AR/VR takes Customer Personalization to the next level
This is an era when we rarely need to search for the products that would make our lives easier. It’s so easy now to find a recommendation based on your past history. Here we are talking about recommended videos and movies on YouTube and Netflix; recommended music on Spotify; recommended TV shows on Hulu; recommended concerts and performances on Bands in Town; and recommended products on Amazon. AI is essentially putting “in the know” hipsters out of business by bringing any and all content to the forefront. This is an age where everyone knows everything relevant to their needs and wants. AI is also finding its way into the cloud where companies are putting their data lakes to glean faster insights from data and analytics. Azure and AWS, for instance, both offer deep expertise in building applications around AI. This enables companies to scale their AI capabilities quickly leveraging capabilities and experience from the leaders in the public cloud.
In terms of AR/VR, with the rich, immersive filters and simulative vision, they move the technology beyond gaming to more practical sectors such as e-commerce (applied in try-on functionalities), education, healthcare,…Via providing customers with realistic simulations, AR/VR guarantees a great sense of personalization to customers, which explains the revenue projection of $160 billion set by the end of 2020 .
Cybersecurity is converted into Customer Loyalty
According to a recent research:
- 25% of consumers believe that data gathered from them is being handled responsibly
- 69% believe that companies are vulnerable to breaches.
- 88% of the consumers are only willing to give out personal information if they trust a certain company.
- 87% will go elsewhere if they are given a reason not to trust a business.
These statistics indicate that customer trust has already been fragile from the beginning – and even a small snap can take it down immediately. Customers who keep the business alive want reassurance. Likewise, cybersecurity criticality can cause a lot of troubles to businesses because such breaches cause customers to run and brand loyalty and confidence to erode. As such, enhancing cybersecurity is an obvious solution to strengthen trust between the parties, improve customer loyalty and consequently improve digital customer experience.
How businesses should respond to the emergence of digital customer experience?
Enough talking. Keeping the complexity we just started to explore in mind, let’s look at the digital customer experience – and steps to win the hearts, wallets, kudos and loyalty of the ‘digital’ customer. Here are some basics you should carve in mind:
Defining digital customer experience
Just as customer experience is a very broad field that essentially looks at the sum of all experiences and the overall customer lifecycle, digital customer experience overlaps a broad range of activities.
The only way to look at it, remembering that the customer doesn’t care about the difference between digital and non-digital, is seeing the digital customer experience or digital customer experience as an end-to-end given as well. It’s the sum of all customer experiences a customer has with your brand, company, services, offering etc. across all possible digital touchpoints and contact moments, fueled by digital transformation.
Dissecting the digital customer experience
Dissecting digital customer experience is crucial to improve it. The definition of the digital customer experience is one thing, the reality behind it is another. And that reality is about to change even more dramatically than it already has in these days of digital pervasiveness, as mentioned above. There are several domains where ‘customer experience’ and ‘digital’ meet:
- The customer experience (expectations) of a digital-savvy customer who uses more digital technologies and channels.
- The customer experience across various digital touchpoints.
- The digital technologies organizations can deploy to enable customer interactions (the front-end) and to improve the customer experience (back-office).
- The experience regarding digital services and products as such. This is one area where smart technology factors come into play:
+ Are built by brands and thus influence the perceptions of those brands.
+ Come with an entirely different type of experience.
+ Offer opportunities to improve customer experiences within the device and/or based on data regarding the usage of the device.
Digital customers are…everyone
Of particular interest is the ‘digital customer’ as such. Simply defined as the customer who really uses digital channels a lot for all kinds of purposes, this digital customer is changing as well. Just as the customer doesn’t really think about the digital customer experience (he cares about the experiences), he doesn’t care whether he’s a digital customer or not.
However, he sure cares about “digital” channels, tools and of course experiences. The availability of digital channels to interact with brands, seek customer service and so on has even become a key decision factor to do business with an organization. And that – for us – is probably the most essential reason to look at the digital customer experience and at the “digital customer”.
Finding a vendor to help you with the technical aspects
Since digital customer experience is now playing a crucial part in leveraging your business, it is important not to only focus on the channels but also on the device, the software and the technology behind it. Finding a vendor that is competent and has past successes in helping clients bolster digital customer experience will better promote your brand with less cost.
At the heart of Vietnam – an emerging destination for technological outsourcing, Savvycom is racing against time and innovation to deliver world-beating social apps to our valued clients. With 10+ years of tech expertise, the endorsements from 100+ clients of 4 continents around the world and multiple successful partnerships with reputable global firms such as Apple, Accelerance, IBM, etc., we promise to help our clients deliver the best digital experiences to customers.