November 26, 2022

Improving the customer experience (CX) is a mission-critical mandate for modern businesses, especially since COVID-19 sparked a huge surge in digital interactions. According to Adobe, 77 percent of businesses in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region have seen a surge in new customers through digital channels in the last 18 months.

This demand for digital interactions continues to grow across the region. However, less than one in five consumers experiences a CX that exceeds expectations. In fact, 71 percent would switch to a competitor after just one bad customer service experience. CX has clearly become the key to business competitiveness and will soon overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.

Fortunately, APAC companies recognize the urgency to drive their CX forward and will outperform other global regions in CX investments this year.

Here are the top digital trends companies should consider this year as they increase their CX focus:

Trend one: AI-enabled contact centers

In 2022, more businesses will embrace communications technologies enhanced by artificial intelligence (AI) that help customer support teams do more with less.

According to Frost & Sullivan, the APAC contact center applications market will reach $966 million by 2026 and will be driven by an increased migration from on-premises solutions to cloud-based services to provide superior CX.

Contact centers with advanced AI capabilities will include voice assistants and chatbots with natural language processing capabilities that will improve over time.

Also Read: How to Reduce Churn: 5 Essential Customer Retention Strategies

These automated functions will be able to provide customers with the information they need, or forward it to human agents when needed. Sophisticated AI also helps detect frustration by analyzing customer behavior and routing unhappy customers to human agents before the CX suffers.

Trend two: human-first digital CX

As organizations accelerate digital transformation, they should consider where and how they can use technology to automate communications. Businesses should implement AI to complement, not replace, human interaction. Voice assistants and chatbots can improve CX, but human agents are still needed to keep a personal touch.

Conversational commerce, a convergence of shopping and conversation that uses messaging tools within chat to create a seamless shopping and customer service experience, is becoming an increasingly popular channel for personalized customer communication.

Retailers can use 24/7 AI-powered chatbots and voice assistants to respond to routine customer inquiries, make personalized recommendations, and even place product orders instantly. Complex requests are escalated to a live account manager to provide a fast, personalized resolution.

Technology is now essential to enable scalable and cost-effective customer communication. Even so, companies need to invest in human resources to work alongside technology to deliver exceptional CX.

Trend three: Channel integration for more seamless omnichannel experiences

According to Vonage, APAC consumers have significantly increased their use of digital channels to contact businesses and service providers since the pandemic, 52 percent (retail and e-commerce), 51 percent (education), 49 percent (banking and finance). and 46 percent (health services).

Although COVID-19 has accelerated the digitization of customer communication, many companies fail to provide seamless CX. Globally, top consumer frustration repeated among different individuals and calls went unanswered, with Asia accounting for the most frustrated consumers (37 percent). About 30 percent of consumers also said they felt frustrated when they couldn’t switch between different communication channels when communicating with a company.

In 2022, companies will focus on addressing customer pain points and meeting expectations by delivering a consistent CX across channels that allows customers to move seamlessly from one channel to another.

Forward-thinking technology leaders will invest in cloud-based unified communications solutions that integrate all their communication channels on one platform and make better use of customer data.

Trend four: Using predictive analytics to deliver personalized, proactive support

In 2022, companies that are proactive instead of reacting to their customers’ needs and expectations will win customer loyalty. To achieve this, companies need more insight into customer journeys. You need customer data and insights to get a complete picture of each customer’s buying journey, along with the ability to better anticipate and meet their needs.

Also Read: Customer Service Representatives Are Feeling Burned Out, How Can We Help Them?

By integrating predictive analytics solutions into their communication channels, businesses gain contextual insights that they can use to offer more personalized and proactive customer support.

Trend five: Greater focus on employee experience

In 2022, to improve CX, companies must also improve the employee experience. Qualified and knowledgeable account managers are essential for a great customer experience.

Businesses need to offer more flexibility and enable hybrid working models without sacrificing service quality in order to retain their account managers. That means customer support teams need technology that supports working from anywhere and offers the same secure functionality regardless of location.

Keep it up for 2022 and beyond

As digitization continues to accelerate post-COVID-19, businesses should prioritize three key elements to deliver a seamless omnichannel experience:

Invest in contact center solutions that integrate with customer relationship management (CRM) and key business systems. Leveraging AI and human connections to build trust while improving efficiency. Empowering hybrid workforces with cloud-based unified communications

Service providers need to re-evaluate the current customer experiences they offer and ensure they have solutions and strategies in place to future-proof the business.

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