For IT professionals around the world, improving the customer experience (CX) is a top priority for their organizations. Over the short term, that might mean ensuring broadband access, new laptops and consistent training for remote agents, or adding real-time monitoring and support tools for managers.
But over the long term, it’s clear that CX investments will be transitioning from on-site contact centers to the cloud – sooner rather than later. A recent study by Frost & Sullivan, “2021 Predictions—COVID-19 Accelerates CX Investments,” found that 80 percent of CX applications are expected to be in the cloud by 2023. The study was based on feedback from 3,284 decision-makers across four regions.
Organizations across the globe are inclined to invest in advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) to enhance CX, although technology network reliability remains a critical factor in delivering excellent CX.
“Companies recognize the importance of CX and even measure their digital transformation success on customer satisfaction but tend to invest in solutions that only solve short-term problems,” said Alpa Shah, global vice president of CX research at Frost & Sullivan.
Delivering a holistic customer journey is top of mind among consumer-focused businesses, according to the Frost & Sullivan study. Finance, healthcare, and travel and hospitality organizations are focused on managing the entire customer journey while technology and transportation companies want to leverage CX information across all departments, said Shah.
“More than 50 percent of businesses have already invested in IoT and digital visualization,” added Shah. “The former offers potential for enhanced CX for organizations in insurance, healthcare, and manufacturing with its monitoring capabilities, and the latter can be valuable for agent desktops to improve employee performance.”
Shah noted that the education sector – including colleges and universities, as well as public and private schools – tends to invest in AI to facilitate innovation. “On the other hand, banking and finance companies, along with government and transportation, are focusing on cost efficiencies,” he said.
Other key findings include:
• Post-pandemic plans for technology investments are focused on moving applications to the cloud (31 percent), followed by video conferencing (25 percent).
• The key short-term digital transformation objectives are adapting to the new work modes (35 percent), accelerating digital customer engagement self-serve (31 percent), and enhancing ecommerce capabilities (30 percent).
• For 44 percent of companies, customer satisfaction is the prevalent method for measuring digital transformation success, which aligns with top business goals and investment priorities.
• Cybersecurity continues to be the top concern for 51 percent of companies.
• Big data analytics takes the lead on investments in transformative technologies, followed by IoT and data visualization. More than 75 percent of organizations will be investing in these solutions by 2022.
• For North American and Latin American companies, the top business goal is improving CX, while Europe is centering on automating business processes and APAC in boosting operational efficiencies.
For IAUG members, the Frost & Sullivan study reflects the importance of investing in cloud-based CX platforms and applications to drive growth opportunities in the new era of digital transformation.