Who will win in the year 2020? We may tend to think what’s probably going to change in three years. But the reality is three years a long period in this rapidly changing fast-paced business world which is continuously disrupted by technology. Those who will win in 2020 are the ones who begin preparing today. So, what will be the driving premise behind company’s success in 2020?
In a recent Customer 2020 report published by Walker, it has been noted that by the end of this decade, customer experience will emerge as the key brand differentiator overtaking price and product. “Well-informed customers will want to do business with companies that know them and their business intimately …….. Customers will expect a personalized experience.”, the stated the report.
As businesses are rapidly transforming with digitization in the emerging cloud-first-mobile-first world, consistent and intelligent customer experience will become the center point for an organization’s success. Forrester’s research has found that 37% of marketing decision makers said improving customer experience is a critical priority, second only to growing revenue.
If we travel back in time, we could probably remember that the focus for the organizations in the late ‘90s and early 2000 was on channel migration from face-to-face to phone calls or emails; around 2010 the focus shifted to Multichannel support and First Call Resolution (FCR) i.e. resolving issues in-channel at the first interaction. Gartner had predicted in 2016 that multi-channel engagement with customers was the primary challenge for industry leaders. While non-voice channels are continuously pushing ahead, the dominant channel still remained Voice. Dimensions Data’s 2016 Benchmarking Report terms this era as the “Telephone-primed Customer Experience” era.
But since then Customer Experience has taken a swift turn to “Digital-primed CX” with technology enablement and digital analytics. There is an increasing demand for digital self-service from the customers and about 37% global consumers desire self-service as their preferred channel. Interactions over voice are dropping year on year and activities are on the rise through almost all digital channels. Customers are now demanding personalized experience via digital channels 24 x 7. Customers want to report a problem, chat with a service agent (bot), request a quote or schedule a service from a social media or web portal using a mobile platform.
In this rapid transformation of customer experience era, Earning and Retaining Customer Loyalty is prime. “A happy customer might tell a friend, but an unhappy one will tell the world” is an old business saying but still remains relevant. Ensuring a positive perception about a brand among customers is extremely important to promote positive advocacy.
As self-service is on the rise, Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers the customer self-service portal solution built on top of its Customer Service platform. Microsoft Portal solution has built-in features of profile management, support desk, customer forums and it natively offers a Knowledgebase. Chats support through text chat, co-browsing, click-to-call and video assistance are also available via Café X within the portal solution. There is a continuing trend toward electronic contact and soon customer will prefer to interact with a chat bot which can provide personalized service 24×7 over any digital channel. Microsoft Bot Framework can help developing a personalized live assistants to provide improved customer experience anytime anywhere over any device.
“Today the digital interactions account for over 42% of all interactions and are on track to overtake voice”, notes the latest Dimensions Data report on Global Call Centre.
Dynamics 365 Social Engagement offers social sentiment analysis with social data ingested from a range of social platforms and allows organizations to directly engage with their customers on any social platform directly from Dynamics 365.
As customers are getting their general queries “solved” through self-service, the issues which need to be assisted service are increasingly more complex and the challenges for a customer service agent has increased manifold. Empowering the Service Agents is key for improved customer experience. Fortune Magazine has found that 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience.
According to Gartner’s 2017 report, analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) will be the key drivers to deliver better support interactions in the next four years. With analytics and AI, support teams can tailor interactions to a customer’s needs and manage workflow and resource allocation. According to Gartner, “By 2018 50% of agent interactions will be influenced by real-time analytics.” In addition, AI and automation will also disrupt the jobs of over a million customer service agents over the next four years.
Dynamics 365 Unified Service Desk is a tailor-made service agent application to provide omnichannel support from a single interface. Powered by agent scripts, multichannel integration and automated cross-application workflows Unified Service Desk offers ease of use and simplified learning curve to the service agents. Speech recognition technology using Microsoft Cognitive Services integrated into Unified Service Desk can help auditing an entire voice conversation between an agent and a customer automatically. Chat channel though Café X and Social channels through Microsoft Social Engagement are natively integrated within the Unified Service Desk. A customer can begin interaction from a chat channel and can seamlessly get transferred to a voice channel without necessarily switching interfaces. The power of seamless omnichannel support will prove a key differentiator for better customer experience and will improve service agents productivity resulting in higher employee retention.
Dynamics 365 Customer Service module will serve as the center of capturing all interactions and provide the necessary framework through adaptable business process flows. Interactive Service Hub of Dynamics 365 delivers tailored application experience for Tier 1 and Tier 2 agents so that they have relevant information to focus on speedy resolution.
Machine learning embeds predictive insight, proactively advice and actionable next steps. This eliminates guess-work and busy-work from employees. Dynamics 365 brings enhanced intelligence and insights to the next level in analytics-driven intelligence and a native knowledge management system. With Azure Machine Learning, Dynamics 365 can make customer engagement more intelligent, enabling organizations to learn over time from the issues that are facing so patterns can be identified, speeding time to resolution and continuously improving performance.
Another important pillar of customer service is Voice of the Customer or feelings that customers have about a company’s brand, products, and services. Net Promoter Score (NPS) which measures the willingness of customers to recommend company’s products or services to others is a key indicator of customer sentiment. A Harvard Business Review study has found that organizations which are able to manage the entire customer experience in a skillful way realize significant rewards: better customer satisfaction, a reduction in churn, increased revenue, and even increased employee satisfaction.
Dynamics 365’s Voice of the Customer solution offers a platform to define an NPS survey with multiple questions and branches and distribute to its customers and capture their responses. Organizations will have to define a clear customer metric using the voice of the customer (VoC) that would predict future behaviors for all customers. VoC driven customer metric will soon begin playing a significant role in demonstrating the value of customer experience initiatives and ultimately will be viewed at the highest levels as a leading indicator of growth.