Digital Technology for Enhancing Customer Experience in 2016

Back in the days when marketers had a traditional approach towards customer experience management, the need to make a strong and consistent impact across multiple channels in order to win and retain customers was not as fierce as it is in today’s times of cut throat competition. Fueled by globalization, the rivalry in every industry is primarily between large global enterprises that cater to various local markets across different regions. Furthermore, social media has completely altered the race course; being industry leaders now entails having a strong physical as well as online and mobile presence in addition to offering products and services of superior quality.

Given that 89% of companies intend to compete on the basis of customer experience (source: Gartner Research) in the upcoming year, the challenges of being a competent player in such a landscape are mostly customer-centric and overcoming these challenges requires the use of digital technologies to ensure a seamless and streamlined customer journey.

2016 onwards it is predicted that the physical and digital worlds will merge in stores (Source: Ad Age’s report on the impending reinvention of retail by digital technology) as technologies such as beacon technology and customer relationship management (CRM) software will lead a customer experience transformation.

Beacon Technology holds the most significance for retailers and its application has also been seen in the airline industry, hotel industry, by baseball leagues and in B2B transactions. With reference to the impact of Beacon on retail sales in 2016, BI Intelligence report predicts that $44 billion will be earned as compared to the $4 billion this year.

Gartner predicts that for a number of years to come, CRM will be the core of digital initiatives to enhance customer experience. The impact of CRMs on customer experience will be revved up in 2016 by CRM providers making significant enhancements in the software; new social media features will be added that will suggest new contacts to sales representatives and help them track customer interactions; the CRM mobile app will be enhanced to assist sales reps in staying connected with prospects; CRMs aims to be seamlessly integrated with marketing and sales platforms, allowing sales personnel to manage information without having to download and upload CSVs of data from one system to another; increased verticalization of CRMs will provide companies with a level of expertise that generic CRM solutions do not offer thus helping companies overcome industry-specific challenges; CRMs will be equipped with predictive analytic capabilities.

Organizations can verify the fact that the use of digital technologies results in enhanced customer experience by observing the resultant consistent growth in customer acquisition, a significant decrease in customer acquisition cost as well as decreased customer churn. Naturally, increase in revenues and customer satisfaction are also an outcome. Therefore the way forward is to engage customers through the effective use of technology and reach out to them with a 360 degree approach.