Today’s customers are in complete control of when, where and how they want to engage with a brand. Fast forward a few years and they will take this many notches higher. ‘Great’ experiences, every time, everywhere - has become the new benchmark for customer service.
The customer of the future will be better informed, more empowered and will have significantly higher expectations. Customers are and will continue to exercise unparalleled power in choosing brands and products that serve them best. In the world of competitive, fast-moving, commoditized businesses and a wealth of options, customer experience will become the differentiator.
It’s no secret that customer experience is now a boardroom conversation – and for good reason. Today’s evolving breed of customers knows exactly what they want, and are not afraid to alternate between brands that can meet their specific needs.
With 56% of consumers globally switching brands after just one bad customer service experience in the last 12 months, businesses have little or no room for mistakes in the world of customer engagement. A future-fit customer engagement model, one that puts customers at the core of it, is essential for businesses to retain and strengthen their competitive edge.
The price premium of getting this right is big and real! Happy customers are willing to reward brands that deliver exceptional experiences, with increased spending and greater loyalty.
In today’s multi-faceted, digital world, the way customers communicate is all-encompassing. They have numerous ways to engage and interact with brands of their choice.
In fact, 34% of the consumers globally rank having support available, anytime, anywhere, on their preferred channel of communication, as the most valued aspect of service interaction.
Going forward, customers will stop thinking in terms of communications channels. They will simply want to engage with a brand the way they want to, have their questions answered, their queries resolved and their comments acknowledged - irrespective of the channel.
So, what channels should a business be on? All of them? Perhaps. At a minimum, at least the ones where its customers are. The future of customer engagement will be one continuous conversation across channels including email, live chat, social, etc. It will be the end of isolated one-time interactions and will move from transactions to a continuous relationship.
One of the biggest reasons why many businesses still struggle to deliver omnichannel interactions is the lack of a 360-degree view of their customers with context and history across the customer journey.
As new technologies and channels emerge, information about your customers will grow 10x and become siloed across different systems.
To build the future of customer engagement with seamless conversations across channels, the context of customer interactions will have to flow effortlessly from one channel to the next. To differentiate and be competitive, businesses will have to create a unified customer journey that is compelling across all touchpoints, preserving contextual data as their customers shift around.
The changing consumer behavior and the mobile era are driving a massive shift in engagement channels, paving the way for more modern channels of engagement. With live chat and messaging fast emerging as one of the preferred channels of engagement, after email and voice, it comes as no surprise that digital will soon become a differentiated service channel.
In the future, customers will expect real-time interactions and speedy resolutions to their queries with the convenience of mobile, spurring further growth in modern messaging channels over their traditional counterparts.
A new trend in customer expectations is emerging - one that’s shifted from ‘meet my needs’ to ‘anticipate my needs’. The new benchmark of customer expectations is no longer to simply provide a seamless consistent experience across channels and touchpoints: the demand is to make the experience both personal and relevant.
How? With tailored, personalized experiences anticipating a customer’s next step with your brand before they take it. Your customer information would have to be used to power smarter, more relevant conversations. From product recommendations to proactive notifications that solve customer queries before they reach out to support, the next-generation customers will expect nothing less than unique personalization at every interaction with a business.
It’s fair to say that the future customer will expect exceptional, frictionless experiences and support, when they need it, throughout the customer journey. They won’t just accept being able to self-serve answers, they will expect to be able to contact a business at a time convenient to them, through a channel of their choice, accessible from any device, anywhere on the planet.
Freshworks is redefining the contours of customer engagement with Freshworks 360, a unified, omnichannel, cross-product customer engagement suite, that promises to turn the SaaS world on its head by combining what used to be separate sales, marketing, and support products into one exceptional customer experience. Whether it’s via deeply integrated voice, email, chat, messaging, or social media feeds, customers, can reach Freshworks 360 users instantly through their preferred channel.
This 360 vision comes to life with a ‘Master Customer Record’ that captures all the events and conversations that our customers have with their customers – providing relevant context, at the appropriate time, and according to the situation. The platform’s Omniroute (™) capability, an omnichannel routing engine, enables businesses with multi-skilled support agents to automatically assign customer queries to agents with available bandwidth for faster, better service. The system also makes use of Freddy, Freshworks’ AI engine, to constantly learn and improve on the routing performance to minimize wait times. Freddy knows when to intervene and when to pass on the query to a human agent while making sure that the transition is seamless and also gives full context about the user to the agent.
The battleground for businesses has never been more competitive and complex, with rapidly changing rules of customer engagement. To continue acquiring and retaining customers, businesses need to recognize this and adapt to these new dynamics. Freshworks’ unified customer engagement platform is uniquely placed to help businesses in this journey because of integrated omnichannel communication and collaboration, a unified 360-degree view of the customer data and proactive personalized support driven by context.
Freshworks’ vision of the future of customer engagement embodies what the modern, digitally-savvy, consumer of today and tomorrow expect and serves as a guide for businesses to stay relevant and competitive.