Few people enjoy calling up a customer support line for advice to be greeted by an automated voice reading out an unpersonalised list of questions about why they are calling. But the next generation of natural language processing (NLP) software will allow customers to simply say or type their query and advanced chatbots can instantly analyse this input and offer a relevant reply.
The chatbots of tomorrow can move beyond answering specific questions like “Has my order left the warehouse?” to more complex questions that require detailed information about the exact circumstances of the customer, such as “What is the best printer for my business?”
2) Artificial intelligence (AI)
The role AI already plays in the B2B customer journey is significant, but there is far more this game-changing technology can achieve soon. Through using AI-backed solutions, businesses can make the customer journey more personalised and offer customers more accurate product recommendations based on recent purchases.
If research company Garner’s prediction, that, by 2020, customers will manage 85 per cent of their relationship with the enterprise without dealing with a human, proves correct, businesses who fail to incorporate AI tools into their customer experience journey will not keep up with consumer expectations.
3) Internet of Things (IoT)
With market research firm Statista forecasting that there will be close to 31 billion IoT devices worldwide by 2020, it’s clear the massive amounts of data collected by these tools can be used to gain valuable insight into the customer journey.
Machine manufacturers can include IoT-enabled sensors in their products to alert service personnel when the first signs of breakdown occur and send out repairmen to fix the issues before a major failure happens. In the future, these IoT devices will be able to communicate with each other and troubleshoot problems through AI, reducing the need for human interaction.
4) VR and AR
Virtual reality and augmented reality solutions are no longer futuristic concepts that have little practical application in the business environment. As VR and AR devices become more commonplace, how customers experience products will be fundamentally changed, especially in terms of how businesses can better listen to their customers’ needs.
Companies can share new product designs through VR and provide a detailed, visible guideline of the exact specifications and benefits their customers can expect. Using AR to see how potential products and blueprints fit into current operations allows customers to give more relevant feedback than ever before.
5) Data analytics
There’s little point in amassing large amounts of customer data if it isn’t going to be analysed to extract actionable insights. Cutting-edge algorithms can interrogate data to discern and predict what the customer wants at every point along their journey. From learning when to suggest certain products to tailoring prices to match customer expectations, mining data can provide a clear understanding of what clients need.
By using real-time data analytics, there will be no delay in discovering customer preferences and using this to personalise the services offered to them, improving companies’ ability to retain clients.