Customer experience improvements in 2021

The year 2021 is set to close the gap in interaction capability.

How Do You Persuade Executives to support customer experience improvements? Greed is invoked.

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Verint is the source of this information.

What a year we’ve had. When the first cases of Coronavirus began to spread in March of last year, the world collectively realised that a global pandemic was well underway. Our executive team was just days away from relocating our 6,000-strong global workforce, restricting travel, and implementing strategies to assist our customers in adjusting and reacting to the crisis. 2020 will be remembered as the year that put business as usual to the test, prompting a shift in consumer behaviour that will have a long-term effect on the customer journey in every sector.
In my position as Vice President of global customer experience, I saw firsthand how businesses rapidly transitioned to remote operations, pivoted to embrace a new business model, embraced increasing digital interactions and call volumes, and quickly deployed vital self-service tools to help offset the sudden rise in consumer demand. We wanted to pause and consider how these developments impacted business processes and goals, as well as rethink how to engage with consumers in new ways, as the speed of digital transformation accelerated, consumer demands grew, resources dwindled, and these trends became the new standard.
In late 2020, my company collaborated with an independent consulting firm to perform a report to learn how business leaders are dealing with growing consumer demands and a rapidly evolving workforce. What are their difficulties? What are their main worries? Are they ready for the year 2021? We polled tens of thousands of business leaders from around the world and discovered that the difference between what consumers want and what brands can offer is widening. The engagement capacity gapTM is a new development that business leaders and customer service practitioners should be aware of in 2021.

What is the Capacity Gap in Engagement?

The study quantifies and illuminates a widening communication capacity gap caused by new workforce dynamics, ever-expanding customer engagement networks, and increasingly more consumer interactions – all of which must be handled on a budget and with limited resources. This is the ideal storm for CX professionals and contact centre executives, who must now navigate massive digital transformation and rising consumer demands as their companies struggle to keep up with the latest trends.
Organizations announced that they already lacked the resources to keep up with increasing customer demands at the start of 2020. The pandemic added to the pressure: 82 percent of respondents believe the difficulties of managing consumer interaction and experience would become more difficult in 2021 as a result of the pandemic. Due to COVID and related economic conditions, about three-quarters of respondents expected new hires in 2020 but did not follow them. Even a year after the pandemic, half of those polled believe they are unprepared to deal with COVID-related disturbances.
Verint is the source of this information.
According to the report, top issues and market priorities have changed. 94 percent of business leaders are concerned about how to understand and react to rapidly evolving consumer habits, while 88 percent say managing the number of customer interactions is difficult. About three-quarters of respondents are also worried about getting a shared vision of customer experience and breaking down data silos.
These concerns are having an effect on 2021 company goals, pushing customer engagement to the top of the list. Some companies realise that in order to conquer these barriers, they must concentrate on delivering differentiated experiences. According to the report, 51% of respondents plan to develop the expertise and knowledge of customer service staff, while 49% intend to evolve customer experience and customer engagement strategies to overcome new challenges.
With all of these emerging developments, artificial intelligence (AI) continues to remain a top priority, with 78 percent of business leaders showing a moderate-to-high investment in AI. Just 18% claim AI has aided their organisation in coping with changes in channel use and interaction frequency. AI has the ability to improve interaction while lowering costs, enabling businesses to have differentiated experiences and maximise the human touch at scale. For many industry leaders, AI has yet to deliver on its promises.
In 2021, we will be able to close the gap.

I believe that 2021 will be the year in which the interaction capacity gap is closed, with customer engagement being a critical factor in managing this inflection point. So, what can we do to bridge the gap?
customer loyalty, according to business leaders, will be a major competitive differentiator in 2021. They are not mistaken. According to a recent mckinsey study, companies that build a unique customer experience can recover quicker from the pandemic.

Organizations seem to recognise that they must:

Build special, authentic, important, frictionless, and integrated experiences.
Hundreds of journeys, billions of connections, and thousands of networks and touchpoints are all possible.
Maintaining and empowering a new workforce of bots and humans who can work from anywhere is a challenge.
Both of these targets must be accomplished with minimal resources and without going over budget.

These targets are a straightforward road to closing the gap, but they are better said than done. The good news is that, as a result of the research, emerging technology solutions are being introduced and implemented. When asked which customer engagement innovations they thought would be most relevant in 2020, 85 percent said cloudbased solutions helped them handle improvements in channel use and interaction volumes to a moderate or high degree. To close the Engagement Capacity Gap, 88 percent of respondents claim they intend to invest heavily or moderately in cloud-based customer engagement and experience solutions in the future. customer interaction solutions, such as staff management and chatbots or intelligent virtual assistants, and enforcement solutions will be prioritised by executives.
I recently held a webinar with Colin Shaw, a customer service specialist who has some interesting ideas for achieving these new goals. According to Colin, there is a huge opportunity now to enter the modern world and use customer science to create the interactions that consumers want.

He elaborated:

“In the future, AI and machine learning will be critical in enhancing customer experience. consider customer loyalty to be a product of memory. It’s impossible to be faithful to anything you don’t know. You must understand how memories are created in order to build loyal customers. Since the data is already stored in separate silos, organisations are unable to capture it. companies must collect and interpret this information in order to construct a memory map that collects the customer’s memories of experiences. To better understand what motivates consumers, we need to delve into their psychographics using ai and behavioural science. Then we’ll be able to foresee what customers will do next and help satisfy their needs.”
Companies must think of customer experience differently in the future. Today, everyone in the company, not just the customer service and contact centre teams, should be focused on providing excellent experiences. That means breaking down data silos and investing in the right technology to gain a deeper understanding of – and forecasting – consumer needs and behaviours. Working with the right technology provider who can incorporate and manage comprehensive data collection and analysis solutions across the enterprise is important. It also involves equipping workers with the information, technology, and resources they need to provide outstanding service.

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