Customer Experience, also known as CX, is the impression a customer has about a business or brand. It encompasses everything the customer feels about your business, from how helpful your staff is on the phone to how easy your website is to use.
A positive customer experience plays a crucial role in your ability to retain your customers and find new ones. What is the preferred mode of service for the vast majority of people? Digital.
Many companies are already using technology to handle customer service efficiently and cost-effectively — even if it’s simply answering customer queries on Facebook.
Let’s have a look at some technologies that can improve your customer’s experience and contribute to your long-term success.
1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
To provide an excellent customer experience, you first need to understand your customer’s specific needs. Market research is one way to get this information, but not the only way. AI can help in tracking customer behaviors such as:
- What customers search for
- What they buy
This data can then be used to make recommendations that the customer is most likely to value.
AI technologies such as machine learning, natural-language understanding, and natural-language processing can also analyze customer sentiment and customer feedback very quickly and at a huge scale.
For example, Shine.com, a job portal in India, uses AI-based algorithms to make the digital experience of finding a job/employee easy and useful for both recruiters and jobseekers. The app matches the right candidate/skillset with the right job profile.
A ‘chatbot’ is a software that communicates with users via a live chat interface, either textual or voice-based.
The chatbots are often available on company websites or on platforms like Skype, Messenger, and WhatsApp. Most bots use AI but some bots can be helpful and functional without AI.
Chatbots save time and provide ease to the customers by answering their queries 24/7.
The live chat feature of chatbots enables you to build personal connections with your customers by providing real-time information. Its natural language processing feature analyses the customer’s question and provides the right response to answer the query. The various conversational personalities of chatbots (for example, technical or friendly) help bring customers back.
Tata Capital, a financial company in India, introduced TIA chatbot in 2019. With the help of TIA, customers are now able to get a loan from Tata Capital in a few minutes.
3. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
AR and VR technologies can win customers by giving them a more personalized digital experience. Your customers will no longer have to guess or internally visualize how a particular product will look on them, as AR or VR technologies can provide them with a fully immersive experience.
For example, Lenskart, a spectacle company in India has a ‘3D Try On’ feature both on their website and app. The feature captures the customer’s face from all angles and provides a real-life experience by showing how the frame might look on them.
AR and VR have a positive impact on the customer experience by allowing them to virtually try on glasses, clothing, wigs and more, giving them a 360-degree view of themselves. As a result, this feature helps people save the time they would have spent returning unsuitable items, and have fun while shopping.
Many companies are already using AR and VR to serve their customers better and create new and exciting ways to engage them. No wonder the India AR and VR market is expected to grow through 2022, driven by a surge in demand from both business and consumer sectors.
4. Internet of Things (IoT)
The next technology that can improve customer experience is IoT. Today, customers are engaging with more connected devices than ever before; IoT is the network of interconnected devices.
Businesses can collect the data coming from these devices to foster deeper relationships with customers and create a positive digital experience.
- Improve the customer experience by easily detecting any fault in operational tasks, and fixing it quickly.
- Monitor the customer’s queries, visits and services used, using that information to improve the products or services.
- Influence customers’ buying and engagement decisions by sending discounts, special event alerts and other reminders and by promoting direct ties between real-world activities and digital experiences.
An example of a company using IoT is Citibank. Their Bluetooth-driven system with IoT beacons allows users to access ATMs 24/7.
5. Location-based services
The location service technology uses a smartphone’s GPS technology to track a person’s location (if the person has opted in to allow it).
Location-based services locate customers and provide suggestions about nearby stores and restaurants.
This technology helps businesses offer a more personalized and convenient customer experience based on where the customer happens to be.
For example, Bose India used location-based advertising to boost awareness of their new product launch in key cities. The campaign focused on people in their target audience who:
- Came within a 500-meter radius of any airport in India
- Visited 5-star hotels in the vicinity of any airport
- Lived in the top 10 percentile of residential areas
All were shown In-app ads with product details that took them to a landing page with the address of the nearest Bose store. During the campaign duration, over 5,000 clicks were delivered per day for Bose India.
This technology thus saves the customers’ shopping time by providing information about the exact location of the brand and its offers. It also helps them to budget their shopping beforehand as the details and prices have been included inside the app itself.
Improve your customer experience
Thus, the above digital technologies help businesses to improve the interactions, communication, connection and collaboration with the customers to enhance the overall customer experience.
If you can only try one of these technologies, take a close look at chatbots. These provide significant value to customers by providing the information they want when they want it.