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Technology changing dynamics of customer expectations

By: Vishal Agrawal, Managing Director, India and SAARC, Avaya

New technologies and improved user experiences have empowered those outside of the technical industry to access and use technological products and services. Today, consumers have greater access to use technologically sophisticated products, as well as to participate meaningfully in the development of these products. Industry innovation and user demand have been associated with more affordable, user-friendly products. These are the major factors that have resulted in increased adoption of digitization. As per industry reports, 90% of the world’s population above six years of age will own smartphones by the year 2020 and there will be more than 50 billion devices connected globally. The unprecedented access to information and popularity of social media has given greater power to consumers.

Business and technology leaders are trying to seize best opportunities that are being created by the new wave of social, mobile, analytics and cloud technologies. Now, they are looking for delivering personalized experiences to their customers. Customers wants companies to know their requirement and needs before they mention it to them. Personalizing interactions offers an opportunity to build customer’s trust. However, personalized customer service is one of the major way to differentiate your business from competitors.

Customer experience holds the key

The biggest challenge before businesses is how to become a competent player in a customer-centric landscape. Since, customer experience is driving almost every major corporate decision, only technology based on user data can ensure a seamless and streamlined customer journey. They must break silo walls to deliver best customer experience by knowing their requirements while leveraging newer technologies. For instance in contact centers, tools like cloud, virtual offices, chatbots, speech analytics etc. are already transforming the way businesses are done. These are helping companies make decisions based on a deeper understanding of their customers through past trends’ analysis and predictive modelling to take customer engagement to the next level. This is the major reason why companies are using social and digital platforms to empower customers and enhancing their contact centers with new technologies. For instance, Avaya’s open technology enables enterprises to help customers integrate the contact center with their existing customer relationship management (CRM) platform, call recording or Interactive voice response (IVR) systems. At a time when businesses are breaking silos to deliver the ultimate customer experience, this ability to help businesses integrate their systems is crucial.

Delivering Omni-channel and multi-channel customer experiences is nothing but providing the right media at the right time, applying all relevant information and context to deliver a unique, personalized, and enduring experience across the customer’s entire journey. With interactive voice-response systems, agents are now aware of customer requirements, which helps them addressing customer queries effectively. AI-aided speech recognition is the future of customer engagements. For example: use of a word like ‘boss’ will alert a manager to join a call and alleviate any issues with a customer. Industries like retail, ecommerce, and healthcare are already looking at the use of Artificial Intelligence to improve call handler response time through speech analytics. Additionally, customers today look for quick response time and want a 24×7 service availability, hence it is important for businesses to use tools like AI or chatbots to address customer’s queries.

Contact Centers today are not only software driven but increasingly demand-driven. All of this points to a future contact center that must be a lot more integrated to the business, intelligent in anticipating and meeting customer needs and channeling the right customer to the right platform to shorten call queues. Avaya has a full suite of award-winning customer experience solutions that help businesses transform their contact center in the era of digitization. As customer care evolves to new digital channels—like web chat, SMS, social media, and video—there’s a need to offer a seamless experience across these channels.

Businesses need to redefine relationships with customers, for which they need to define a set core principles and develop new communications strategy. To get this in place, they must embrace and absorb the concept of being innovative and adaptable within their organizations. With the consumer being so quick to make use of various channels of information available at hand and demand unforeseen experiences, it is imperative that companies adapt to these needs.

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