Connected customer expectations hit all-time highs, Salesforce
74% of UK shoppers say that their standard for good customer experiences is higher than ever, with 80% arguing that the experience a company provides is as important as its products/services. That’s according to Salesforce’s State of the Connected Customer report, involving 6,700+ consumers and business buyers.
Emerging technologies are hugely influential here: 47% say Artificial Intelligence is already or actively transforming their expectations of companies and 55% are open to AI improving experiences. Paul Smith, Executive Vice President, Cloud Sales EMEA, Salesforce, notes that, for a lot of UK customers, the idea of automated customer service has negative connotations. In reality, their last great experience probably involved some sort of automation, whether with chatbots or being automatically directed to the right service agent.
“Technologies like automation and intelligence are revolutionising the service we receive, turning it from reactive to proactive, making it smoother and much more relevant,” he says. "But while expectations for personalised, connected experiences are soaring, so are the expectations for companies to responsibly handle the data they acquire. For instance, using self-learning algorithms, brands are able to rapidly analyse the preferences of customers and then automatically send personalised emails − specifically relating to a customer’s history and the offers they’ve indicated they’re most interested in.”
“However, it’s important to remember to treat customers as people, rather than a number, with 86% of all customers citing this as one of the main reasons they chose to buy from a company. This type of technology shouldn’t necessarily preclude the ‘personal touch’. Instead, it should be used alongside agents as an 'assistant' to make service more personal and efficient. If anything, I believe it will make customer service even more personal and adaptable to the future."
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