The customer experience trends most likely to shape the industry in 2020

2019-to-202-written-on-beach-sand

We know business today is changing faster than ever. A few years ago customers made purchase choices based on the flyers they found in their mailboxes. They also felt more loyalty towards brands, partly because it was both difficult and time consuming to switch from one to another.

Those days are over. Today’s ‘intelligent’ customers know what they want and how they want to be served. Most companies have made customer experience (CX) a strategic priority because they realize if they don’t meet their customers’ needs someone else will – and in the blink of an eye the customer is gone for good. So, what should businesses pay attention to in this rapidly changing consumer landscape, and what trends and priorities are most likely going to shape the CX industry in 2020?  Here’s our take:

Artificial Intelligence (AI) will raise the bar for service

Advancements in AI are going to change the way brands and consumers think about customer service, as well as expectations for service itself. According to a survey by Forrester, more than 50% of companies were implementing and/or expanding AI technology in 2017 (compared to 40% in 2016), and in 2018/19 the trend has only accelerated.

This so-called ‘tsunami effect’ is happening because AI is not just a single trend, but consists of numerous components being continuously identified, such as speech recognition, text-to-speech conversion, voice biometrics and machine learning, to name just a few. Getting this AI/human mix right is imperative in terms of defining your brand and what differentiates your company from the competition.

A chat-bot backlash?

A recent consumer survey showed 45% of respondents believe that interactions with customer service chat-bots negatively affect their quality of life and they prefer to deal with a human being. It seems businesses are facing the same kind of resistance they encountered several years ago with interactive voice response (IVR) and are having to learn these lessons and principles all over again. Businesses need to blend virtual assistants with live agents, allowing seamlessly interaction to ensure there is no customer frustration or negative brand experience. Underinvest in this area at your peril, because if not done right it will create accelerated churn.

Computers are meeting customers on their terms – through human voice

Today almost every consumer device has a voice assistant, be it a smartphone, computer, tablet or even
a TV. The adoption of voice assistants is growing rapidly globally:  500M+ Google Assistants enabled, 500M+ Siri-enabled devices in use, and, according to Amazon research, 4 out of 5 adults in the US have already engaged with cloud-based voice service like Alexa.

It is clear consumers are getting acclimated to having voice-based interactions with technology, interactions that can either undertake an action on their behalf or provide them with required information. It’s therefore no surprise that a personalized, predictive and conversational Modern Voice approach (built through Natural Language Understanding – NLU) is going to be the answer for ideal voice interactions in consumers’ expectations in 2020 and beyond.

Fraudsters become more sophisticated, target contact centers

New research from Pindrop Labs reveals a 160% increase in overall call center fraud over the last 12 months and, although deploying security countermeasures helps, it does not necessarily mean an improved customer experience. Good CX usually means ‘friction-free’, while security tends to work against this ambition. Striking the balance is the challenge, and biometrics appears to be one of the better solutions, allowing for successful authentication regardless of the location, channel or device being used.  It is swiftly becoming the norm as an integral part of fraud prevention strategy.

In the rapidly changing world of customer experience, industries and businesses need to constantly look for new ways to provide a best-in-class experience for customers. Our advice is to closely monitor the trends we have just highlighted to remain relevant to your customers, and adopt an agile Digital Operating Model strategy in support of this. These new capabilities – and the rapidly changing world of CX —  are challenging to keep pace with, but there are partners and providers out there whose core business specialize in these areas and would be delighted to help.


Natalia Cekiera joined DXC in early 2017 as a BPS solution analyst and is mainly focused on DXC’s finance and administration offering. Prior to joining DXC, she worked in multinational medical company as an OTC transaction specialist.

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