How cutting-edge tech is reshaping the customer experience

Customer service demands don’t sit still. A few years ago, no customers expected that their package, ordered online, would be delivered the next day.

Now the likes of Amazon have made this a standard part of their offering. Similarly, in a more competitive business environment than ever, customers have more places than ever they can go, meaning that businesses must offer top-notch support and selections if they want to keep their customer base hanging around. Issues like sustainability and being socially responsible also represent one of myriad ways that customers are changing when it comes to the factors they consider important in their decision-making process.

Fortunately, it’s not just customer demands that are changing; customer service technologies are changing, too – and they provide plenty of new ways that brands can engage with customers in order to offer an optimized service. From the use of software bots for automating tasks to workforce optimization software (WFO), here are four pieces of game-changing tech that are already bolstering the customer experience.

Robotic Process Automation

Often abbreviated to RPA, Robotic Process Automation refers to scripts, a.k.a. “software bots” that can automate many workplace tasks. There are some powerful examples of customer-facing RPA that can help bolster the kind of customer service businesses are able to provide. For instance, RPA chatbots can help answer many routine customer queries, rather than having to wait for a human operator to respond to these messages. In the event that they are unable to answer queries, RPA can ensure that these questions are routed through to the right piece.

RPA can also help process orders, including populating databases with the correct information. In addition, RPA “attended automation” solutions can sit on human employee’s desktops and help provide context-dependent information, enabling them to better address customer queries they may be dealing with. Since RPA systems can work effectively 24/7, with no time off for weekends or vacations, these tools can greatly help speed up the response time to customer interactions, as well as reducing potential errors along the way.

Voice interactions

Do you remember the early days of voice recognition in customer service situations? Even for comparatively basic scenarios like telling a movie theater which movie you were interested in, the results often left a whole lot to be desired. Things have come a long way in the years since. Voice-based chatbots have advanced at a truly impressive rate, being capable of parsing complex sentences at a normal speaking rate.

Meanwhile, there have been significant breakthroughs in emotion-sniffing AI, capable of identifying emotions in spoken language, either based on the tone used or the word choices uttered. This can then be used in various useful manners, such as directing people phoning a call center to the best operative to be able to deal with their personality type or concerns.

The world of augmented reality

There is no shortage of technologists enthused about the prospect of augmented reality (AR), the enhancement of real world scenes through the use of computer-generated information, ranging from visual to auditory, haptic, or even olfactory elements.

AR opens up a plethora of possibilities when it comes to using tech to bolster customer experiences. For instance, with only the tech readily found in most smartphones, it’s now possible to let customers place virtual items of furniture into their homes, explore a 3D model of a car they’re considering purchasing, or bring up frequently asked questions or help information regarding a product they already own.

This impressive use of technology gives businesses the opportunity to create impressive, problem-solving experiences for customers and would-be customers alike. Expect to see a whole lot more from the world of AR in the years to come.

The big data revolution

There is no bigger revolution that’s happened in recent tech than the big data revolution. The ability to collect massive data sets of information, and then use smart algorithms to scour them for insights, has led to no shortage of transformative use-cases. Customer service is no exception.

Analyzing data can help companies predict the behavior of their customers, whether this is using it to gauge possible candidates for churn (meaning those who are likely to stop using a particular service or product) or pinpoint recommendations that can be used to personalize the customer experience.

Companies can utilize this information to their considerable advantage. For example, workforce optimization tools can help forecast customer demand, transforming customer data into actionable insights which can be used by staff. Similarly, by responding to shifts in customer data, organizations can more intelligently deploy their workforce, such as amending schedules and training to better cope with demand.

Of all the big paradigm shifts in tech, the power of data in action represents the most significant. Use it wisely and the results can be profound.