More than ever, customer experience is at the heart of customer concerns: According to a PwC study, 73% of customers consider customer experience as a determining factor in their buying decisions. Customers have high expectations when it comes to service, personalization, and reactivity, and are more and more demanding about their overall experience.
To meet these expectations, technology can play a crucial role. According to Zendesk, companies that have invested in tools for meeting their customers’ expectations have a directly related higher satisfaction score and ROI. 57% of their customers state a considerable improvement in customer service provided and 77% of business executives claim that these investments are worth it.
We have already cited 6 ways to improve the customer experience thanks to technology, in a previous blog article. Since then, technological tools have improved and diversified to offer superior customer experience. This is why we wish to go further on the subject of how technology can help improve the customer experience and how to take advantage of it to meet industry expectations.
The most important thing is in your hands, in your CRM. Customer data allows you to better understand the needs, preferences, and behaviors of your customers but also to find adapted solutions to offer them personalized experience and reinforce their engagement. However, it is still difficult to manage for many companies. As Zendesk states, 67% of business executives state that their customer data is used in a disorganized and only reactive manner. Often, this is due to poor use of data. In 2023, 72% of executives tell Zendesk that they still use strategies involving customer segmentation, engagement marketing, and demographic data—three elements which are no longer trending with customer expectations.
Another reason is the lack of integration between the different solutions used by customer service departments. Integrating your CRM(s) directly with your CTI allows you to cover all of the powerful features of CCaaS that your agents need in a CRM environment. No longer choose between customer know-how and customer journeys, between the industry approach and the customer approach. By connecting your CRM, base customer engagement strategy on your data, thanks to a 360° customer view and real-time monitoring of customer purchase history and context. By connecting your CRM(s) with your CTI, increase agent productivity in your contact center. These agents access customer information directly from their platform, which makes them save important operational time. This helps them make decisions, since they better understand customer needs and preferences. They are able to provide faster, more efficient, and more personalized service. This is truly lacking in customer service, as only 31% of agents claim to be able to consult and use customer data efficiently to optimize and personalize each interaction (according to a Zendesk report on CX trends in 2023).
In addition, information collected during customer interactions are entered directly in your CRM, allowing you to analyze customer trends and habits more closely in order to make better decisions. This data can also help you personalize offers and promotions, improve products and services, and anticipate the future needs of your customers.
According to Hubspot, 60% of companies use a CRM to collect customer data. As mentioned above, endowing your CRM with the best omnichannel contact center features allows you to put your customer data back again at the heart of your customer engagement strategy. And one of the main reasons to do this is to be able to create personalized journeys and thus offer to each of your customers an experience that seems unique during both inbound and outbound interactions.
According to Salesforce, 76% of customers expect companies to understand their individual needs and expectations. To do this, collecting customer data is the first step. According to Forbes, 64% of customers are ready to share personal data in exchange for a more personalized experience. In addition, 59% of customers wish for brands to use the data they collect from them to personalize their experience.
Other technologies can help personalize the customer experience. Data analysis tools help companies understand customer habits and preferences, as well as predict future behavior. According to a McKinsey study, companies that use data analysis to personalize the customer experience can increase their sales by 10% on average.
Chatbots, thanks to AI and machine learning, can interact with customers in real time to resolve problems and respond to questions in a personalized manner according to preferences and past behavior.
Machine learning also helps analyze customer purchasing habits and propose promotional offers and product recommendations that match their preferences. According to an Accenture study, 91% of customers are more likely to buy from a company that makes personalized offers and product recommendations. By using customer data, companies can personalize the user interface according to customer preferences, such as preferred language, style, and features. A Janrain study states that 74% of customers are frustrated by websites that show them content that has no link to their interests. It is therefore necessary to personalize. Amazon definitely understood this! The company offers an ultra-personalized customer experience thanks to technology. Their recommendation algorithm uses customer data to suggest relevant products according to customers’ purchases and browsing history. Netflix also uses recommendation algorithms to personalize the customer viewing experience. By using data such as genre preferences, reviews, and viewing history, Netflix can recommend television shows and movies that customers are more likely to enjoy.
It has to do with an answer to a problem long experienced by customers. They wish to have more personalization. Furthermore, 62% of them think that brands could do better in this area, according to Zendesk.
This supports the beneficial impacts for companies that have invested in this manner. According to a HubSpot study, customers are more likely to buy from a company that offers a personalized navigation experience. Indeed, 76% of customers have stated that they are more likely to buy from a company that offers them a personalized experience. A Monetate study also revealed that personalization can increase conversion rates by 19%. According to Zendesk, 77% of executives confirm that increased personalization improves customer retention and 66% state that it reduces acquisition costs.
Customer knowledge and personalization of the experience are two essential points for customers. Immediacy is another decisive factor for choosing one brand over another. According to a Forrester Research study, 77% of customers have stated that a lack of wait time during an interaction is a key factor in overall satisfaction with their customer experience. On the other hand, according to Zendesk, 42% of customers stated that they consider a long wait time the worst experience possible during an interaction with customer service.
One of the technologies that allows companies to offer continuous service and an interaction in real time with customers is direct chat, or a chatbot. It offers real-time assistance, improving the customer experience by providing quick and precise answers for all standard questions. And this makes customers happy ! According to Business Insider, 64% of customers confirm having interacted with a chatbot in the past year. In the future, customers wish to be able to ask more complex questions of chatbots and have more natural and seamless discussions, such as they have with agents. To do this, companies are investing in artificial intelligence. 59% of companies affirm that AI has been a profitable investment. According to Zendesk, 65% state that their artificial intelligence and their bots have become more natural in their interactions. Among customers who interact regularly with chatbots, 72% notice a considerable improvement in quality. And the improvement of customer experience does not stop there: Among customers regularly talking to chatbots, 67% state that the bots often provide the information needed. 71% of customers who converse regularly with chatbots further state that AI and chatbots allow reduced wait times for a response.
These response times must be shorter and shorter, since customers expect on average a response within five minutes of being on the phone with customer service and within a minute when interacting on chat or social channels.
Automation helps you provide customer service that is faster and more efficient, especially by responding more quickly to customer requests. According to a Forrester study, the automation of customer service processes can reduce handling times by 60%.
One of the most notable examples of customer experience automation is the chatbot. By automating responses to common or basic questions, a chatbot helps a company respond instantly to customers, thereby reducing wait times and improving the customer experience. Indeed, according to Salesforce, chatbots have enabled a reduced wait time by 33% and reduced customer service costs by 30%. In addition, the use of chatbots has allowed companies to save more than 8 billion dollars per year, according to Juniper Research.
Technology also helps automate routine tasks:
Investing in technology allows your company to offer customer experience that is faster, more personalized, more efficient, and more satisfying in general. Chatbots, AI, and CRM can help companies improve the customer experience and increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.
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