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How to Provide a Personalized Customer Experience in 2021

Personalization works. According to research, personalizing engagement and interactions on digital channels can boost conversions by close to 20%. Although the benefits are vast, many brands struggle to deliver large-scale personalized experiences. Most offer the same message, whether it’s to a prospect, existing customer, employee, or just someone doing research.

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The ultimate customer experience (CX) is precise, targeted, and unique. It’s also one of the driving forces in determining whether you will build a loyal customer base or not. Companies that prioritize this experience are the ones that see increased revenues. So, how can companies ensure their CX is on point?

Ready, steady, go!

To offer a truly personalized CX, start with this checklist:

  • Assess your current state to determine the strengths and weaknesses you can use to build a roadmap to an improved experience.
  • Align KPIs to strategic objectives geared for the ultimate CX. This will help you showcase the impact the organization can understand and get behind.
  • Engage stakeholders (including company executives) to bolster excitement and loyalty to a collaborative effort.
  • Identify and secure resources. It would be best if you had a team that’s passionate about CX.
  • Launch quickly, aim at quick wins, and use these to advocate your business case.
  • Go above and beyond and savor those moments. Use them as benchmarks.

Remember that CX happens in real-time. The more you’re engaged, the more power you have to deliver personalized experiences. Try not to look at personalization as a project; it’s more of a long-term program. 

The future of business is not business as usual

The only way to scale and extend is by locking down your CX effort. One of the biggest trends in machine learning and data. By understanding this, you will be in a better position to connect the dots. Let’s delve deeper into the personalized CX arena, and the role AI plays in it.

CX is more important than ever before, and yet it remains a mystery

Next year, CX will dictate purchasing, so it has to be part of your company’s business strategy today. If you’re not on top of it, you won’t be in tune with your customers’ needs. This is not negotiable.

As CX evolves, the business world must form an understanding of what this truly means. It is becoming more and more of a driving force and a transformative tool in all sectors. Unfortunately, there are still common misconceptions in the business world about CX.

One is that it’s the same as customer service. This leads to other issues, such as a lack of focused CX leadership. Too many executives believe they can train their staff to take care of the customer experience without seeing the bigger picture and clearly distinguishing parameters. To overcome this:

  • Every company should have a dedicated CX team or at least a CX leader.
  • The CX team/leader should have an allocated budget.
  • Companies should educate employees about CX and its implications.

Unfortunately, resources to get this up and running are few and far between. There is a considerable need for translation and education in CX. Customers are becoming increasingly watchful of actions, and it’s essential to do things right.

Augmented CX with AI

“Artificial Intelligence” (AI) is an exciting concept. Anyone with an imagination will conjure up images of a futuristic world taken over by evil robots. But don’t worry; this is not likely to happen. Not yet, anyway. Instead, AI is transforming how companies interact with customers.

Microsoft predicts that 95% of all customer interactions will be done through AI by 2025. CX teams use VoIP services driven by AI to address queries quickly and efficiently, and the financial services sector is leveraging AI to recommend personalized services and products.

AI is quickly taking over in human industries. From finance to transport, AI is growing by the day. This means that businesses need to be ahead of the pack. In a world that never sleeps, connectivity, and communication, along with constant improvement, are vital. Sales and CX teams can use VoIP services equipped with AI to answer customer queries and improve communication lines. 

Financial services leverage AI to help personalize recommendations of services and products for their clients best needs. The transport industry is utilizing the power of automation as the next disruptor in the field. 

AI is recreating CX from start to finish

AI is recreating customer experience at an alarming rate, re-mapping the customer journey from end-to-end, resulting in a customer experience that is fully integrated and personalized every step of the way. 

The use of AI makes brands accessible at every stage of the customer journey they are on in an instant. Through the innovative use of AI, brands, and businesses now have a more in-depth insight and understanding of their customers to deliver better CX with a higher conversion rate. The added benefit of fewer abandoned carts. 

In the age of connectivity, companies face the challenge of increased customer support calls, emails, and inquiries on social media. AI deals with low-level issues in real-time, collecting vital initial information for agents before live teams need to step in. Customers feel heard, and they don’t have to wait for a response. This reduces frustration and increases customer satisfaction. 

AI used by companies to improve customer experience

The digital age means that businesses are made or broken based on their customer service. AI is fast becoming an excellent tool for businesses to ensure customers feel valued, heard, and loyal to a business. Here are examples of how companies use AI to streamline customer experience: 

  • Automated answering service for sorting and routing support
  • Automating manual tasks like tagging
  • Intelligently routing to the most appropriate agent

Chatbots and human customer service agents often work in tandem via augmented messaging. Chatbots are primarily responsible for managing simple queries that do not require advanced knowledge; the human agents step in when more complicated issues arise. 

Call monitoring offers enhanced support with real-time solutions and suggestions for human representatives.

AI trends: What they are and why they’re important

The year 2021 brings two significant trends in AI customer service software that will see exponential growth; chatbots and virtual assistants. Here is a closer look at how both technologies will impact automated business functions and boost the CX.

Chatbots

Various sectors employ chatbots to improve their ability to deliver on customer needs without delay. Chatbots are also assisting businesses to understand their customer base better. 

According to Business Insider, the chatbot market is projected to grow from $2.6 billion in 2019 to $9.4 billion by 2024. Companies will streamline processes and opt to use chatbots to reduce operational costs without hampering customer service. 

Bear in mind that chatbots do not entirely replace the need for humans; however, they can assist with: 

  • 24/7 Customer service, providing answers to simple queries at any time of the day.
  • They are developing greater insight into customer behavior by collecting and analyzing customer data.
  • Removing the burden of simple, low-level support queries on support staff tasked them to manage the more complex support inquiries.
  • They are increasing customer conversion and engagement.

Virtual Assistants

The rise in virtual assistants has seen several users interact with spoken language. Think about Alexa, Siri, and lately, the Hey Google features many of us take for granted. This smart technology relieves support stuff pressure by allowing users to manage their in-app support using virtual assistance. AI assistants have a vital role in the automation of customer service and continuously rise to new challenges. 

Virtual assistants are set to become a lot more personalized, contextual, and conversational in the next few years. With each advancement, we see VA’s become more likable and entertaining. Imagine having a person in your life that can answer all of your questions. Imagine this is available at any time of the day or night. This brings customer service to new frontiers. 

Virtual assistants are not created to replace humans’ needs entirely. Instead, they manage an influx of inquiries and streamline CX. This allows human agents to be available for complicated tasks that AI cannot answer. 

CX strategy: the key to survival for businesses in 2021

Businesses must have a context and a solid CX strategy to build a seamless journey for the customer. Customer experience strategy is the key to providing the necessary context. Without a solid plan, even the world’s most iconic brands and organizations will suffer. We’ve spotted some trends:

  1. Contactless service is here to stay – Convenience is king, which will only increase in the coming years. 
  2. Telehealth is also here to stay – Why not take the convenience of contactless service to other sectors?
  3. Websites are enjoying a renaissance – Websites are fast becoming the greeting card of business in 2021. Sadly, many websites are in dire need of updating. Customers need faith and trust in a brand for them to continue supporting that business.

In 2021, CX is about relationships over transactions

Company culture is becoming crucial to consumers. The consumer in 2021 is carefully observing how businesses treat their customers, their employees, and even the planet. Your company culture is under the microscope; what you are selling is no longer the focus, with consumers taking a more profound interest in how you do business.

Salesforce has released their research findings, 71% of customers believe that loyalty is determined by how much care and empathy a business shows towards employees, especially during globally trying times. With the human scale into the mix, consumers make spot judgments on whether they wish to interact or support your business based on a moral standpoint. 

Determine whether your company culture is stagnant and needs a revamping. You can increase your bottom line when you show a little heart. The return on investment can be a little slow to start, but the rewards are there to behold in the long run.  

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