Customers demand visibility and responsiveness — to stay competitive, companies must leverage the right technology to meet their expectations.
Timely, relevant, streamlined customer experiences have always won in the marketplace. And it’s truer now than ever before; customer service is king. The evolution of e-commerce — from DTC to DNVB and everything-on-demand — has given birth to generations of customers that expect — and demand — more. B2C companies are recognizing where their investments are generating the most ROI; those who’ve missed the writing on the wall have gone the way of Toys-R-Us. Elevating the customer experience is the surest way to establish enduring competitive advantages — and the key to elevating the customer experience rests with emerging technologies.
As more Americans turn to online shopping for their everyday needs, their expectations are only growing. Customers demand convenience and accountability from companies. Subway passengers want arrival times on their smartphones. Car rental customers no longer have the patience to wait by the side of the road for a replacement vehicle. Theme park guests expect customized experiences, and real-time information on wait times available at their fingertips.
Nor is this mindset limited to one or two industries. In the age of same-day delivery and real-time order status updates, customers expect immediacy and transparency across all manner of transactions, whether online or in-person. Along with real-time responsiveness, they expect predictive insights into future conditions. And of course, they also expect that companies will integrate their services with the latest technologies to make all of these expectations possible.
For a deeper dive into our position on the state (and future) of customer experience design, read our white paper: Customer Service as Easy as the Internet.
Leveraging Tech for Customer Experience
From augmented reality-enabled in-store experiences to robot salespeople, here’s a rundown of the (tamer) technological initiatives that companies are using to reimagine customer service.
Internet of Things: Powerful IoT sensors allow businesses to measure and act on a huge number of variables. It’s now possible to seamlessly gather data on everything from operational workflows to changes in customer behavior patterns.
Real-Time Data: What happens behind the scenes directly impacts how customers interact with brands. Logistics can’t be left to chance. Only real-time data can deliver the continuous intelligence and situational awareness that managers need to deliver against difficult customer expectations.
Big Data: Taking meaningful action in real-time requires small data. But big data still has its uses — large pools of historical information can help businesses experiment, test, and validate initiatives, giving them the indications they need to make broad strategic pivots with confidence.
Customer Service as Easy as the Internet
Businesses charged with managing customer-facing operations are increasingly going back to the drawing board to reevaluate how they’re approaching the concept of customer service in the first place. Many factors have given rise to this need — chief among them the fact that there is no longer a clear divide between digital and analog experiences. All customers want the convenience, security, transparency, and feature-set that they’ve come to expect from the internet; we must all step up our game accordingly.