Discover the new kids on the block across digital messaging and related technologies.

With such dramatic changes in the customer journey over the last 12 months, we wanted to explore what the customer experience of the future could look like ahead of the New Year.

What does the customer experience look like in 2020?

The customer experience of the future and in particular of the next year is one that continues to put connectivity and the customer at its heart. Consumers are looking for connected experiences that span across all devices and their chosen channels whilst seamlessly incorporating personalisation.

We’ve pulled together some of the key digital trends we think will have an even bigger impact in the next 12 months. These channels and technologies will be instrumental in achieving the type of experience consumers are searching for.

5G:

The capacity for consumer consumption is growing across all industries and 5G delivers on the need for faster results in every aspect of our online interactions. 5G is already live in several cities and areas, with new locations being added- meaning more consumers will be able to benefit from faster speeds and searches.

As the technology is more widely rolled out, the anytime, anywhere access to suppliers and brands will, in turn, create an increased demand for support.

Conversational Artificial Intelligence:

Voice assistants and voice-driven searches are becoming more sophisticated and a much bigger part of consumer journeys. In fact, by 2020 it’s predicted that 50% of all searches will be conducted via voice.

This technology has evolved beyond sharing simple information. Voice searches are now able to help us find the best deal on our insurance or complete online purchases. The applications for conversational AI are incredibly diverse, supporting both businesses and consumers in achieving a more seamless online experience.

Connected devices and experiences:

Our social media accounts, messaging platforms and online profiles are entirely connected regardless of device. With so many gadgets at our disposal consumers expect to be able to switch between each one seamlessly. The same rules apply to the experience a customer receives, there should be little difference across channel or tool.

The connected lifestyle is starting to span across more than just our devices. In fact, voice assistants, wearable fitness trackers and even cars are now utilising IoT technology to help streamline our lives even more.

In just a few months, it’s predicted that an astounding 21 billion devices will be connected to the IoT. This will lead to an even bigger ecosystem that seamlessly supports the everyday activities of modern consumers.

Immersive technology:

AR and VR have been on the radar for quite some time now and their influence is set to keep growing. Using VR, customers can take the guesswork out of shopping or renovations, with headsets enabling buyers to see what their new purchases will look like in their own setting.

The opportunities for upselling as well as removing potential pain points are abundantly clear. As a result, the technology is being more widely adopted into the customer experience across several industries.

RCS:

We can’t talk about the future of the customer experience without exploring RCS. Experience is after all, what the channel centres around. The next generation of native digital messaging offers a fully interactive and inclusive form of communication.

Building on the foundations of security and reliability of SMS, RCS takes text messaging to new heights of engagement with image carousels and in-message actions. RCS also supports seamless purchasing, meaning the channel itself can become a source of revenue.

RCS can deliver an entire customer journey, from initial enquiry through to retention rewards. It is this ability that is behind the early success of the channel.

Automated data analysis:

Effectively understanding the data you have is the basis of building a solid customer experience. In essence, data-driven, highly contextual customer experiences are a non-negotiable aspect of ensuring retention and revenue.

However, the real-time nature of responsible data capture can’t be managed by internal resources alone. Automation of data analysis through a customer data platform (CDP) or similar is becoming more essential for any business.

Using intelligent analytics tools, businesses are able to gather data that helps them understand their customers. Businesses gain an insight into what their customer’s challenges are and how they can offer the right solution, at the right time.

Bot driven interactions:

With the addition of automation, businesses can utilise channels such as webchat and social media messaging to better manage and service their customers. Using automated responses and related bot technology, brands can reduce the cost to serve and deliver real-time responses.

These conversational technologies are also able to seamlessly hand over more complex enquiries to an internal resource when the templated responses are unable to resolve the issue.

Delivering a customer-centric digital experience

However you choose to deliver the next evolution of customer experience, it’s clear that communication sits at the heart of any strategy.

All of the technologies we’ve explored are all geared towards achieving an entirely cohesive customer experience. Each focuses on a different aspect of delivering this journey from understanding the customer through to offering more convenient service.

Creating a consistent journey that incorporates personalisation, customer-centricity and convenience can be easily managed through digital communications, driving engaged consumers onto the next touchpoint.

If you’d like to discuss the opportunities of digital communications in more detail, get in touch with the team today.

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