Over the past several years, a new normal has been established in many businesses. Both industry leaders and their customers have adjusted processes and expectations in response to the ever-evolving world modern technology has created.

Thanks to these tech advances, efficiency-boosting tools, improved data, and more streamlined delivery methods, businesses are enabled to operate better, both in terms of their internal operations as well as their customer service delivery. As 82% of businesses view customer experience as something that differentiates competitors, more so than product and price, continuous improvement of customer experiences in an ongoing goal for successful organizations today. Here, we’re taking a look at a few key ways technology is improving the customer experience.

On-demand Support

Delayed or slowed service is unacceptable in the eyes of today’s consumers. 82% of customers expect an immediate response to marketing and sales related questions and that number jumps to 90% when it’s a customer service-related issue.

What these figures tell us is that businesses must optimize their service model to ensure they are meeting customers’ requests for on-demand service. Artificially intelligent chatbots have been instrumental in businesses’ quest to provide 24/7 accessibility without overloading their customer service teams.

Thanks to advances in technology, chatbots are enabling businesses to improve customer experiences by offering instantaneous, tailored services on the customer’s time and on the devices they prefer.

Depending on the specific goals and focuses of a business, there are numerous types of chatbots specifically designed to improve customer experiences. Interacting with other businesses chatbot services can offer useful insight when figuring out which system is best suited for your customers and the angle by which you want your chatbots interactions to take. Whole Foods, Sephora and TechCrunch are a few examples of varied yet especially helpful customer support chatbots.

Flexible Service

As the world becomes increasingly digital, more consumers are looking online to research and purchase products and services. In response, businesses are putting greater emphasis on modernizing their back-end operations to better tend to customer needs.

To ensure long-term customer loyalty, savvy organizations recognize the need for more suitable contact center infrastructures and the cloud is filling this need. With the cloud, businesses can improve flexibility to more efficiently accomplish tasks and better serve customer requests.

Additionally, as more consumers demand service on their time, modern cloud suites help ensure your team can support service requests regardless of location or device. So, should a customer require service outside of normal hours, your support team can assist them outside the office and on any device with an internet connection. That said, choosing a cloud solution you can rely on to stay up to date with technology and a growing customer base is essential.

As more legacy solutions, such as Infor, are often run on outdated technologies, they may put your service team at risk of lagging behind due to failed updates or delayed feature additions.

Hyper-personalization

By 2020, the number of IoT connected devices is projected to amount to 30.73 billion. This growing network is creating new opportunities for brands of every industry to significantly improve customer experiences through big data, predictive modeling and more. As the IoT generates enormous amounts of valuable consumer data, customer behaviors, patterns and preferences can all be easily identified and therein used to improve efficiencies, develop more targeted products and create more personalized experiences.

Netflix is a prime example of leveraging data to improve user experiences. In fact, 80% of content streamed on Netflix is influenced by its internal recommendation system. The streaming service analyzes data on what users are watching, how much of it they’re watching and other demographics to effectively predict what individuals would like to watch and what content will be most successful if streamed.

Enhanced visuals

Augmented reality (AR) has been an evolving idea in customer experience over the last several years. Most recently, AR has emerged as an incredibly useful tool for its ability to provide customers with customizable and immersive experiences.

Brands like CoverGirl, IKEA and Pottery Barn are utilizing the technology to offer customers a chance to virtually test out products before making their purchase, resulting in more knowledgeable and satisfied customers. In this digital age particularly, AR is serving as a saving grace to brick-and-mortar stores.

As Mark Asher, director of corporate strategy at Adobe, stated in an interview with CMO.com, “Building novelty through immersive experiences like AR is a great incentive to bring people out of their homes to the store or create a reason for traffic that’s moving by your store to come into the store.”

Direct Communication

Social media has entirely revolutionized how brands communicate with their customers. Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat provide an outlet for brands to humanize themselves and create relatable personas for their customers to connect with.

Today, rather than relying solely on customer service teams, consumers can take to Instagram to find out about a new product or campaign or even share their personal shopping experiences with a brand. The amplified engagement social media provides consumers improves the overall customer experience as customers feel as though their voices are being heard and can interact with their favorite brands on their desired channel.

Final Thoughts

Moving forward, successful businesses will need to develop their customer experience strategies on an evolving basis in order to stay up to date with technology. As brand competition and customer demands increase, we are sure to see more exciting, customer-focused innovation in the new year.

Featured image credit: Unsplash.com

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Amelia Vega

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