Customer experience is now widely acknowledged to be the key brand differentiator for businesses.
According to research from PWC, 86% of customers will pay more for a great customer experience. A less frequently quoted figure from the same research is that 32% of customers will walk away from a brand they love after a bad experience.
This event will bring together heads of customer experience to discuss how enterprises can deploy technology to help them walk the right side of that line.
During the pandemic, when most businesses were forced to suspend most of their face-to-face interactions with customers, contact centres were overwhelmed. Retailers whose businesses still depended on bricks and mortar stores had to embrace online shopping and home delivery. Financial services and utility companies, which had spent the past decade propelling customers to self-service websites, saw traffic to contact centres multiply – customers worried about paying their bills wanted to talk to someone, not fill another form or download a statement.
It took a global pandemic to teach the customer experience industry its real purpose.
In April 2020, as many countries were entering lockdown, McKinsey published an advisory on customer experience. It contained four pieces of advice. The first was “focus on care and concern – reach out, but with support, not marketing”.
Businesses that believe that automation will simply reduce the cost and improve the throughput of customer interactions are in for a disappointment. Pop bots that ask visitors on websites how they can help after a few seconds are the online equivalent of waiters who ask how a diner has enjoyed their meal before they’ve had a chance to look at the menu.
Done right, customer experience provides opportunities to reinforce your brand and increase customer satisfaction. And although experts agree that great customer experience is underpinned by great technology, simply throwing technology at the problem will produce the opposite effect.
The panel will consider how to use technology to improve (not replace) human interaction – how for example to automate the unproductive “busy work” contact centre staff spend 70% of their time on – identifying customers, pulling up their history, checking their account status or asking questions about their preferences.
The challenge for CIOs is managing the technical complexity of CX systems while moving technology out of the way