What Is CX and Why Does It Matter?
- Tech advancement to help in enhancing consumer experience
Consumer Experience (CX) is an attempt to fit all consumer interactions with the business, product, or service under one umbrella. It is used to describe or assess how a consumer felt while interacting with the brand.
A good CX is often seen as a key determinant in consumer retention and brand loyalty. This is because a typical consumer’s decision to purchase will be based on not just the product or service being provided by the brand, but also the experience of making that purchase as well.
Often, after-sales consumer services are key influencers too. According to a study by Deloitte, 60% of consumers felt that the ease of navigating the website to research or buy the product/service influenced their buying decisions. But 56% also claimed their overall enjoyment of purchasing experience was a key determinant.
Here are some of the core prevalent and upcoming technologies to enhance consumer experience and increase customer engagement:
1. Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence is literally defined as human-like intelligence displayed by a machine. Research indicates that, with 33% responders in favour, artificial intelligence and machine learning are likely to be the most dominant influence on businesses in the coming years.
But how is artificial intelligence related to CX? AI-based consumer journey mapping helps programmers, marketers, and consumer experience experts find patterns across inconceivably large sets of data.
AI analyzes consumer engagement and thereby aids a business in understanding their preferences. This greater understanding complements the roll-out of services and products in a better-catered fashion to consumers. Microsoft claims that by 2025, 95% of all consumer interactions will be through channels supported by AI technology.
2. Virtual and Augmented Reality
Virtual reality (VR) refers to a computer simulated artificial environment that is capable of responding to human interaction. While VR places you in an artificial world altogether, augmented reality (AR) brings virtual aspects to the real world. An advanced AR system combines virtual elements with the real world to create a convincing image.
According to the P&S 2018 market research report, the market for Virtual and Augmented Reality is expected to grow to $94.4B by 2023!
The most anticipated use of AR and VR is in the retail sector that hopes to overcome the most notable shortcoming of online buying: Trying before buying.
Big names like Ikea already have dedicated apps that let you place a virtual render of the furniture you plan to buy at your home to get a feel of what it would really look like.
3. Voice Assistants and Chatbots
24/7 availability seems to have become a necessity that isn’t even given its due credit these days. Consumers expect immediate answers, personalized services, and recommendations and access via voice assistants like Siri, Google Assistant, Cortana, and Alexa. Businesses make it possible through intelligent chatbots and voice assistants.
According to a survey, 82% of participants agreed that if they do not introduce intelligent response capabilities to their products or services within the next 5 years, they are likely to end up losing significant market share.
Adopters of this technology reported the following benefits in their response:
- Faster consumer query resolution (51%)
- Improved operational efficiency (50%)
- A differentiated consumer experience (48%)
4. Internet of Things
Internet of Things is the term often used to describe the concept of connecting a group of devices to each other through the internet in a way they transmit information amongst themselves. From our day to day lives, it could be devices like smartphones, wearables, home appliances, and mostly anything else with its own IP address.
How is IoT convenient for CX enhancement? Organizations often use this “ambient intelligence” to enable real-time monitoring and improvement of product performance.
A more relatable example of IoT would be enabling a device to control several other devices, for instance, controlling the lights’ brightness and fridge’s cooling through your mobile phone.
5. Location-Based Computing
The ability or the opportunity to know a consumer’s location via the location-service in their smartphones presents a phenomenal opportunity for businesses to enhance consumer engagement with the brand. This enhancement could be in the form of location-relevant promotions: reaching out to consumers at a specific location with locally relevant offers.
A Final Call
The focus on consumer experience and how a business can use technology to improve its service has been growing steadily. The pandemic, however, catapulted CX as a core business concern to enhance consumer relationships and retention.
Given our increasing reliance on technology and the unlikeliness that anything would be back to “normal” anytime soon, this investment and attention towards CX are poised to grow. Also, given the multitude of creative ways CX is being improved these days, it is inevitable that most businesses will adopt their own technologically-backed techniques.
Therefore, it would be a sound decision to be one of the early adopters of new-age technology practices to enhance consumer satisfaction and gain a competitive advantage over others in the industry.