In my earlier blog, I outlined a number of trends that will inform the way businesses prioritize customer needs and interests. Brands are looking for answers about HOW they can have more engaging and meaningful conversations with their customers. But nearly halfway through 2021, many are still struggling.
According to new research from Forrester Consulting, 78% of CX professionals want to invest in proactive messaging, but they find it too expensive. Even more interesting? Even though 91% of consumers are loyal to brands that provide personalized experiences across the customer journey, nearly half (48%) of brands report that keeping those experiences consistent and personalized across platforms, channels and devices is a challenge.
Another key stat from Forrester’s data: More than half (52%) of respondents report difficulty keeping up with the constant and rapid change of customer needs, and a staggering 89% said that their organization could be customer-centric if data were consolidated into one centralized view of the customer across the entire customer journey.
The bottom line: customers and the brands they buy from are looking for more conversations, deeper connections and closer engagement, but “the way things have always been” (those organizational and technological silos) are holding them back.
The Benefits of Automating First
Digital customer interactions have increased, so has the cost per human interaction. According to the research, the volume of digital customer interactions increased 40% post-pandemic, which means that consumers are now used to and expect the convenience of digital interactions. What does that mean for brands? Two things:
1. There is a massive opportunity to differentiate your business with proactive, personalized, scalable CX
2. There is a way to provide great experiences that are cost-optimized
Good CX means that customers reach your brand through the channel of their choice and they walk away feeling good and that they were taken care of personally. Proactive CX takes it a step further.
It’s using data to understand where customers are in the buying process, then proactively sending out a message to trigger the start of a personalized conversation. With a digital-first, automation-first approach, you use your humans wisely, leveraging AI to provide insight while saving your people for high-value conversations.
And It Works!
Empathetic connection is key to a great customer experience. More than 90% of Forrester’s respondents report that customers are more loyal to — and will spend more money with — brands that provide good experiences, and 92% of customers want convenient and highly personalized experiences when they interact with brands.
For the brands already using proactive engagement, the trends are positive. More than half (57%) report an improved ability to meet customer expectations after having more conversations with customers, therefore improving retention and increasing sales. Technology investments also reflect the understanding that digital first is the way to go. Nearly every survey respondent (96%) aims to increase the conversations they’re having with customers, and another 49% will increase investment in proactive CX in the coming year.
We’re entering the future of modern CX, and automating personalized, proactive messaging is your next move. We’ve read the reports, seen the stats, and the results are conclusive: customer loyalty relies on brands’ ability to provide exceptional CX across the customer journey. Automating interactions provides the revenue-building insights and opportunities needed to meet the bottom line. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to exceed customer expectations.