As the digital landscape continues to evolve, customer experience expectations are also shifting. To help brands and retailers navigate this changing landscape, Verint, the customer engagement company, has released its annual digital customer experience report. The report, based on surveys of over 2,000 U.S. consumers and over 200 executives, highlights the impact of the shift and explores the strategies being implemented enterprise brands.
According to Verint’s research, the customer experience has fundamentally changed, and businesses need a new approach that considers the holistic customer journey. Simply providing additional channels or point solutions is not enough. It is essential to adopt a holistic approach to CX automation.
The report found that while 77% of businesses feel that consumer expectations for effective digital engagement have increased, just over a third of consumers report a preference for using digital channels to contact companies. This likely suggests that customers now expect great digital experiences as standard.
Furthermore, a single poor customer experience can have a significant impact on consumer behavior, with 69% of consumers saying they would stop doing business with a company following a negative interaction. This emphasizes the importance of prompt and effective responses, as customers expect immediate and frictionless engagement on their platform of choice.
Receiving an “exceptional customer experience” via digital channels can turn customers into loyal patrons, with 80% of consumers stating that they are likely to become loyal customers of a company. Prompt company responses and easily accessible service-related information were ranked as top priorities consumers for a positive customer experience.
Verint’s report also highlights the increasing popularity of digital engagement channels, with a 13% increase in consumers reaching out to companies via social media or private messaging channels compared to the previous year. This presents an opportunity for companies to leverage customer data to deliver more tailored and personalized experiences.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a key component of many companies’ customer engagement strategies, with 55% of businesses stating that AI plays a central role in their approach. Sixty-nine percent believe that AI technology will significantly influence their customer experience approach, particularly in the form of virtual assistants for self-service.
However, the adoption of AI comes with its challenges. Verint’s survey revealed that 64% of respondents had a negative experience with chatbots, citing failures to answer questions and misunderstanding of intent as prevalent challenges. Companies are advised to take a smart implementation strategy, including extensive research and development processes, to ensure a seamless customer experience.
Legacy systems are also a major barrier for businesses trying to implement digital-first customer engagement, with 46% of companies reporting this challenge. To meet rising customer expectations, businesses need to adopt advanced technologies such as natural language processing and machine learning, coupled with comprehensive intent understanding libraries.
As companies incorporate AI into their consumer strategies, Verint emphasizes the importance of a seamless experience. Performance and integration are crucial for unlocking the full potential of AI in enhancing customer engagement.
– Verint’s Annual Digital Customer Experience Report