The pandemic resulted in changing consumer behaviors with a significant uptick in the use of digital services. As new digital channels emerge, multiple technologies and trends are reshaping the customer experience (CX). The increased emphasis on data, personalization, and multichannel communication requires that enterprises focus on trust, empathy, and replicating the offline experience.
These emerging trends are covered in Avasant’s Digital CX and CRM Services 2020-2021 RadarView™ report. The report provides enterprises a view into the changing customer experience landscape, the role of digital technologies in responding to the pandemic, and help in identifying the right service providers that enterprises can partner with to reshape customer facing functions.
Avasant evaluated 35 providers using three dimensions: practice maturity, partnership ecosystem, and investments and innovation. Of those 35 providers, we recognized 20 as having brought the most value to the market during the past 12 months.
The report recognizes service providers in four categories:
- Leaders: Accenture, Capgemini, Cognizant, HCL, IBM, Wipro
- Innovators: Atos, DXC, Infosys, NTT DATA, TCS, Tech Mahindra
- Disruptors: Birlasoft, Coforge, Mindtree, Zensar
- Challengers: Jade Global, Mphasis, Stefanini, UST
Figure 1 from the full report illustrates these categories:
Matthew Barlow, Principal and CX Lead with Avasant, congratulated the winners noting, “The pandemic has accelerated the shift towards tailored experiences driven by AI, automation, data, and the channel-less customer experience. We would expect this shift to continue even after the pandemic.”
Some of the findings from the full report include the following. Enterprises should:
- Build an integrated customer experience strategy:
- CX is a brand differentiator that leads to higher revenue growth and improved customer loyalty. A company’s CX efforts should not focus only on specific areas such as customer service, sales, commerce, or marketing. It must encompass every interaction between customer and company.
- Enterprises are looking for ways to adopt solutions already in the marketplace with service providers who can help bring additional value more quickly.
- Increase customer engagement to drive customer value, loyalty, and retention:
- From conceptualizing customer engagement strategies to their implementation, businesses should be careful with customer data and be transparent with how data will be used.
- Businesses must build a customer engagement hub leveraging analytics and AI that allows for personalized and contextual customer engagement across all interaction channels. The role of service providers is critical when reshaping the CX, which affords cost and innovation benefits.
- Leverage emerging technologies along with human-centered design techniques:
- Businesses must not focus on deploying a point solution alone, but leverage emerging technologies like AI/ML, analytics, and AR/VR to generate customer insights and create immersive experiences.
- Integrating CRM with IoT is an emerging trend that should be embraced.
- Focus on digital design, UX design, and customer journey analytics to better implement emerging technologies for CX.
- Carefully evaluate when choosing the right CRM solution:
- Organizations must conscientiously assess their needs and objectives when selecting the right CRM solution. They should choose based on the type of customization, for example, a custom solution or a pre-packaged solution, along with comprehensive or basic features and functionality.
- CRM is not just a technology, but an ecosystem comprised of multiple, third-party products and solutions. SMB organizations should take advantage of low-cost SaaS options.
“Customer experience has become critical to business resilience. Brands are using customer engagement strategies and innovation to cater to the new digital-only way of life.” said Shwetank Saini, Avasant’s Research Leader.
The full report also features detailed RadarView profiles of the 20 service providers, along with their solutions, offerings, and experience in assisting enterprises in digital transformation.