The modern digital experience has made it to customer service
The modern digital experience is fueled by technical innovations in areas like artificial intelligence, augmented reality, faster connectivity, and enhancements to mobile devices. All these innovations are making the modern digital experience more engaging, entertaining and useful for consumers. It's also conditioning their expectations - no longer satisfied with old, run-of-the-mill technology, customers expect businesses to use current technology that provides them with exceptional experiences.
These expectations extend to how organizations provide customer service. First wave digital customer service channels like chat and email are well-established and well-liked by customers. But technical advances have made other channels possible. These second wave digital channels include private social messaging, video chat, and more, and promise to answer the demands of the modern digital experience.
Video chat is an example of an emerging channel that mirrors people's lifestyles. Just think about how many people you know that use Skype. Seeing a video feed of the person you're talking to makes it a more personal conversation because you can see them and read their facial expressions. The same is true with a video chat between a customer and a support agent. Not only is the interaction more personal, but video is a real-time tool that lets customers show agents what they need help with, like damage to their car or furniture they're trying to assemble.
Artificial intelligence is also shaping the modern digital experience, and businesses have figured out ways to deploy AI for customer service functions. Perhaps the most visible example of this is chatbots. AI-enabled chatbots can converse with people in a mostly human-like way, and if they're combined with machine learning they can get smarter over time. Organizations use them in customer support chat sessions to perform narrowly defined tasks like answering common questions and taking orders. Chatbot use has become so common that they are now an engrained component of the modern digital experience.
But customers aren't the only ones who get to experience state-of-the-art technology, like AI, during the customer service process. AI is now embedded in some of the software tools used by contact center staff. For example, AI can make forecasting smarter and automate intraday adjustment tasks. When integrated with CRM, AI can give salespeople guidance about the best timing to reach out to prospects and customers. And AI-powered analytics tools can discern customer sentiment and contact drivers.
In short, the modern digital experience applies to both customers and the contact centers that support them. Technical advances are transforming what both groups experience related to customer service.