Using Technology to Improve Customer Experience
The modern-day consumer is choice-rich and time-poor. They are mainly interested in businesses whose products and services align with their goal. Most importantly, they are inclined to interact with businesses that offer stellar customer experiences. 86% of buyers are willing to pay more in exchange for a great customer experience. If your business can find a way to target this customer, you can enjoy repeat business and better profit margins.
Vice President of Business and Market Development at Affinity Inc., Joe Loveless, speaks on how businesses can leverage technology to optimize the customer experience. Having a background in IT and testing sales and marketing strategies has made him among the best individuals to speak on this topic. This article is derived from our conversation with him:
Trends in Customer Experience Technology Industry
According to Joe, now more than ever, businesses understand the role that customer experience plays in building customer loyalty. This has led to growth in technological industries geared towards stellar customer experience.
For instance, cybersecurity tools that improve customer relations and experiences have been all the rage. With modern-day consumers being more aware of the threats posed by data breaches, they are conscious about the businesses they trust with their data. Businesses that can prove their strong security posture to customers stand to win loyal customers.
The AI and automation industry has also been widely embraced. While the AI industry on its own is worth $5 billion with a 23% annual growth rate, the automation industry is worth $20 billion with a 13% annual growth rate. Part of the reason behind this embrace is the need to provide automation in areas where human resource capabilities fall short.
Joe was quick to add, “As the human element becomes a little scarcer and less scalable, and as businesses need to serve, support, and scale, technology is an enabler of that… There has been this huge shift towards automation, particularly artificial intelligence to cover these gaps – particularly for mid-sized companies that need to compete without the infinite budgets of some of their larger competitors.”
The Biggest Challenge Businesses Have With Customer Experience Technology
Joe claims that customer experience technology suffers from the ‘shiny trinket syndrome.’ As with any other new technology, companies are quick to jump on new innovations without assessing how effective they are towards improving their bottom line. This often results in wasted resources, frustrated customers, and huge losses.
“What’s probably misunderstood is how these technologies can be harnessed in a practical way to solve business problems – without breaking the bank or requiring a large amount of staff, resources, and expertise. Just the right type of guidance, the right type of engineering, the right type of ongoing counsel, and the ability to attack specific problems with measurable objectives,” said Joe as he offered a solution to this challenge.
Businesses should focus more on solving customer problems and less on chasing new technology. That way, they can nip customer experience issues in the bud.
How COVID Has Affected the Customer Experience World
COVID-19 has substantially changed the relationships businesses have with customers. Businesses are now required to forge a relationship that is friendlier, amiable, and resolution-oriented. Conventional customer service techniques like offering bot-based customer service might no longer suffice.
“We see notable studies out there… Four of five customers will be willing to pay more for an exceptional customer experience. The money is there from the customer side to help fuel these types of experiences. Half of the customers will walk away from a bad customer experience.” Joe noted.
Business leaders are, now more than ever, obligated to put their business processes and operations under a microscope. The goal is to find ways to create a better relationship with the customer and deliver solutions that address their pain points.
Understand Your Customer
The secret to delivering stellar customer service is to start by understanding your customer. Any technology you choose should be geared towards putting a smile on your customer’s face. That’s why Joe’s company, Affinity, has unveiled a services offering dubbed TruResolve. The AI-based service helps businesses pick and monitor the effectiveness of any customer experience technology a business invests in.
View full Interview by David Balzen below: