Customer Experience Technology Trends: The CX Tech You’ll Soon be Adding to Your Stack

Customer Experience Technology Trends: The CX Tech You’ll Soon be Adding to Your Stack

CX is the most important concept any business can leverage for competitive advantage.

Time and time again, the studies show that your customers will pay more for a great customer experience, offer you more loyalty, and even drive other customers to your brand. It’s little wonder that by the end of this year (2022) CX technology spending is set to reach a value of $641 billion.

In the last couple of years, the CX environment has changed drastically, driven by marketplace trends, challenges (like the pandemic), and an increasingly discerning audience of consumers. While staying ahead of the latest tech can seem like an expensive and time-consuming endeavour – it’s well worth the effort. After all, 87% of business leaders say CX is their number one growth engine.

The biggest challenge for most business leaders isn’t deciding whether they need to budget for CX innovation but figuring out where their focus should be.

Today, we will be looking at the CX technology trends everyone is talking about right now.

1. Omnichannel and the Rise of Digital Experience

Today’s customers have a multitude of ways to connect with their favourite brands. With many businesses, you can reach out to your service provider over the phone, if you want a traditional approach, send an email, type out a text, or even leverage a video conference.

Increasingly, as the number of brands offering multiple channels for interactions increases, the expectations of your target audience are evolving too. The majority of modern customers expect business leaders to offer a variety of different communication options besides just voice. In fact, according to some studies, calling is your customer’s “last resort”.

The key to taking advantage of the omnichannel ecosystem in today’s CX landscape, is knowing which channels your customers want, and how you can connect them. Insights into your competitors and your own audience should help you to map a customer journey which highlights some of the primary touchpoints of your clients, such as:

  • Video
  • Text
  • Social Media
  • Email
  • Collaboration
  • WhatsApp and Phone Apps

Many CCaaS providers already offer an omnichannel approach to their customers, allowing them to align a number of different communication tools in the same environment. Crucially, you’ll need to make sure each of the channels you offer is properly connected on the backend of your CCaaS system, so you can track context in conversations, and offer a consistent experience.

Customers expect to be able to move between a host of digital and non-digital channels in the contact centre seamlessly, without having to explain themselves to an agent more than once.

2. Deeper, More Intelligent Analytics

Analytics technology has always played an important role in the customer experience landscape. The only way to make sure you’re delivering the kind of meaningful moments your customers are looking for, is to learn as much as you can about those customers.

In the past, collecting and analysing information about your leads was often a time-consuming and complex process, requiring in-depth knowledge from data experts. Now, a host of analytical tools come built-into some of the most effective CX tools, from helpdesks to CRM software and your online contact centre technology.

The use of AI in analytics is particularly compelling, as it allows companies to discover patterns and opportunities in huge streams of data, which the human eye might miss. With the right amount of historical data, you can even train your AI solutions to predict potential outcomes based on what they know about your business.

Predictive analytics technology is set to reach a value of around $35.45 billion by 2027. To upgrade your analytics strategy for the new age of customer experience, start by aligning as much of your data as you can in your current ecosystem. An integrated CCaaS environment with API connections to your CRM and helpdesk tools should help with collecting a more consistent stream of data.

Once you have as much of your information as possible in the same environment, implement AI solutions which can instantly find patterns, forecast trends and behaviors, and generate future insights. You can use these tools to predict everything from important events in your customer’s lifecycle, to determining when you may need to bring extra staff into the workforce to manage peaks in demand.

3. Immersive Technology

Immersive technology is probably one of the most exciting areas in the CX environment today. Promising a new way for companies to interact with and support their customers in a world of digital distribution, immersive solutions connect us to the digital world like never before.

Extended Reality is one of the most significant areas of immersive tech today’s business leaders are beginning to invest in. Already, we’ve seen a vast number of companies spending cash on AR (Augmented Reality) apps and tools to help walk customers through how to use a product or provide them with an opportunity to test an item before they buy it.

Virtual reality solutions can help businesses to deliver more immersive product demonstrations, or guide customers through an onboarding experience in a rich and more memorable way. There’s even the potential for MR (Mixed Reality) technology to introduce a world where holographic representations of agents help you with customer service.

As concepts like the metaverse emerge as a key trend, interest in immersive solutions for customer service are likely to grow. Already, companies like Meta, Microsoft, Nvidia, and many others are exploring the potential of persistent, online environments, where companies can connect with their communities like never before.

While not every company will have the budget or the technical knowledge to dive into immersive ecosystems straight away, there’s a good chance we’ll see some major market leaders jumping into this space.

4. The Internet of Things

The internet of things is a concept that’s been making its way into various parts of the business landscape for some time now. For a while, companies have been looking for ways to bring connected devices into their landscape to create better levels of efficiency.

The devices we carry today are increasingly capable of collecting a huge amount of valuable data, and they’re becoming increasingly more effective at supporting all kinds of remote support. Going forward, the Internet of Things could become a crucial tool in the development of contactless service environments, where agents can make changes to an ecosystem from a distance.

The internet of things will also power a future where we can access a lot more data about the companies and customers we interact with on a regular basis. Access to more connected edge devices will make it easier for companies to collect the information they need to deliver a more proactive level of service to their customers.

Imagine, for instance, an environment where your telecommunications service provider can track when there’s going to be a data outage in a centre before it happens. In this landscape, changes can be made, and failovers implemented to prevent unexpected downtime from happening.

5. Intelligent Automation

Conversations about automation in customer service have been underway for quite some time. Although there have been some concerns that automated systems and RPA might lead to the elimination of human jobs in the contact centre, the reality is these tools can make a significant and positive difference to the efficiency of the workforce.

Automated solutions in the CX environment can come in a range of different designs and flavours, to suit the needs of different companies. For instance, a simple way to bring automation into the customer service environment would be to use an AI-enhanced bot to automatically detect keywords in a customer’s query and use that information to route the client to the correct agent.

With access to National Language Processing and Understanding, we can also take this concept to the next level, creating virtual robotic assistants which can actually understand the spoken words of a customer. These tools, implemented instead of the standard IVR system, can actually help customers to complete tasks like checking the status of an order or updating a subscription.

With most aspects of automation in CX, the focus is likely to be on not simply replacing agents but minimizing the number of repetitive and mundane tasks they’re exposed to on a daily basis. The right automation solutions will make it easier to access information about a customer instantly for a more personalized experience. The same tools will help with filing forms and collecting data to make the business more effective.

6. Visual Tools & Video

It’s no secret that visual communication has significantly increased in the last couple of years. Prompted largely by the shifts which happened during the pandemic, the use of visual tools and video in the customer experience landscape will lead to more immersive and human experiences for customers. According to Forrester Research, visual engagement tools will help to ensure customers and companies can better understand each other.

Video conferencing tools are rapidly making their way into the contact centre and CCaaS landscape, rather than staying firmly in the UCaaS space. At the same time, we’re seeing an increase in the number of additional visual tools companies have access to, like real-time screen sharing through tools like Microsoft Teams and co-browsing.

Visual technology not only helps to engage the customer in a CX experience, but it can also provide more context and information for agents to find solutions to answers at a more rapid pace. We’re also likely to see an increase in the focus on visual technology as things like extended reality become more common, as this ecosystem will rely heavily on visuals too.

7. Flexible Coding and APIs

There will always be a place for experts in the coding landscape, but with skill shortages in the digital landscape continuing to accelerate, there’s a growing demand for solutions which allow anyone to make changes to business technology. In the last couple of years, the number of low-code and no-code solutions being offered by market leaders has increased drastically.

These tools promise business leaders a more effective way to transform their employees into citizen developers, capable of creating their own essential applications in a digital workforce. With low-code and no-code tools, employees can design automations and workflows without having to wait for IT teams to be available.

Outside of the flexible coding environment, we’re also seeing a rise in the number of solutions which make it easier to connect various points of the CX technology stack. Not only are CCaaS companies offering natural integrations with many of the tools companies already rely on like ERP systems and CRM tools, but they’re building open environments where teams can make their own connections too.

APIs, SDKs, and pre-built CPaaS solutions which naturally work alongside the CCaaS environment ensure business leaders can access all the essential integrations they need to keep their teams working within a single pane of glass.

8. Innovations in Data and Privacy

Finally, innovations in data and privacy solutions are generating a lot of attention in recent years, particularly as customers become increasingly concerned about the safety of their data. In the last couple of years attacks on consumer data have increased, particularly around the pandemic. As a result, many governments have begun introducing new regulations and guidelines.

To stay ahead of the curve, companies all around the world will need to make sure they’re taking advantage of the latest technologies for protection and privacy. This will start with accessing AI tools which can manage the storing and control of data. At the same time, biometric tools for identity management, such as voice-printing technology, are growing more popular.

Some companies in the CX landscape are even beginning to look into the concept of blockchain and smart contracts, to prepare for a future metaverse where digital identity is a more significant concern for all kinds of customers. In any environment, companies will need to ensure they’re working with technology providers investing in the latest safety tools.

Embracing the Latest CX technology

As customer experience continues to thrive as the most important consideration for any brand, the tools available to help companies manage and improve CX continue to evolve. Above are just 8 of the most important CX technology trends you may need to be aware of if you’re thinking of upgrading your technology stack this year.

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