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
5. Run Conversational Ads on Digital Channels
Just like all other areas of business, advertising is also becoming conversational around WhatsApp Business APIs. Channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Google Ads now enable businesses to run ads that click to WhatsApp.
Using such advertisements with conversational AI automation, businesses will be growing their overall lead volume, lead quality, and conversion ratio.
Prospects are engaged instantly over WhatsApp conversations as they click on an ad
Lead information is assessed and validated by an AI chatbot
Personalized interactions lead to better nurturing and sales
Customers can be re-targeted on the same chat platform
6. Engage Prospects Faster with Instant Lead Alerts Given to Sales Reps
With most customers placing product inquiries online, sales reps feel the burden of huge volumes of first contacts and follow-ups. Not able to gather lead information on time, sales reps struggle to quickly engage with leads for qualification.
To rectify this problem, businesses are looking at instant lead alert technology to assist sales reps in lead generation. All channels get connected to a single AI platform, which sends automated alerts to sales reps via WhatsApp, SMSs, and/or emails.
Sales reps able to engage prospects faster than ever before
On-time reminders of follow-ups for sales reps
Increased numbers of leads and higher conversion rates
Enhanced productivity of sales reps
7. Use AI-Enabled Data to Understand Customer Behavior
Predictive data intelligence is creating a lot of buzz around customer experience. The analysis of customers’ conversational data is gaining importance day by day. Conversations over messaging platforms help to capture deeper data from every customer, which can be analyzed and utilized with AI intelligence.
An AI-enabled platform can gain insights from customers’ service requests, raised questions, product-related inquiries, and other kinds of interactions. Such insights will further improve the quality of experiences organizations provide to their customers.
Analyzing conversational and transactional data of customers
Learning about customer preferences
Defining every customer’s lifetime value
Building marketing campaigns and sales deals around collected insights
Let’s Get You Started for Customer Experience Trends in 2021!
Need to prepare for the future of customer experience? Conversational AI should be the first solid step you start with. Social media and messaging coupled with Conversational AI will drive massive engagement.
We, at ORAI, can help you deploy your messaging-first strategy with an Omnichannel Conversational AI platform. Now, you can enable conversational customer experience across all digital channels, enable seamless bot-to-human handover, and talk to customers in their preferred language.
Stay in contact with ORAI