Embeddable CX for the Smartphone-Era Consumer

As we enter the final month of 2020, I wanted to share with you some 2021 CX predictions. Here’s what to anticipate in the world of CX in 2021.
My predictions are:

Embeddable CX for the Smartphone-Era Consumer

With both employees and consumers remote, mobile device usage and app downloads have soared.

Whether it is through a phone call, text message, or an app, consumers are predominately connecting with brands today through their smartphones. However, they are still met with fragmented, and unintelligent experiences that force consumers into outdated modes of communication.

2021 will see the widespread adoption of embeddable, data-driven, and personalized experiences that blend channels and modes of communication that unify customer journeys – not only across digital and voice channels, but across marketing, sales, and support as well.  We’ll see how things such as multimedia sharing, and sending photos, videos, and screenshots can help streamline experiences and increase resolution times. Smartphone biometrics and user authentication such as Face ID, thumbprint verification, or pattern recognition will become more commonly used ways for consumers to verify their identity, rather than the outdated questions like a mother’s maiden name, the name of your first-grade teacher, and more. These not only deliver a more modern customer experience, but they are also safer. 

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Embracing the Remote Consumer

In 2020, the pandemic forced us all to rethink the way we work and the way we live. Over the last 8-10 months, significant strides have been made to better accommodate the remote worker. From investments in modern cloud technologies to the adoption of collaboration tools and more, businesses have embraced our new normal of remote work.

If 2020 was the year of the remote worker, 2021 will be the year of the remote consumer. We’ll see businesses adapt to and embrace the digital-first, mobile-centric consumer and make significant investments in order to meet them where they are. Whether that is at home, on-the-go, on the web, or in an app, we’ll see an emphasis on delivering experiences that fit into and cater to consumer’s new, digital-focused lifestyles. Organizations in areas such as e-commerce, telehealth, and on-demand delivery have already started down this road and along with other companies, will need to look at ways to even further personalize and modernize the remote consumer experience.

Customer Experience to Drive Digital Maturity

The importance of customer experience has been growing year-over-year for some time now but has taken on new meaning since the pandemic. Customer experience in many cases is viewed just as, if not more important than the product itself, and is being seen as a way to drive substantial competitive advantages. However, organizations have traditionally lacked the digital maturity needed to truly capitalize on delivering a modern, game-changing experience for their customers.

As we move into the new year, we’ll see more businesses begin to put customer experience at the center of their digital transformation journey. This means not only investing in technologies that modernize the experience not just for customers but for employees and users as well. 

Emphasizing customer experience as part of an overall digital transformation strategy will help companies break down silos and unify their experiences and data in order to curate the cutting edge experiences that today’s consumers demand. In 2021 and beyond, the most successful companies will be the ones leveraging customer experience as a way to drive customer satisfaction and retention.

Data Sovereignty in a Remote World

As compliance regulations and data privacy laws become more stringent, companies will need to continue practicing security awareness and data hygiene. While these are not necessarily new areas of focus, data sovereignty and eliminating data silos will take on a whole new meaning in our new remote world. 

The combination of global workforces and remote employees will lead companies to emphasize the importance of creating a single source of truth for their customer data. By eliminating data redundancies, organizations can not only be better equipped to adhere to significant compliance regulations but be positioned better to achieve further certifications that can help them expand and grow their business.

Companies Prioritize Intelligent Automation over Artificial Intelligence

There has been a lot of hype when it comes to AI, and while significant progress has been made, there is still a widespread belief that AI remains in its early stages.

While it is still important for companies to continue exploring and investing in artificial intelligence, businesses that are looking to leverage intelligence as a way to immediately drive performance need to prioritize intelligent automation.

In 2021, we’ll see organizations leveraging intelligent automation pertaining to operational efficiencies, customer experience, and more. This cutting edge technology will help companies to automate tasks, intelligently leverage their data, and automatically surface it in real-time to their appropriate teams. The result, frictionless experiences, and more efficient teams. 

Continued Investments in Cloud and SaaS Technologies

Prior to 2020, we were already seeing a steady increase in capital being invested in cloud and SaaS technologies. The pandemic fast-tracked that trend, as the cloud became an essential component of navigating the pandemic, the digital consumer, and our new normal. 

2021 will be no different as both businesses and investors are seeing the benefits and opportunities that the cloud possesses. Modern, innovative companies are already seeing how cloud and SaaS technologies can provide a more efficient global scale and reliability while also helping to better their security posture.

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