Digital Technology Transforms the Customer Experience to a Competitive Advantage
Welcome to the inaugural episode of the Digitally Irresistible podcast. Our featured guest on the first episode is PJ Singh, Chief Digital Officer at iQor. PJ reveals how the customer experience has evolved in recent years from a brand’s expense to an investment in a brand’s competitive advantage and how digital technology has impacted the experience for both end customers and the brands delivering those experiences.
The customer experience has changed dramatically over the last fifteen or twenty years. Moreover, customer demands have changed expecting to be serviced in the channel of their preference, whenever they want, whether at the brand’s storefront or their website or their social media page. The modern customer experience is about being present with answers. It’s about enabling customers to get support on products, services, and solutions. The customer care delivery model has changed significantly as well.
At iQor, we hire contact center agents across the globe and train them to be brand ambassadors for our clients. These agents are skilled at solving customer problems, providing the same experience on any channel whether it’s a website, chat, mobile phone or tablet, SMS, social media, or the traditional phone conversation. When an end-user customer reaches an agent, they want to know that the agent understands their situation and that the brand they represent understands how to help that customer. Brands such as Apple and Starbucks have become the gold standard in delivering a great customer experience. Consequently, consumers expect to have similar experiences with all the brands they engage.
Consumers want answers to questions fast. Digital technology plays a dramatic role in a speedy and effective customer experience. Many consumers use their mobile device to contact a brand. The expectation is that the brand’s CX strategy enables them to recognize the consumer and can provide 24/7 support through robotic processes that understand natural language and understand how to help.
The digitally enabled call center agent has access to tools that make their job easier to answer questions and to deliver an effective customer experience. Digital technologies can determine customer intent and, by deploying speech analytics, can bring solutions to the agent that enable them to solve problems and answer questions quickly. Agents can access a knowledge base for answers to questions that are delivered to the agent.
These agents are passionate about helping solve customer problems. The human/machine orchestration allows agents to deliver customer care solutions quickly and with reasonable effort. They don’t need to spend time pouring through a monolithic library of articles to search for an answer because it can be delivered to the agent through intelligent automation.
Advantage of Digital Technology to the End Customer
The biggest advantage of digital technology in service to the end customer is the convenience factor. How quickly can we answer their questions? Consumers don’t call their bank to get their balance, they look it up on a mobile app. When consumers have a question, they send a message on one of several digital channels and they may even complete it on another platform later in their day at their convenience.
The advantage of digital technologies in customer care delivery to the brand is mostly financial, reducing time to process transactions, simplifying the design of a product, cross-selling or sustaining customer loyalty, all by leveraging agents’ use of omnichannel communication. These processes strengthen brand loyalty and cross-selling success, which can result in that coveted stickiness every brand desires.
This modern customer experience model is no longer viewed as a cost center. In fact, customer experience is considered the number one priority among brands with 45.9% ranking it as their top priority. The service center of today creates brand loyalty, renewals, and cross-selling revenue. Without a great customer experience the consumer won’t come back to the brand. A great customer experience is a competitive differentiator. New and emerging companies with a disruptor business model often lead with customer experience as their differentiator, e.g., Vroom, AirBnB, Ally Bank to name a few. In other words, CX is the new standard.
Game Changer Digital Technology
PJ is very excited about the promise of artificial intelligence. AI is generating a lot of excitement across many use cases in society. In customer experience, AI can help agents make decisions faster. AI can speed up analysis by pouring through large amounts of data and delivering answers to questions to an agent to help them solve a customer’s issue quickly. While AI is still developing in this use case, the promise of harnessing the power of data via AI is very exciting. It has huge potential to continue to change the customer journey landscape.
On each episode, we ask our guest what they do for fun. PJ’s fun activities revolve around his two young children, ages 6 and 5. PJ enjoys sports. He plays tennis and he’s looking to take golf lessons one day. He also likes to take a nap when he can squeeze it in, which he says is not very often.
Learn more about iQor digital customer experience capabilities.