Updated: Jul 8
Digital customer experience trends in 2021 are building a new future for the post-COVID era.
Since last year, business leaders have been rapidly re-thinking the way they conduct their businesses, connect with customers and maintain consistent contact. Every organization went through a reappraisal of sales and customer service management due to the pandemic crisis.
The remote and flexible way of working has made technology disruption a necessity in multiple areas where customers are engaged. And these changes are leading to new customer experience trends in 2021, which will drive businesses to a new future.
1. Forget Chatbots and Deploy Conversational AI
You must have heard a lot about chatbots in the past couple of years. But now something better is replacing them- Conversational AI.
In 2021, you will see many businesses replacing their generic chatbots with Conversational AI. As per a Twilio Report, 95% of businesses have decided to increase/maintain their investment in digital customer engagement after COVID-19.
This increasing rate of digitization has made businesses realize that some chatbots are better than others. While before the pandemic, generic chatbots were enough to answer basic questions, they are not working anymore. Digitization of businesses such as healthcare, insurance, and education have complex requirements when it comes to sharing information with customers.
Hence, Conversational AI is taking over the digital engagements of customers with intent-based, flexible communication. By using these new-age AI chatbots, organizations are able to automate 80% of communication efforts.
Natural, humanlike conversations with customers
24*7 availability of an intelligent virtual assistant
Real-time qualification and nurturing of leads
Quick and meaningful response to common and unexpected queries
2. Move from Multi-Channel to Omnichannel Experience
With customer service taking the conversational path, isolated multi-channel interactions have become ineffective.
When customers connect with a business on multiple channels, they don’t want to have separate conversations every time. They expect companies to remember every conversation regardless of channels or platforms. They desire the ability to choose a different platform to connect with your brand without having to repeat the same information over and over again.
This trend for omnichannel experience is now visible in all areas of business such as marketing, sales, and support. Hence, customers are receiving a unified conversation across their entire journey with companies. And, this is being made possible by strong Conversational AI integration with CRM data.
Consistency in customer experience across all digital channels
Customers able to choose their preferred channel of contact
Faster resolution of queries and requests
Higher understanding of customer behavior across multiple platforms
3. Enable Hyper-Personalized Conversations
With most customer conversations happening online, personalization has become important now more than ever. Customers wish to be valued at every stage of their interaction with a business. Hence, in 2021 and beyond, more companies will introduce personalization into their marketing, sales, and support conversations.
The key will be to use an AI chatbot that can understand user intent in real-time and utilize the right set of data to respond accurately. Hyper-personalization means personalization beyond knowing the name and contact information of a customer. An AI bot can use ML/NLP technologies to identify the meaning of unexpected responses and create an individual-specific conversational experience.
Customer-specific responses and product recommendations
Interacting with customers in the language they prefer
Identifying and remembering customer preferences
Using conversational data to personalize marketing, sales, and support
4. Ensure Instant Response in High Volume Messaging
During the harshest phase of the pandemic, more people started inclining towards messaging. In fact, this was the period when WhatsApp crossed the 2 billion mark in its active monthly user volume. Plus, the conversations over WhatsApp messages increased by 40%.
This trend is only growing in 2021 with most customers engaging with businesses through messaging-first conversations. The use of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger has grown. So now, businesses are deploying their AI chatbots on these messaging platforms rather than creating a new application. Adoption and implementation are way easier and customers immediately accept due to platform familiarity.
Businesses able to automate high volumes of messages
Easier AI chatbot deployment across WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and other channels
Customers receiving instant answers to their queries
Increased chances of sales conversions