4 Technology Innovations Shaping the Future of the Contact Center
by Dave Murashige
In today’s experience economy, differentiating your brand means keeping a pulse on the latest trends in customer experience. From CX disciplines, to CX applications and technologies, there’s a lot that goes into fueling exceptional customer experiences, so it can be difficult to prioritize the areas your organization should focus on. That’s why our experience experts have identified 25 trends impacting experiences in 2022 to help your organization kickstart your year.
1. The Great Resignation appoints employee experience center stage
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4.3 million Americans left their jobs in August 2021 alone. The rules are changing for attracting, retaining and hiring employees. Organizations will need to prioritize the employee experience to thrive in 2022 and beyond.
2. Organizations will refocus on human centered experience design
63% of leaders said COVID-19 made their organizations embrace digital transformation sooner than they expected. But have those digital channels been humanized? We’ll see a trend toward humanizing digital as companies work to embed more brand personality and purpose into channels to create meaningful interactions.
3. Omnichannel will be key to delivering a seamless, total experience
90% of customers expect consistent interactions across all channels. Delivering a seamless, total experience will be key to differentiating your brand against competitors.
4. Data, analytics and prescriptive AI leads to more hyper-personalized experiences
According to Gartner, Worldwide AI software revenue is forecast to total $62.5 billion in 2022, an increase of 21.3% from the prior year. 2022 will reestablish the importance of effectively leveraging large volumes of data from multiple systems, multiple sources, and across all ends of your organization.
5. Customer-driven self-service dominates
70% of customer interactions will involve emerging technologies including chatbots by 2022. With the right strategy, self-service solutions can help make things easier for both your employees and customers.
Over the last few years shifting consumer behaviors, rising expectations, and accelerated digital transformation have changed the game for the retail marketplace. These fluctuations make it more challenging for retailers to differentiate their brand and remain competitive.
6. Omnichannel retail experiences are now table stakes
10 years of eCommerce adoption was compressed into three months during 2020, according to research by McKinsey & Company. But Covid-19 wasn’t just a catalyst for digital acceleration. Rather, it represented a pivotal moment in history that resulted in a massive, permanent shift in consumer behavior. Today’s consumers expect consistent, seamless retail experiences across eCommerce, marketplaces, social media, SMS, apps, websites, brick-and-mortar locations, and all other channels.
7. Consumers return to stores, but only for re-imagined and differentiated in-store experiences
In September 2020 only 30% of shoppers were comfortable stepping into a retail store. By contrast, in June 2021, 71% of consumers said they had no concerns shopping in-store. Physical retail locations will continue having a place in the purchasing process as long as the in-store experiences are differentiated.
8. Personalization becomes mandatory in every retail interaction
80% of frequent shoppers say they only shop with brands who personalize their experience. Personalization investments will continue to accelerate as brands find new ways to deliver valuable interactions to customers that, in turn, generate insights about what those customers want.
9. Nimble retailers develop aggressive and creative cost cutting strategies
The great resignation, inflation, and higher wages are among the many pressures retailers are facing. In order to keep up, retail organizations will develop cost savings strategies like continued emphasis on owned brands and private-label goods, investment in creative partnerships, heightened self-service and checkout capabilities, reduction of in-store hours, facility closures, and adoption of store-within-a-store concepts – just to name a few.
10. Intelligent automation shifts from cost reduction play to true service improvement
In an effort to save costs, streamline operations, and respond to accelerated digital adoption, retailers have been investing in intelligent automation for years. In fact, 80% of retail companies report they will be leveraging intelligent process automation by 2022. As leading retailers forge ahead, they will leverage intelligent automation as a conduit for long-term productivity, service, and experience improvement.
Technology and medical advancements, regulations, a global pandemic, and shifting consumer behaviors have created massive disruption for the healthcare industry. Longstanding healthcare organizations and new entrants alike are reimagining what the future of healthcare looks like.
11. Meeting the evolving expectations of healthcare customers means deploying a digital front door
In 2020, 59% of patients said they interacted differently with their healthcare providers than they did pre-pandemic. Consumer behavior has significantly changed, with a massive shift and emphasis on digital channels and self-service. In 2022, meeting healthcare customer expectations will mean deploying a digital front door for your healthcare organization.
12. Telehealth claims a permanent seat at the healthcare experience table
At the height of the pandemic in April 2020, over 32% of total outpatient visits occurred via telehealth. While telehealth utilization levels have now stabilized between 13 to 17% of total outpatient visits, it’s clear that telehealth will remain a viable method of care delivery long into the future.
13. Leaders will refocus their energy and resources on recovery, restoration, and revitalization
Billions lost in revenue, employee and clinician burnout, hospital closures, talent and retention challenges, and other major implications will force healthcare organizations to focus their energy and resources on recovery, restoration, and revitalization.
14. Seamless healthcare experiences depend on 360-degree views of patient data and information
Healthcare data now makes up approximately 30% of the world’s data volume. Mastering this explosion of big data and getting as close to a “golden record” as possible is key to delivering seamless patient experiences. You’ll need a strategy that unifies data found across multiple systems including your EHR, billing system, contact center, website, apps, and more.
15. Consumer-driven healthcare demands the need for hyper-personalized experiences
7 in 10 patients want their experience with healthcare providers to be as easy as their brand interactions in other industries. The rules and expectations consumers once only had for more digitally advanced industries like retail and financial services now apply to every industry, including healthcare. Meeting these new expectations means delivering hyper-relevant, consumer-driven experiences to every patient, across all channels.
The financial services industry is anything but predictable. The rise of fintech competitors, rapid digitization, heightened consumer expectations, and regulatory and compliance issues have caused major disruption and are forcing financial institutions to prioritize customer experience. Ensuring your strategic plans address these major industry trends could be the difference between gaining ground and losing ground in 2022.
16. Fierce and agile fintech competitors are disrupting the market
According to Gartner, the top 5 fintech applications have now garnered a combined 3.2 billion users. As fintechs place their stake in the ground, traditional banks and credit unions must embrace digital transformation, adopt new technologies, and serve heightened consumer expectations.
17. Massive shift in consumer behavior leads to heightened focus on digital channels
43% of consumers say the way they bank has changed due to COVID-19. This massive change in consumer behavior has forced financial institutions to rapidly digitize and empower customers and members to self-serve.
18. Face-to-face customer experiences shift to video banking
77% of customers still seek out face-to-face interactions when dealing with complex financial matters. However, the method for delivering that human element is moving more and more toward video conferencing.
19. Leading fin serv organizations will double down on data agility
According to IDC, 34% of FSI enterprises have already made data monetization and data capitalization a top digital transformation strategy. Leading financial institutions are set to double down on data management, governance, and orchestration while integrating cutting edge AI and machine learning capabilities to augment existing data ingestion processes.
20. Organizations must combat rising fraudulent activity and seamlessly authenticate customer identity anywhere, anytime
During the first four months of 2021, the financial services industry saw a 149% increase in suspected global digital fraud attempts. Financial institutions must combat this rising fraudulent activity and seamlessly, and safely authenticate customer identity anywhere, anytime.
In today’s economy, customer experience is a key differentiator across many industries. But when it comes to basic human needs like medical care, social security, food, and shelter – delivering exceptional citizen experiences is not up for debate. Looking toward 2022, government agencies are reimagining the ways they serve and govern citizens.
21. Purpose-driven messaging will be prominent in talent acquisition strategies
As the great resignation continues to unfold, it’s clear that people are seeking deeper purpose and fulfillment in their work and their lives. Many government organizations have inherent purpose-driven missions and values. We will see these organizations capitalize on this natural goodwill by infusing purpose-driven messaging into their employee retention and recruitment strategies.
22. Remote service delivery becomes a permanent reality
According to Forrester, by 2022 one-third of global civil servants will become permanent hybrid workers. While remote work may have been a response strategy for many organizations, it’s clear that remote service delivery is a permanent, viable option for the public sector going forward.
23. Citizens require and expect seamless digital experiences
85% of citizens expect the same or higher standard of quality from government services as they do from commercial organizations. While the public sector has been slower to digitally transform than other sectors, government agencies are now expected to meet citizens’ expectations for accessible information, smooth transactions, and seamless digital experiences.
24. Unlocking citizen data results in stronger, more personalized experiences
Gartner predicts that by 2023, 50% of government organizations will establish formal accountability structures for data sharing, including standards for data structure, quality, and timeliness. Government agencies should consider all facets of data and analytics strategy like data exchange, security and privacy, and advanced analytics to unlock citizen data and deliver personalized citizen experiences at scale.
25. Measuring service effectiveness becomes essential to creating meaningful experience improvements
In order to deliver satisfactory experiences to both employees and citizens, government organizations will need to measure the effectiveness of their programs. Efforts on both the employee and citizen sides of the coin – like government-wide federal employee voice pulse surveys and federal CX guidance from The U.S. Federal Customer Experience Initiative team at the Office of Management and Budget - are in place to make meaningful improvement measures.
Businesses are sure to face a number of pressures in 2022 and beyond – from continued implications of the global pandemic, to fierce competition and heightened consumer expectations. But you don’t have to face this disruption alone. Avtex is here to help. Our industry experts and experience champions have what it takes to help you address any major CX trend coming to disrupt the marketplace. Our team delivers seamless customer experiences through strategic design and thoughtful orchestration.