The customer experience (CX) continues to evolve, even after so many rapid changes occurred during the start of the pandemic. From online ordering and curbside pickup to online meetings and education portals, delivering exceptional customer experiences has been critical in companies surviving the pandemic.
And in many cases, the shift is permanent. Consumers create the demand for what they expect from companies they do business with. Which in turn, places high demand for organizations to adapt or risk losing valued customers. The companies who invest in and deliver exceptional customer experience will ultimately earn a consumer’s business. In fact, 85% of organizations will compete on the basis of CX in the next two years.
What makes a great customer experience? Speed. Convenience. Consistency. Friendliness. And human touch—creating real connections by making technology feel more human and giving employees what they need to create better customer experiences.
How should top CX organizations plan for 2022?
Start by bridging the gap between personalization and automation. Consumers want hyper-personalized experiences that are relevant to them. Businesses need to gain efficiencies using technology and automation. The most successful organizations will find the ideal balance to meet both needs. The rise of technology will not replace a good customer experience, it should enhance it.
The goal of technology is to remove manual tasks so reps can focus on what they do best: creating a world-class customer experience. Like consumers, CX reps are human and often tasked with multiple priorities at once. Leveraging technology, CX organizations can reduce some of these priorities so that reps can manage less and focus on providing a better overall experience.
For less tenured reps, technology can provide the means to help new reps ramp up more quickly and guide them through a more successful (and faster) onboarding period. 90% of customers expect an immediate response to their support questions. Tech can help even the most inexperienced reps answer a wide range of questions to ensure consumer experience expectations are met.
The tech tools that bridge the gap between automation and personalization
Through growing technology tools such as conversation intelligence, real-time guided coaching and thorough post-call analytics, CX teams can start creating positive synergies between personalization and automation.
Conversation Intelligence (CI): Long considered nothing more than an automated note taker, Conversation Intelligence has come a long way in providing valuable information into what occurs during customer interactions. New tools not only record and transcribe calls but can also provide in-depth analytics about those calls.
Some advanced AI-powered Conversation Intelligence tools can track call sentiment and key moments within the call that produce successful or unsuccessful outcomes. Did the rep show empathy? Was the consumer experiencing negative emotions? What was the overall rating of the customer interaction? Prior to advancements in these tools, a manager would have to manually review calls to understand what AI can now produce automatically, in near-real-time.
Real-time Guided Coaching: A newer technology to the market, guided coaching provides scripts and suggestions to a rep during a live call, based on the conversation. From things like competitive rebuttals and pricing questions to more advanced suggestions such as “slow down your speech” and “call sentiment is deteriorating,” guided coaching automates feedback to provide reps with the tools they need for successful calls.
The advancements in real-time call coaching not only help reps provide best-in-class responses to create a positive customer experience, but also reduces time needed for new reps to go live. In short, this technology allows managers to be more hands-off during onboarding and enables the reps to get on the phones faster to make a more immediate impact.
Advanced Post-call Analytics: As more CX organizations continue to become data-driven, analytics have also evolved. Calls received, calls resolved, and time spent on calls are all still measurable metrics, but there is so much more insight now into “how” the actual customer experience was met.
With advances in natural language processing, tech can now provide much more insight to CX leaders into trends across the entire CX organization. Analytics can track rising trends, for instance a new competitor arising, as well as recurring issues such as “slow delivery service,” and output this information long before it becomes a problem with churn. With tech, automated insights are provided in real-time to rectify any arising issues before they impact the holistic customer experience.
The right balance of automation and personalization
As CX organizations plan on how to compete in 2022, leveraging tools that can help augment the customer experience is a necessity. Organizations that reduce manual rep activity and leverage tech that provides rich and valuable insights will far exceed retention and customer lifetime value goals.
(The author Michelle Tilton is VP of Marketing at Gryphon.ai and the views expressed in this article are his own)