It has been predicted by many CX thought leaders and experts that 2017 is going to be a transformative year in the business-customer relationship. The reason for this expected transformation is evident in that customers now have an abundance of channels available to communicate with businesses. Change in our CX approach makes sense when you put human interaction on one end and AI-driven "bots" on the other; serving one common purpose, improving the customer's experience. In 2017 we will see how customers use tools to do more for themselves while supporting them with human interaction when they need assistance. In a recent article, Shep Hyken highlighted that according to Forrester, 72% of businesses indicated that improving the customer experience is their top priority.
Improvements in language-processing algorithms, machine learning, cloud storage, and search engine technologies are making it possible for bots to successfully replace human interaction in customer service roles in more advanced ways. In many ways, bots will serve as personal assistants that can perform time-consuming and complex tasks via relaxed and conversational commands.
Every so often, a story ripples through the media along the lines of "Scientists say a'smart pill' is just over the horizon to make us immediately more intelligent." While there is no telling when we will actually see such a pill, there's a metaphorical "smart pill" available to marketers now, and it comes in the form of artificial intelligence, or AI. AI is rapidly transforming the enterprise--and that includes the marketing department. According to a recent Gartner survey, 85 percent of customer interactions will be managed without a human by 2020. Essentially, AI leverages machine learning to maximize the effectiveness of marketing efforts by predicting the best next customer interaction based on what it has learned through previous interactions.
Whether customers feel good or bad about their experiences is ultimately underpinned by their emotions. This doesn't matter what context they are in -- every interaction is emotional. As consumers, our shopping experiences mean quite a lot to us. If we stand in ridiculously big queues or receive terrible customer service, we are most likely to stay far away from or never return to that store. On the other hand, however, if we are delighted with the store's customer service, the product range or even the floor layout, we are most likely to continuously purchase and build a relationship with the brand.
Customer expectations are always multiplying. Enterprises struggle to improve customer experience and are making huge investments to meet their expectations. Regardless of the industry, the customers today expect that they will get best-of-breed experience and contextually relevant customer service. The real world is becoming digital and many more people have access to smart devices and objects. There is a need for rapid and relevant customer to company interactions on new networks and platforms.