Over the last decade, Customer Experience has expanded from tactical initiative to strategic business function. Now, more than ever, customer behaviours are largely shaped by the quality of experience that a brand provides. Customer Experience is transforming at an accelerated pace, so in the coming years businesses must remain agile and adaptive in order to deliver exceptional Customer Experience.
This year, we engaged in conversations with many CX and Customer Support leaders from prominent brands across various industries, as well as conducting a survey involving 200 customer support leaders. Seven prominent themes emerged from this year-long research study on the state of customer support, providing valuable insights into the current and emerging trends. Here is what we discovered.
1.Changing Consumer Expectations
According to an American Customer Satisfaction Index survey of over 96,000 U.S. consumers, overall customer satisfaction has dropped to its lowest level in 17 years. This dissatisfaction is being driven by a culture of elevated customer expectations, and their increasing sense of neglect as brands struggle to keep up with these expectations. According to our own study, 71% of CX leaders agree that customers now expect seamless, personalized experiences and quicker issue resolution across all available touchpoints; nearly 20% of consumers expect an immediate response from companies on social media. These social platforms have given customers a powerful voice and amplified brands’ outreach, making public feedback and reviews essential drivers of brand perception.
2. Self-Help Options in Customer Service
While the growing demand for instant resolution is somewhat unrealistic, brands tend to struggle with customer service demands because of limitations in their customer support infrastructure, paired with a lack of commitment (or awareness) to implementing advanced technologies, including generative-AI.
There has been a significant increase in available self-help digital options to alleviate the pressure on contact centers and deflect cases to digital and IVR-based self-serve technologies, but these options have chiefly enabled brands to automate repetitive issues, support requests and cases.
3. Growing Interest in AI solutions for CX
While 95% of CX leaders strongly believe that Generative AI has the power to revolutionize customer support and transform digital ecosystems, there is some hesitancy regarding its reliability and sensitivity in customer-facing environments.
Our research audience expressed a range of opinions about the potential of generative AI.
The majority of CX leaders believe that AI will help support current customer support agents with basic rule-based automation and enhanced efficiency in addressing FAQs and common customer queries, leaving agents to handle more complex cases with their experience and empathy.
A smaller section of the audience champions the transformative potential of Generative AI to elevate digital self-help and chatbots into more robust, intent-based solutions that understand inherent customer issues and promptly resolve them in real-time.
4. AI & LLM is paving way to Conversational User Interfaces (CUIs):
Voice and conversational interfaces are gaining traction as a result of advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and speech recognition technologies. With the widespread adoption of products like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google Assistant, conversational interfaces will soon integrate with chatbots, virtual assistants, and customer support systems to provide users with efficient and personalized assistance.
5. The Rise of Proactive Support
As customer expectations rise, brands are being pushed to adopt a proactive approach to customer support. According to a study by Accenture, 73% of customers prefer companies that use data to personalize their experiences, anticipate their needs, and resolve their issues before they become problems.
6. The biggest hurdle in adoption of new-age technologies like proactive support, AI and Conversational User Interface is the lack of data strategy and structured data
Two thirds of CX leaders agree that their current data silos limit how their organization is able to respond to rising customer expectations.
While all the CX leaders who participated in our study confirmed that they collect customer data, almost a third reported that they heavily relied on customer behavior data and fell short when it came to collecting customer feedback. Customer feedback is not only critical for improving customer service, it gives brands holistic insight into the ‘why’ behind behaviors like channel jumping, broken journeys, etc.
Companies need to actively solicit feedback from customers through surveys, feedback forms, and social media. Collecting and integrating this feedback within and across various channels and interactions during customer journeys helps brands:
answer critical questions that can help provide more context and deeper knowledge of various customer segments,
build models to forecast future events: machine learning can create customer segments and predict their future actions, such as purchase intent and preferred products,
use insights to anticipate and provide support by leveraging customer analytics to identify high-value customers and suggest proactive ways to interact with them.
Embracing predictive analytics and proactive support not only enhances your customer service but also fosters long-lasting customer relationships. By staying one step ahead of your customers’ needs, you can create personalized experiences, reduce costs, and improve overall satisfaction.
7. The Future of Customer Service Tech Lies in Orchestrating Seamless Customer Journeys
Customer service and support leaders recognize that the future of CX goes beyond simply adding more channels by delivering a continuous omni-channel experience supported by consistent knowledge content and effortless, nonrepetitive channel transitions.
bespokeCX is designed to facilitate predictive and proactive support by delivering accurate customer information to agents before they connect with them on calls. Agents can see the customer’s entire cross-channel journey as well as any attempts they made before reaching out to the contact center for support, giving them the power to handle calls proactively and efficiently, eliminating repetitive steps that lead to customer frustration.
bespokeCX enables you to get a single-view of your customer by mapping their journey across every interaction (online and offline) and offers strategic recommendations to strengthen your customer experience strategy.
Reach out to discover more about bespokeCX and witness its capabilities in action.