We’ve come a long way since Henry Ford (reportedly) declared, “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.”
Flash forward to PayPal CEO Dan Schulman asserting that in 20 years there will be no more credit cards: “Everyone will have a smartphone, enabling consumers to have “full connectivity at a very low price.”
It’s an empowering time for customers. For those of us in the customer care space, there’s an interesting challenge: How can we prepare for the future of the customer experience (CX) when we don’t even know what that looks like yet?
What we do know
With more than 40 billion IoT-enabled devices predicted to be connected to the Internet by 2022 in the U.S. alone, the once-clear lines between face-to-face, voice and digital are gearing up to blur even more as technology advances. Omnichannel customer experience isn’t an option – it’s a mandate.
With technological adoption, customers expect to interact with organizations when they want and where they want – and no matter the channel, they expect a seamless interaction.
You can consider this a challenge, or you can consider it an opportunity.
Consider a basic (often unmet) expectation for a hotel guest: to be able to interact with her room as easily as she does with her home. Now consider that 13% of U.S. households have smart thermostats. The data that an IoT-enabled thermostat collects on a guest’s temperature preferences could be used to ensure a welcoming environment when she arrives at her room.
We’re in the omnichannel age today – and it’s no longer just chatbots, artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) on the horizon. How long until we get to channel-less?
At VXI, I’ve helped numerous clients navigate and leverage both the opportunities and challenges they were seeing – and weren’t seeing – to drive a superior CX for their customers.