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The pandemic was the moment of the watershed of CX Here are three trends that define this new era

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For many, the first anniversary of a pandemic in the United States is a time to look back on the rapid and significant changes of the last 12 months. The COVID vaccine promises to return to normal to some extent, but it is not possible to return completely to the office as companies move to hybrid or fully remote models or fly without masks. Many of the practices and behaviors obsolete by the pandemic have been permanently lost, but those that fill the gap are now new standards.

Customer service is no exception. With remote agents and limited resources, brands are committed to ensuring business continuity and data security, but customers expect more efficient service across channels. In fact, according to a PwCs 2020 Global Digital IQ survey, 66% of companies say that if they don’t do digital conversion fast enough, revenue growth and profitability will decline. The pandemic introduces a new standard of customer experience for brands that are more urgent than ever.

Change can sometimes be daunting, but it often accelerates innovation in brands, advancing practices that were previously under radar, and unleashing new opportunities for large-scale positive transformation. I think this pandemic created a watershed moment in customer experience (CX) that broke traditional barriers and paved the way for future brand-customer relationships. Looking ahead, here are three uptrends that CX experts need to explain in their strategies:

Technology-enabled agents are here.

Social distance and stay-at-home orders have dramatically accelerated technology adoption across CX. Advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) quickly became essential to manage the large number of CX queries during a pandemic, but agents are one of the most important touchpoints on a CX journey. It continued to be one. In fact, according to a recent Salesforce survey, 79% of agents believe there is a direct link between work and performance, and 77% say their role is more strategic than it was just two years ago. I feel it. Customers are now contacting center agents to manage more complex inquiries, navigate market changes under the new administration, and provide certainty in the new rise in COVID-19 cases. I am seeking.

Enterprises have a unique opportunity to not only automate their day-to-day processes, but more importantly, differentiate themselves with a technology stack that enables agents to upgrade their services. Consider that a customer who calls a bank about credit card fraud is likely to be transferred to a live agent to handle this complex and secure process. Technology has enabled us to provide insights and clues to live agents before the caller is handed over. This allows agents to respond to urgent needs and prepare to expedite the card exchange process.

I think the accelerated adoption of technology in 2020 has actually brought a whole new role to agents. Agents need to strike an ideal balance between agents and technology and provide a level of support that customers don’t even know they need.

Emotion detection is an important competitive differentiator.

Emotion detection is gradually gaining attention with conversational AI as companies try to mimic human conversations to provide more realistic and automated interactions. This technique has been a hot topic in the AI ​​world for quite some time, but it hasn’t come to full realization. I think CX has reached the inflection point. At this inflection point, emotional perception is no longer just an uptrend, but a necessary part of the customer paradigm.

From delays in Wi-Fi while working from home to securing refunds for planned trips to Europe, emotions are rising in the pandemic as customers contact companies about unexpected changes and disruptions in their daily lives. That is a well-known fact. Last year, emotion detection provides insight into brand loyalty and potential by understanding how customers feel when making inquiries, telling agents how to deal with a particular situation. Turned out to be an important asset for. Customers who cancel faster and more efficient services. Going forward, companies will need to prioritize empathic communication in order to maintain a competitive advantage.

Privacy has added speed and convenience as a necessity for CX.

So far, CX’s description has focused primarily on efficiency and convenience. Nearly 80% of American consumers recognize speed, convenience, and knowledgeable help as the most important elements of a positive customer experience. There is no doubt that these factors will continue to be important, but privacy will also be an issue this year.

Privacy concerns have grown over the years, but the pandemic has created a new sense of urgency. Take the insurance industry as an example. The policyholder calls the customer service line to process claims, update policies, create payment plans, and more. Imagine you were able to call an agent and hear their spouse talking in the background while you were sharing your social security number or account information. This experience does not stimulate trust in the company, nor does it make you feel comfortable sharing sensitive information without fear of it being leaked.

While consumers are turning to digital channels to manage more sensitive transactions than ever before, agents are processing personal data from home. Taking steps to securely collect sensitive information, both in the contact center and remotely, is paramount to maintaining customer trust over the next year.

If 2020 is one example, there is no way to predict what is waiting for the customer experience over the next year. But CX experts can stay ahead of the curve by addressing the gaps and practices that surfaced last year and ensuring a more stable future for agents and customers, prioritizing agent buildup, emotion detection, and privacy. I believe.

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