We’ve all been there. February 15th rolls around on the calendar and all of those great intentions for the new year begin to slowly fade into memories. This year will be different. This year has to be different, especially if you’re one of the many business leaders who are determined to create a better experience for your customers in 2019.
Now, we’re not saying you should ignore those aspirations to organize your closets, meditate every day, or strive for more balance. Those things are really important too, but if you have plans to create a better customer experience (CX) in 2019, there is no better time to become laser-focused on this goal.
There is one sure-fire way to improve the customer experience that is actually fairly painless. Add the ability for your customers to have conversations with you via messaging – text messaging, rich messaging, and live chat. We are here to tell you that this is the latest holy grail in customer experience – save money by shifting phone calls to messaging, increase your customer satisfaction scores with the loved messaging channel, and close more business faster.
In this post, we’ve pulled together the most popular resources and advice to transform the way your customers can engage with your company.
Messaging conversations have grown over 450%
Over the past few years, we have been working really hard here at Quiq to make interactions between customers and companies just plain easier. We’ve seen first-hand, with clients like Brinks Home Security, Overstock, and Pier 1, the amazing impact of adopting technology that allows customers to have a more convenient and effortless experience with a brand.
Although we beat the effortless customer experience drum all year long, we’re putting a little extra weight on it in 2019. Why?
- Because customers are demanding it. Did you know that top brands who added messaging channels to their business have seen customers naturally adopt and clamor to the channel? In our client base alone, the number of conversations our clients have had with their customers grew over 450% over 2017.
- Not only are customers expecting the ability to message brands, but the introduction of Apple Business Chat and Google Rich Business Messaging has also put the biggest names behind the growth in the messaging channel.
- There is no doubt that mobile usage and the desire to communicate with companies over mobile devices continues to increase.
Messaging is quickly becoming the standard method to communicate with companies and the companies who don’t adopt this channel will simply lose customers.
But, you don’t have to take our word for it. We’ve gathered advice from some authorities in the customer experience space to save you the time of hunting and gathering the information yourself. Let’s start with the general outlook for customer experience and then look at what the industry experts have to say about improving customer experience in 2019.
There’s going to be a dust-up over customer experience
According to Forrester, 2019 is a pivotal time for customer experience. Less than impressive gains in CX quality, coupled with rising customer expectations, will drive some significant watershed events this year.
- Stagnant CX quality levels will cause short, destructive price wars as some companies decide not to differentiate on CX and start a “race to the bottom” fueled by slashed prices.
- The need to present more sophisticated business plans to leadership will be critical for CX pros who want to maintain support for their CX transformations.
- Hot job markets may see more movement for CX pros who look for firms willing to invest in CX.
In order for companies to improve CX quality, Customer Experience leaders will have to put themselves in their customer’s shoes and understand them on a deeper level. According to Shep Hyken, customer service/CX expert, keynote speaker, and NYT bestselling author, one of the ways to do this is by making it easier to do business with your company. Providing customers with ways that are convenient for them to contact you such as webchat, social channels like Facebook and SMS/text messaging.
“A large portion of your customers want – and expect – a quick answer or resolution to a question or problem, and unlike an older generation (as in Baby Boomers), they don’t want to make a phone call to get it.”
In Shep’s recent Forbes article, “Ten Customer Service/Customer Experience Predictions for 2019”, he predicts customers will continue to get smarter and compare companies against their competitors, as well as the best service they’ve ever received. He encourages customer experience leaders to identify who they personally enjoy doing business with and use that as a benchmark to bring their own organization to the same level.
What about Bots?
There were a few recurring themes that popped up while researching this article. One of the biggest themes woven into all of the trends and predictions for 2019 is the increased use of technology. With so many companies focused on creating a more customer-centric organization, it makes sense that leadership will look for ways to provide speed and efficiency with uncompromising attention to delivering a great customer’s experience.
Adopting technology, such as Quiq Messaging and our bot approach, enables companies to do just that. According to customer experience speaker, futurist, and author Blake Morgan, the increased use of Robotic Process Automation or RPA (think chatbots) will allow humans more time to dedicate themselves to tasks such as innovation, problem-solving and giving customers the human interaction they crave.
“Most of those changes are driven by consumer demand. Customers crave personalized, frictionless experiences, and companies are sprinting to deliver them.”
International market intelligence company, Aberdeen Group, recently surveyed top CX leaders to understand what technology they plan to adopt in 2019. The top 10 technologies include a few classic tools that have been utilized by customer service and experienced leaders for a long time such as live chat, knowledge management, and customer self-service tools. Although these tools have been around for some time, more than a quarter of the respondents stated that they plan to employ them in 2019.
Other tools such as artificial intelligence, real-time decision assist and guidance, and workflow automation come to the forefront. At Quiq, we’ve seen how the automation trend has developed over the years and created our platform to provide many of these features and providing tools to increase productivity.
Take the Quiq Bot API, for example, which allows clients to create their own custom bot to help augment interactions with human agents. Bots can be used to collect information to help inform the agent/customer interaction, determine the nature of the customer’s inquiry and route to the appropriate department or agent. Depending on the nature of the customer inquiry a bot can even handle a customer conversation from beginning to end.
We’ve also included workflow automation features, such as the ability to route conversations based on pre-set rules and our Adaptive Response Timer, which automatically prioritizes conversations based on how quick or slow customer’s responds to agents. These features greatly improve the overall customer experience by increasing the speed companies can respond to customer needs.
A look ahead at 2019
Synthesizing all of the information above, we can see there are three really strong forces that are acting on the customer experience in 2019:
- The market demands more convenient, frictionless interactions that rival the best customer experiences they’ve received.
- Companies are searching for ways to deliver those experiences as a way to differentiate themselves in hyper-competitive markets.
- Technology, such as Quiq Messaging, provide the tools that increase productivity, improve customer satisfaction and reduce service costs. These outcomes add up to a very compelling business case that can immediately impact a company’s bottom line.
We predict that more companies will join the likes of Brinks Home Security, Pier 1, Tailored Brands, Overstock.com, and Tile to provide their customers with the convenience of the messaging channel. If you’re ready to join other high-performing CX brands, request a demo.
Marciela is the Sr. Content Marketing Manager at Quiq where she gets to use her love of writing to share how messaging is changing the face of customer service. When she’s not writing, Marciela spends time with family, crafting and looking at dog photos on Pinterest.