Every organization is familiar with the challenge of keeping up with customer expectations as well as the latest technology trends. Yet, according to NTT’s 2023 Global Customer Experience Report, only 44% of organizations say their business units are working together to define and design the best possible customer experience (CX).
Additionally, 83% of organizations agree that CX is a weak link that hurts their business. However, 92% of CEOs believe that improving their CX will directly affect their net profit.
The report sheds light on key trends that are shaping the future of CX, such as AI, employee experience (EX), cloud migration and cybersecurity.
AI is transforming CX
AI is changing CX and will continue to do so. The report shows that 77% of top-performing organizations believe that AI can deliver CX results that meet or exceed expectations.
Already, AI is being used to improve efficiency, enhance productivity and provide a highly personalized experience to customers.
Another exciting use case is hyperpersonalization. By analyzing real-time behavioral data, organizations can better understand the needs of their customers. This leads to a more customized and personal user experience that goes beyond traditional customer segmentation models.
The report also finds that 97% of top-performing organizations are integrating customer touchpoints that combine real-time data with AI and analytics to meet the demand for personalized CX.
Cloud migration: the key to flexibility and innovation
Cloud-based CX solutions are powerful tools that can revolutionize CX and help organizations succeed. In fact, 94% of organizations recognize the vital role these solutions play in achieving CX and EX outcomes.
Organizations also gain a competitive edge by using cloud-based solutions. They can test new ideas and functionality without needing IT support, and create new customer experiences faster. They can easily scale their operations up or down, depending on their needs, and save money in the process.
Cloud-based solutions integrate seamlessly with other business applications such as customer relationship management (CRM) tools or project management systems, which boosts productivity and efficiency. And, they’re future-proof: it’s easy to update systems to keep up with the latest trends and technologies, making costly upgrades a thing of the past.
An omnichannel approach to improving CX delivery
Providing excellent CX is a fiercely competitive aspect of doing business. Organizations must pay attention to every aspect of the customer journey. To achieve this, many adopt an omnichannel approach, seamlessly integrating customer contacts across voice and digital channels.
By tracking the customer journey across the entire digital landscape, organizations gain valuable insights into customer (dis)satisfaction drivers in real time. They can then make instant improvements to their products, services and processes, ensuring they always deliver CX that exceeds expectations.
Moreover, by using AI-powered tools to collate these themes, they can achieve a deeper level of customer understanding that encourages innovation and drives continuous improvement. With this approach, they can stay one step ahead of the competition and establish themselves as a leader in CX.
EX: focusing on the human factor
The COVID-19 pandemic brought significant changes to the way we work. As a result, EX has become a crucial aspect of CX. EX goals now go beyond employee well-being to engaging and enabling all employees with collaboration and mobility tools to optimize productivity and drive CX.
Moreover, human support is still required in more than two-thirds of CX interactions, and 88% of CX managers agree that human-led customer support remains a valuable tool for brand-building.
Automation can complement and enhance human capabilities
AI-powered solutions can improve productivity, enhance collaboration and streamline workflows, giving employees more time to focus on essential tasks.
For example, when an employee finds a task challenging, AI can suggest they contact other staff members who are experts in the field to ask for help or even send an automated query to those staff members. Organizations can also use tools such as virtual learning assistance, interaction advice and knowledge management systems to motivate their employees and drive business success.
Because 57% of customer-facing employees are now working remotely, it is crucial to empower them so they can thrive in this new environment. Whether employees are in the office or working from home, organizations must give them tools and resources to enhance their productivity and, in turn, drive great CX.
Cybersecurity to protect sensitive information
Organizations must have solid and reliable measures in place to safeguard all information – especially any data of a sensitive nature. However, only 46% of organizations believe their current cybersecurity controls provide effective protection and fully enable remote working. This is a serious concern, given the increasing number of cyberthreats and their potential impact on organizations.
On a more positive note, top-performing organizations are much more likely to involve their Chief Information Security Officer or cybersecurity team in decision-making regarding CX and EX technology solutions. This proactive and comprehensive approach to cybersecurity can significantly benefit organizations in the long term. By involving experts, they can identify potential weaknesses and implement effective defenses against cyberattacks.
Outsourcing and UCaaS
The pandemic and other macroeconomic factors have led in-house IT teams to focus on their primary business activities. As a result, complex CX and EX workloads are increasingly being outsourced.
One solution is unified communications as a service (UCaaS). This cloud-based delivery model provides a range of communication and collaboration applications and services to organizations. It helps to streamline operations, increase productivity and efficiency, and enhance overall EX by bringing together communication tools such as voice calling, videoconferencing and instant messaging in a single platform.
However, only slightly more than one in three organizations are outsourcing entire elements of their CX and EX infrastructure, including the contact center. Nearly one in four prefer a combination of third-party and in-house management.
What is clear from our report is that organizations that prioritize CX and EX will succeed. The critical enablers in this regard are AI, a focus on human interaction, adopting cloud technologies and prioritizing cybersecurity. The future of CX is already here, and those who embrace it will thrive.
WHAT TO DO NEXT
Want to learn more? Download the 2023 Global Customer Experience Report and follow Maarten Copini on LinkedIn to discover how these key enablers can change your CX.