The latest CX technologies are great news for enterprises committed financially and culturally to digital transformation. Here's why.
Whatever the vertical — retail, telecommunications, financial services, healthcare — many commercial and public service organizations have gone all in on digital transformation. From next gen networks connecting data edge-to-edge to marketing/commerce technology and customer support, organizations are investing massively with 81% using digital transformation to create better customer experiences.
Pro number cruncher IDC predicts global spending on the technologies and services that power digital transformation will hit $1.97 trillion in 2022, and grow annually by 16.7%. And CX-focused enterprise claims to be already feeling the gain with 75% reporting 'improvement' or 'significant improvement' in customer experience.
Great CX means greater revenues
Critically, this commitment to CX has the potential to deliver bigger bottom lines as well. According to Bain & Company, companies that excel in customer experience grow revenues 4%–8% above their market. Perhaps that shouldn't come as too much of a surprise though. After all, 84% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products or services it sells.
Those are the (many) upsides, but which technologies can actually deliver improved CX and in turn, increased revenues?
Which CX technologies are key to revenue generation
According to Gartner, the top three emerging technologies that will have a major impact on CX are omnichannel engagement solutions (37%), virtual customer assistants/chatbots (39%), and artificial intelligence (53%).
While words like 'artificial intelligence' may conjure up images of diving headfirst into a sea of unfathomable acronyms — hello NLU, NLP and NLG! — in reality, the best jumping off point is to consider which main technologies will serve the business's specific needs best, and critically the needs of its customers.
For instance, within retail and banking, AI-driven chatbots are being deployed on popular private messaging platforms such as WhatsApp and Viber (see below). These serve customers more efficiently on a platform that they already know and trust. Think delivery notifications, bank account balances and ordering pizza home deliveries, with each use case improving customer experience while automating and optimizing business processes.
However, questions remain about how a company can develop such technologies without breaking the bank. Thankfully, there are a wealth of resources and assistance readily available. From development frameworks for AI-driven bots to integrating the bots into, say, WhatsApp, business can access third party solutions that help take the strain. Better still, they can partner with conversational CX specialists who can streamline and simplify the development process as well as scaling the deployment and monitoring the results.
Which comms channels to choose
While websites, email, SMS, and other traditional touch points remain vital, customers increasingly want to engage with business via the latest digital touch points. After all, 55% of consumers state they prefer digital channels to traditional channels with that figure climbing to 68% for millennials and Gen Zers.
From WhatsApp and Viber through to RCS (Rich Communications Service, the next-gen SMS), savvy companies are embracing this demand, increasing their range of digital touch points to drive up customer engagement.
The key point here is that brands no longer get to choose the channels; their customers do. It means businesses must examine the digital channels preferred by consumers across different segments and geographies, and make them available so that all interactions happen wherever their customers are.
How conversational tech brings it all together
Critically, thanks to communications platforms with API-based integrations, it's now easier than ever to interact with customers in a personalized, contextual way on their preferred comms channels. And ironically enough, it's automation (think chatbots) that has a leading role to play: It enables large organizations to provide the consistent, personalized one-to-one experience customers want, no matter the scale, at reduced cost compared to traditionally human agent-led operations.
Ultimately, while ‘digital transformation’ can often be regarded as a worryingly ‘nebulous’ concept by some C-suites, delivering great customer experiences through conversational technologies is already offering real world, quantifiable proof that ‘going digital’ increases conversion rates, sales, and ultimately, revenues.