Delivering exceptional customer experiences has become the key differentiator for companies across industries. With technology rapidly evolving, the future of customer experience (CX) holds great promise. Today's consumers demand seamless, personalized and efficient interactions with brands across all touchpoints.
Contact centers have evolved from their origins as call centers, becoming central to driving CX. After the pandemic, customers have become more demanding and more likely to switch providers when service deteriorates—making the role of contact centers more critical.
“Digital transformation is reshaping contact centers into CX centers, revolutionizing how businesses engage with customers, said Pankaj Parikh, Senior Vice President, Digital Process Operations, HCLTech.
The latest whitepaper by HCLTech and Avasant ‘The future of customer experience’ mentions that achieving the vision of the CX center requires the solution to be a combination of technology, domain knowledge and analytics to drive a superior customer experience. This amalgamation will increase revenue, improve customer retention and drive higher first-call resolution.
Commenting on the role of Contact centers, Matthew Barlow, Managing Partner, Avasant said: “Contact centers have emerged as critical touchpoints for providing exceptional customer experiences even as customer expectations rise”.
Intelligent automation: Streamlining customer interactions
Automation has emerged as a game-changer in enhancing customer experiences. With enterprises facing an abandonment rate between 5% to 8%, according to IFC, and callers preferring to use digital self-service instead of waiting for a human agent, intelligent automation enhances CX by improving efficiency, reducing costs and providing personalization.
Intelligent automation in CX centers refer to the adoption of AI, visual interactive voice response (VIVR), chatbots and other modern technologies to automate and improve specific or repetitive CX center processes and activities.
HCLTech’s whitepaper states that intelligent automation goes beyond functional automation by incorporating emerging technologies to automate complex tasks and queries, such as analyzing customer interaction and anticipating their needs to suggest the next best action to agents.
Adopting intelligent automation requires a deliberate and strategic approach to identifying key processes and pain points. CX decision makers can then determine how these can be moved to self-service, based on automated, non-voice models. When fully realized, intelligent automation enables better CX with process optimization, having a positive impact on several key indicators, including average wait time, call abandonment rate, first call resolution (FCR), and more.
The future of automation goes beyond mere efficiency gains. With advancements in Natural Language Processing (NLP) and sentiment analysis, AI-powered systems can now understand customer emotions and intent, enabling them to respond with empathy and emotional intelligence.
Emerging technologies and analytics transforming CX
Several emerging technologies are reshaping the CX landscape. Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR), Internet of Things (IoT) and voice-activated devices are changing the way customers interact with brands.
“Chatbots and virtual customer assistants (VCAs) have evolved over the past decade to become a critical technology component of a service organization’s strategy,” said Uma Challa, Sr Director Analyst in the Gartner Customer Service & Support practice. By 2027, chatbots will become the primary customer service channel for roughly a quarter of organizations, according to Gartner, Inc.
Consequently, data analytics has become an indispensable tool for businesses seeking to understand their customers better. With access to vast amounts of customer data, companies can create personalized experiences, make informed decisions and identify areas for improvement.
The CX centers have plenty of information about the customer, with a large volume of structured and unstructured data generated through multiple interactions, whether through voice or non-voice touchpoints. The ability of advanced analytics to generate insights that can improve operational metrics and enhance business outcomes has become a key differentiator in the world of customer service, according to the HCLTech whitepaper.
According to a Salesforce report, 84% of customers say being treated like a person, not a number, and state that this is essential to winning their business. For instance, e-commerce giants like Amazon and Netflix are pioneers in leveraging customer data to provide personalized recommendations. By analyzing browsing and purchase history, these platforms offer tailored product and content suggestions, ultimately boosting customer satisfaction and retention.
Agent enablement: Empowering the human touch
While technology plays a vital role in CX, the human touch remains invaluable. Agent enablement tools provide customer service representatives with the necessary resources and insights to deliver exceptional experiences. According to a recent survey by the non-profit association Nicsa as of June 2022, over 70% of agents in the investment management industry had an average tenure of one year or less because they do not have access to right tools.
Agents of all skill levels appreciate an environment where they are in control of the conversation. Enabling agents with the right set of tools and technologies will provide not only better CX but also optimized processes, such as reducing caller wait time while agents search for relevant information and faster resolution of customer queries.
This will also enable personalized CX by providing proactive and empathetic interactions using sentiment and predictive analytics to analyze customer interactions. A study by Aberdeen Group indicates that businesses that implement agent enablement tools achieve a 74.3% greater annual increase in customer satisfaction rates.
HCLTech’s CX platform
The future of CX is driven by a convergence of technological advancements, data-driven insights and a commitment to human-centered experiences. By embracing automation, emerging tech, analytics and agent enablement, companies can elevate their CX strategies to new heights.
HCLTech’s CX platform is architected to enable users across their entire lifecycle. Providing the industry's leading system integration, the platform earns the trust of all users be they from IT, the business, employees or the customer base in B2B, B2C and B2E sector.
Customers now expect a personalized, responsive, end-to-end experience across all touchpoints with a business. Delivering this requires a customer-centric strategy supported by a holistic customer experience platform. HCLTech’s SAP CX assessment framework is designed to review business’ existing CX & eCommerce platform and recommend ways to improve the same.
Focusing on the adoption of technology that is open to innovation, and easily upgradable and scalable to accommodate multiple business units, geographies and brands, HCLTech has been helping clients provide a hyper-personalized experience in real-time.