In this guest post, Michael Stelzer (pictured below), vice president Australia and New Zealand for Verint, argues that businesses lagging in the tech department won’t be offering the best experience to their customers…
Technology can be a powerful enabler for organisations wanting to listen and act proactively on the voice of the customer. But while it is a critical factor in helping gather, analyse and act on customer inputs, it’s not an answer in itself.
Without the right customer experience program, without the right metrics, governance, executive sponsorship, stakeholder buy-in, and closed loop processes, the technology investment will be wasted. A combination of innovative systems and best practices is the secret to real success in this fast moving space.
Companies that are able to identify key drivers of customer loyalty, map customer journeys, identify patterns of behaviour and take action in a timely manner are differentiating themselves from their competitors.
The most successful organisations use an integrated approach to drive results, one that includes technology, best practices and organisational savvy. There is no magic technology bullet, rather a combination of solutions, processes and insider knowledge that together can create success.
Massive resources are being committed to improving the customer experience – and those investments are paying off in reduced effort and better overall customer interactions. But nothing remains static. As companies raise the level of their game, customer expectations of service is also increasing.
Trending CX technologies in 2016 achieve mass personalisation, hyper-segmentation and convergence
Mobile technologies that take into account presence – where an individual is physically located – and personalisation engines that use predictive models to drive content and specific interactions will make great inroads this year as they help achieve mass personalisation and hyper-segmentation. By creating experiences for individuals based on their location, preferences, survey results and social media postings, companies can create a highly-personalised and contextual customer experience that will build deep loyalty.
Convergence will also have an increasing impact in 2016. Over the last five years, enterprises have been investing in siloed technologies to help them listen to the customer’s voice – survey platforms, online community platforms, chat and e-mail platforms, as well as more sophisticated technologies for speech analytics and text analytics. Unfortunately this has resulted in ‘disconnected listening’, where key insights get lost in the mass of data and the dots are not connected between listening platforms.
The convergence of CRM data with social listening, enterprise feedback management, speech analytics, text analytics and case management technology is now essential to the total CX endeavour. It will enable organisations to listen across structured and unstructured data sources, analyse the issues and key trends that are being identified, and then allow them to act on the data in ways that are meaningful to each individual customer.
By being able to understand the totality of the customer experience across all channels, companies can enrich that with their purchase history, demographics and other important data. This will result in better market segmentation and deeper personalisation, as well as the identification of high effort transactions and other friction points that result in customer loss.
CX technology investments now critical strategic weapons
Organisations are investing in digital marketing, voice of the customer and social tools at a rapid pace. These are no longer tactical ‘nice-to-haves’ but rather critical strategic weapons in the epic battle to win the hearts and minds of customers for the long-term. Investing in them is no longer an option for companies that want to be around in the next five years.
As organisational performance and customer expectations increase, the operations that don’t build their investments in new CX technologies and related processes will rapidly fall behind. And they will find it virtually impossible to catch up to competitors that have invested incrementally.