Three Ways to Future Proof Your Customer Experience
By Jim Sinur
(Aragon Research) – In this competitive digital marketplace, it’s becoming more and more difficult to obtain ‘customers for life.’ In order to maximize the lifetime value of a customer, you have to be proactive to attract repeat business. This means you need to explore the ways to improve your customer experiences – in the short term and the long term. This blog explores three ways you can future proof your customer experiences.
1. Journey Mapping
There is a big disconnect between what customers want and what organizations provide at key touch points in a customer’s journey. Customers want your organization to understand what they want and adjust to their unique needs. Instead, what they often receive is the challenge of navigating organizational silos; dealing with standard, transaction-focused systems; and having to repeat their history to a customer service representative that has no freedom to handle exceptions. Worst of all, customers have to answer rigid surveys that really do not allow for intimate feedback. Journey mapping is a great way to explore alternative approaches that can be implemented in a phased way.
2. Anticipate and Personalize with Analytics
Leveraging analytics that look at past journeys/cases and learn from them is a great first step. However, this is not a predictive approach – it’s reactive. While it is better than doing nothing, steps should be taken to predict what customers will want and how they will behave. Exceptions can also be anticipated, categorized, and predicted in terms of arrival rates and potential responses. Better customer partitioning – combined with predictive analytics – will allow for more precise personalization. Being able to predict and personalize in real time combined with more flexible processes and applications will win customers’ hearts.
3. Leverage New Senses with Artificial Intelligence
Utilizing voice and vision will be key in the coming years. Chatbots are helpful, but intelligent and/or Artificial Intelligence-driven digital assistants that leverage location and smart devices will help customers be more effective in helping themselves. Voice recognition, natural language, and AI will be used powerfully together to improve the lives of customers in the most customer centric organizations. Image recognition, immersive reality, and AI will also be used in proactively minded organizations.
While not all organizations will jump on the most advanced approaches mentioned above, all organizations will have to move from customer service as usual. Sitting still is no longer a viable long term option. A credible mobile presence is table stakes, but to get into the game, customer journey mapping combined with analytics and artificial intelligence will help your organization win the battle for customer loyalty.