The race is on to find new and exciting ways to attract and retain customers. More access to products and services and more demanding expectations from consumers are creating a fast-paced and innovative environment for developing the customer experience. Technological changes are one of the primary drivers of this innovation. As these technologies make the buying experience faster and more efficient, customers are placing greater demands on companies to meet and exceed their expectations. From speed of service to ease of use, customers are expecting greater convenience and reliability at every turn. Here are 5 technologies that are influencing the customer journey.
Internet of Things Boosts Customer Experience—The Internet of Things, the world where billions of interconnected devices create a unique network, is already heavily influencing the customer experience. Phones, PCs, and even cars linked to the IoT give marketers more opportunities to advertise products to customers in real time. Advances in compartmentalization and security are increasing the rates of connectivity. By 2020, more marketers will gather information from big data to determine how those connected devices can be further attractive to customers and to find ways to tie in appropriate marketing through those products.
Chatbots and Virtual Assistants Supplement the Customer Experience—By 2020, most customer interaction will be with non-human devices. However, that doesn’t mean that these interactions will eliminate a human touch. Artificial Intelligence powers virtual assistants so that the customer experience will be personal and full of engagement. Starbucks and Lyft are two companies making full use of this technology. With voice commands and text messaging Starbucks makes it very easier than ever to place an order. The chatbot will let you know when your order is ready and how much it costs. Lyft is linking their service to Facebook Messenger, Slack, and Amazon Echo so that you can easily request a ride from multiple platforms. The chat bot will let you know the location of your driver and share license plate and car make details. These convenience features are helping customers stay connected with these companies.
Emotional (Emo) Bots Connect with The Customer— The name says it all. Emo Bots aren’t like Artificial Intelligence assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa, which focus on the words conveyed to the user. Emotional chatbots add depth and meaning to the conversation because they have an Emotional AI built in. Say you’re booking concert tickets online and there’s a mix up with the price. You’re likely to become frustrated with the experience. An EmoBot can read your emotions by viewing your facial expressions via your web cam or by gauging the tone of your voice through a microphone. The bot will prioritize your concerns and get you the help you need quickly.
Immersive Technologies Drive Engagement—Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are some of the cutting-edge technologies pushing the customer experience to be more immersive. By creating a world where customers can use all their senses to explore products, companies are heightening the emotional attachments consumers have with the brand. When IoT, 3-D visuals, M2M, sensors, and VR/AR headsets are used in combination with graphics, video, and sound, brands can create a virtual environment where customers visualize themselves and the product in another reality.
Emerging Technologies Expedite Delivery and Increase Speed of Service—Customers have high expectations for quality and speed in their experience as a consumer. Fast-paced apps and communication tools condition customers to expect instant gratification at every stage of their consumer journey. Disruptive technologies are making this possible with same-day delivery tools, expedited shipping, self-service systems, and drones. These technologies save customers time and money. The better the technologies become, the more demands the customers will place on the brand for speed and efficiency.
Whether it’s bots that can “relate” to your emotions or having your devices connected to the IoT, technology is rapidly integrating with the buying experience and changing the landscape for consumers and companies alike. Innovative companies are utilizing these technologies to create a dynamic and satisfying customer journey. While speed and efficiency are central aspects of a quality customer experience, it’s also about connecting with the consumer and giving them a memorable experience and an emotional tie to your brand.
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