Sabio’s Chief Innovation Officer, Stuart Dorman highlights what he sees as the 10 key CX technology trends that will shape successful customer experiences during 2019 and beyond.
Whether it’s the rise of the ethical consumer, an increased focus on trust or a desire for organizations to be more responsive, it’s clear that today’s consumers have more power and influence than ever before.
2019 will see an increased focus on smart technologies such as AI, augmented interactions and Voice of the Customer insights as CX teams work harder to deliver best-in-class customer experiences.
Also expect to see a further merger between digital and customer service teams – particularly as organizations acknowledge that truly joined-up customer journeys now demand seamless and personalised support across all key customer touch points, whether that’s digital, contact center or in physical locations.
10 Key CX Technology Trends for 2019
Every Interaction Starts with AI – For 2019, we’re moving quickly to the stage where every interaction that customers have with an organization will be fronted by some form of AI-enabled conversational interface, helping to establish consumer intent and the reasons for making contact, and coming up with decisions about what to – whether that’s routing the customer through to the contact center or handing off to further self-service channels.
Human Interactions Augmented by Machine Support – with customer contact volumes still increasing, we’ll start to see more agent interactions supported by real-time machine intelligence support. Initially the machines will be educated and trained by coaching and best practice agent examples, before evolving towards a state where active listening, knowledge suggestions and guidance become immediately available should agents need support.
Increased Acceptance of Video and Content Sharing – with most consumers now just seconds away from being able to log on and activate a connected screen, there’s now much more potential for video and content sharing, helping customers to visualise products and service scenarios, resolve their support issues, and also potentially accelerate complex business processes by enabling the signing and approval of documents and contracts.
Merging of Digital and Customer Service – while we’ve seen year-on-year evidence of the gradual break down of the digital, marketing and contact center silos, 2019 will see merging of attitude – particularly as improved data understanding confirms how the best customer experiences require seamless and personalised support across all key customer touch points.
Controlling Demand More Effectively – customer contact teams need to learn from their digital colleagues when it comes to shaping the channels that their customers are using. Far too many contact centers, for example, still actively encourage customers to engage via email when it’s clearly one of the most expensive channels to service. 2019 will see an increased focus on transitioning email traffic to other asynchronous messaging options – particularly as email still represents 20% of overall contact volumes.
The Rise of the Ethical Consumer – A third of UK consumers now say that they actively choose to buy from ‘ethical’ businesses, while 8 out of 10 won’t deal with a brand that they don’t trust. Expect 2019 to see this trend accelerate, particularly as we see the trust agenda escalating in today’s post-GDPR world.
The Death of Facebook Becomes a Possibility – this year’s Cambridge Analytica scandal flagged up the widescale abuse of private social media data and placed real pressure on Facebook to reveal the sheer depth of personal data that it has been capturing from its customers. With a current one billion plus active monthly users, Facebook is clearly still the world’s largest social network, however 2019 will see more and more of its users start to look elsewhere for their social media requirements – particularly as other platforms build out their business messaging capabilities.
Placing Voice of the Customer at the Heart of Experience Design – During 2019 expect to see an increased emphasis on organizations leveraging their Voice of the Customer data to actually shape customer journeys and design experiences rather than just react to issues as they surface. By capturing what customers want to achieve, smart Voice of the Customer initiatives can inform CX re-engineering to address 100% of customer needs, whether they’re engaging digitally or through the contact center.
More Effective Tagging Focuses Attention on Data Quality – If machine learning algorithms are to understand CX requirements better, then it’s critical that source data is categorised and tagged much more effectively. For 2019 organizations will need to focus on the curation of their data, and will also need to clarify where data ownership actually sits within the business if it is to be applied correctly.
Memojis – a First Move Towards Consumer Agency? – Apple’s introduction of customer ‘memojis’ as part of its iPhone X launch, introduced personal avatars for use on messaging channels on a broad scale. Extrapolate forwards into 2019, and this style of consumer representation could quickly evolve to become a personal agent that is usable across a range of social media and customer engagement channels, serving as your own virtual assistant/concierge where needed – whether that’s booking a restaurant or renewing your car insurance. Why do it yourself when your memoji can do it for you?
About the Author
Stuart Dorman is Chief Innovation Officer at Sabio. Stuart’s role is to build upon Sabio’s innovation culture as well as helping clients to think differently about how they engineer their customer experiences by applying technology, innovation and disruptive thinking.