Shubhi Agarwal, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at Locobuzz Solutions, oversees product development and envisioning long-term productivity of incremental changes, upgrades and innovations. In her current role, Shubhi is responsible for creating visibility of the product and curating beneficial associations between businesses and opportunities in Artificial intelligence and digital customer experience. With over 17 years of experience in strategic partner alliances, Shubhi has dedicated her career towards driving business objectives through diverse technological solutions that create immense value for all associations involved.
In the post-pandemic era and a hyper-connected digital world, delivering great customer experience (CX) has become a business imperative. Evolving consumer behaviour indicates that customers are now using a mix of offline and online platforms across multiple touchpoints to meet their needs. Expectations from brands are now more versatile than ever. Unsurprisingly, most modern consumers rate organisations based on their digital-first CX.
The key to a brand’s profitability and success lies in round-the-clock, real-time availability and omnichannel engagement while providing relevant, contextual, and personalised services. For industry-leading organisations, customer experience is now no longer relegated to a single department in the organisation. It is a joint priority for all departments to ensure customer satisfaction, customer retention and brand loyalty.
Digital transformation is the glue that binds a brand’s offerings to customer requirements.
Rapidly evolving customer demands and changing market conditions are forcing brands to adopt business models that place digital technology at their core. Technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and Big Data analytics are already proving to be lifesaving CX tools for businesses today. They are deployed in a vast range of tasks. From processing large volumes of data from digital platforms, to using analytics to derive actionable customer insights.
IDC research suggests that in 2018, net global spending on digital CX transformation was approximately $1 trillion and is expected to cross $2 trillion by 2022. Moreover, spending on CX technologies is expected to touch $641 billion in 2022; $130 billion more than in 2019. This speaks volumes of the growing importance of digital technologies in helping brands to understand and meet changing customer requirements, while increasing customer lifetime value in a digital-first world.
Using a combination of AI, ML, analytics, automation and Big Data, brands can successfully deliver targeted, precise, hyper-personalised customer offerings. Using deep tech tools, brands can garner rich insights that help offer relevant, contextual and customised customer experience, which will enhance brand loyalty scores, ensure a longer customer lifecycle and better RoI for the brand.
The building blocks to great CX
In the face of overused digital marketing techniques and an ever-competitive landscape, there are strategies that can help a brand stand out.
Resorting to micro-segmentation and hyper-personalisation can provide brands with useful customer insights to create targeted messages and customised recommendations. By using bits of information consumers send out in a digital space and harnessing the power of deep tech, CX tools can build user profiles for effective personalization. These AI-powered insights help marketers ascertain the right time and channels to reach out to customers.
Hyper-personalisation also helps brands attract and retain customers through meaningful engagement. Satisfied customers are willing to spend more once brand trust is established. Thus, hyper-personalisation can be applied throughout the customer journey lifecycle: whether it is marketing or product customisation or post-purchase personalised CX.
According to Accenture’s research, 75% of customers admit that they’re more likely to buy from a company that recognizes them by their name, knows their purchase history, and recommends products based on their past purchases.
There are key parameters for brands to offer customers such personalised experiences. To meet these parameters, AI, ML, Big Data analytics, automation, chatbots and social listening tools are crucial to a digital-first business strategy. Using ML-based applications such as social media mining, sentiment analysis and customer churn prevention, brands can access individual customer profiles which in turn help in tracking customer interactions, preferences, and buying patterns. This data also helps in instantaneous customer query and complaint resolution in real time, round the clock.
A unified, omnichannel platform that allows cross-channel and cross-departmental collaboration is also critical. The right technologies enable brands to unify customer support/brand teams and align end-to-end service approaches across multiple touchpoints. This is possible through real-time access to customer data records, offline and online.
Deep tech and Big Data analytics are ways for brands to grasp the customer’s needs and generate actionable insights; aiding a remarkable transformation in the way brands conduct their online engagement. Every data point helps us understand market trends and shifts. These data points can then be processed and segmented into insights that help a brand attune itself to its customers prioritize its resource management. These solutions can even facilitate cross-selling, up-selling and targeted advertising.
That’s not all. Having a connected CRM platform is another added advantage for businesses. With social CRM, it is possible to leverage organised and deeper customer insights based on interactions that help brands provide contextual, relevant, and personalised CX. By relying on social listening tools, firms can understand how customers (existing and potential) feel about brand. Brand relevance, measurement, tracking customer journeys and competition benchmarking are also possible through social listening.
The future of CX
The combination of machine and human collaboration—or rather digital and human interaction—is what will define CX going forward.
The possibilities appear limitless. AI-enabled bots are already handling customer queries. Using a hyper-personalised marketing strategy powered by AI, analytics and automation, brands will continue to create super personalised targeted marketing campaigns based on current data-derived trends. This can then be replicated easily across multiple channels. With AI-powered ‘actionable’ insights, firms can make better decisions towards the right investments, thereby saving costs, while winning and retaining customers.
Good CX strategies that use digital technologies can also ensure lasting brand preference, increase competitive advantages, and increase efficiency while improving RoI.
A study by Gartner suggests that 70% of customer interactions will involve emerging technologies by 2022. The future of great CX involves even better use of innovative technologies. It will remain a major factor in creating customer-centric business models and building brand relevance that helps businesses succeed in the post-pandemic era and beyond.