What is customer experience technology?

Increasingly, customer experience (CX) is a differentiator that helps businesses to rise above their competition, even in crowded markets.

Great CX programs can help businesses capture customer sentiment, boost brand loyalty, understand customer feedback, and increase customer retention.

The technology that enables this, customer experience technology, is a key element of how businesses can not only ensure these outcomes but also create seamless customer journeys.

In this article, we’ll delve deeper into:

  • The current state of CX across verticals
  • How technologies can improve customer service
  • What specific CX technologies and channels are working
  • Trends in automation and CX communications

You can also find out more about how we create seamless customer journeys on our customer experience solutions page.

1

What is customer experience technology?

Customer experience technology is a specific set of hardware and software tools that enable CX teams to collect the right data, measure customer satisfaction, gather customer feedback, and organize customer information.

And it’s seriously important. Companies that earn $1 billion annually can expect to earn, on average, an additional $700 million within 3 years of investing in customer experience, according to research from the Temkin Group. Much of that has to do with how the industry and the technologies that power it have matured.

In the past, this category tended to focus on customer relationship management (CRM) platforms and tools. This is because of the limited ways businesses could reliably engage with their customers. But the scope is now wider. So in the present, what is CX technology?

From our phones to cars, grocery shopping to AI assistants, there are a multitude of channels through which customer experience technology allows brands to know their customers better.

And looking at the types of technologies in use, there is an increasing number of sophisticated tools that help capture customer feedback, measure customer satisfaction, and leverage customer data to improve experiences.

Solutions such as interactive voice response, chatbots, call centers, payment systems, and social media can all fall under the CX technology umbrella as well—out of sight, but just as vital.

2

What are the customer experience technologies and channels?

Customer experience technologies are wide-ranging and can impact just about any customer touchpoint across the entire customer life cycle.

These include tools that help you reach more prospective customers (e.g. marketing automation), right through to artificial intelligence solutions that help your customer support team.

You can find out more about our CX technology solutions here.

Customer experience technology examples that are worth highlighting:

Customer relationship management (CRM)

As a strong, customer-centric baseline, you want both customer relationship management and customer experience management concepts to be in play.

A CRM is a long-standing cornerstone of great CX. CRMs allow you to track each customer interaction, create detailed customer profiles, manage your pipeline, identify new prospects, and measure how well marketing is performing.

A great customer experience strategy starts with creating a single source of truth for customer information that your entire organization can access. This is a key benefit of CRM platforms.

Customer experience management (CXM)

CXM takes this one step further. As explained by CX Today, CXM “collects feedback and data from all customer touchpoints to provide a holistic view of the customer experience. This information can improve customer interactions, marketing campaigns, and website design.” These technologies are pivotal for providing best-in-class customer experiences.

Successful customer experience management is built on great CXM technology choices that allow you to capture customer experience data across various customer touchpoints and use it to create best-in-class CX.

Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS)

CCaaS is a core element of Ubiquity’s offering. You can find out more about it on our solutions page. CCaaS gives businesses the ability to use software and expert customer service and customer success teams without needing to make them permanent, internal investments.

This means that CX costs become lower and that businesses can also focus on their core offerings without needing to upskill and manage their own team of contact center experts.

Customer experience management apps

Customer experience management apps enable closer collaboration between supervisors and managers and frontline service agents.

Data is shared in real-time to monitor KPIs, address issues quickly, and provide more bespoke coaching to agents in the areas they need it.

The result of internal focus on this area? Customers benefit from faster resolution times and expert service agents to help them with queries of any kind.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

IVR is a CX technology that initiates conversations with customers before a customer service agent is engaged.

Executed correctly (and through the right platforms), IVR gives agents vital context about why the customer is reaching out, and where they are on their customer journey, and can also direct customers to useful self-service options.

The result? Costs are reduced and first-call resolution rates also rise, with more information and context being available to the entire company via this technology.

Learn how we use our inCall IVR to improve CX.

Artificial intelligence agents

Artificial intelligence agents act as the angel on a customer support team’s shoulder.

This technology listens to interactions with customers and then flags relevant and useful information to the agent in real-time as the call progresses. It can be calibrated to the industry it’s deployed in, and programmed to learn and improve on its own.

AI services help agents provide an enriching and positive customer experiences that increase customer satisfaction and, ultimately, reduce customer churn.

Additionally, it can give a powerful boost to data analysis, transcribing and storing calls in a compliant way for later use.

See how digital technology is employed in managing the customer experience.

3

How can technology help to improve customer service?

Using technology to improve customer experience is almost an intrinsic part of many businesses’ CX offerings. In fact, most businesses are now implementing CX technologies to increasing degrees.

However, only those that truly understand how technology and customer experience go hand in hand can reap all its benefits.

The benefits compound by crafting seamless customer journeys that meet customer expectations and boost brand loyalty. Customers who have increased their expectations of how impressive and personal their experiences with a business should be, according to 74% of respondents to a Martech Alliance study.

There are three key areas of customer experience that emerging technologies can help with, so let’s dive in:

Optimizing business strategies
Increasing personalization
Analyzing the data

Do you want to shift to a human-centered business approach? Do you want to increase the number of self-service capabilities you can insert into customer journeys? Or are virtual agents on the table, to reduce the load on your service staff? (Be warned with this last one: Zendesk revealed that 60% of customers are still not happy with chatbots.)

Regardless of your goal, technology can help you not only achieve it but expand the reach of your overall customer experience strategy.

As mentioned, customers want their experience to be more intelligent, specific, and personalized. That’s backed up by industry data too–Statista estimates that revenue for CX personalization will rise 65% to $11.6 billion in the US, up from $7 billion in 2020. It’s up to businesses to tackle this head-on and meet customer expectations.

Personalization saves time and money while increasing customer loyalty and retention rates. But there’s even more that can be done when using the right technologies to improve customer experience.

“Analyzing customer behavior gives companies the tools to address customer pain points proactively and with each customer’s specific history in mind. When you compile profiles of customer activity, purchases and past feedback, it allows human and AI representatives to enter interactions armed with knowledge that can guide the conversation to more positive resolutions.” Fara Haron—Forbes Technology Council.

Personalization and optimal business strategies rely on the intelligent use of data you collect via CX channels.

This is where customer experience technology can really come into its own. It allows you to collect and analyze the information you need to get ahead of customer needs by understanding their journeys, interactions, and pain points.

Brands need to understand their customers before they can deliver better CX strategies. So when it comes to technological choices, businesses need to ask themselves if they can track this data easily and if it can be analyzed in a smart way.

Want to find out what’s next for CX technology? Check out our page on digital CX trends for 2023 and beyond.

Want to find out what’s next for CX technology? Check out our page on digital CX trends for 2023 and beyond.

Next, we’ll focus on two key specific areas of customer experience technology benefits: automation and communication.

4

CX technology and automation

When used right, automation can drastically improve customer experiences. Customers expect to be given the freedom and flexibility to take matters into their own hands when needed, aided by smart CX technologies—automation is a key pillar of making that not only possible but economically sustainable.

40% of consumers now prefer an automated customer experience according to research by Steven Van Belleghem. Automation in this regard can take the form of web portals, IVR systems to guide customers and AI chatbots that function in a similar way, albeit via a website or portal.

There’s also another arm to CX automation—services adjacent to direct customer service but still have a vital impact on the space. Two such examples are email marketing and product return automation.

5

CX technology and communication channels

CX technology is vitally intertwined with communication; after all, the scope for reaching out to customers (and them reaching back) has never been vaster.

Phone calls and texts, websites, chatbots, social media channels, tracking technologies, email—and yes, even old-school, physical marketing material.

For all the power that this brings for an omnichannel customer experience, it can create problems. Service staff need to be trained in new CX technologies, understand how omnichannel user journeys are orchestrated, and be able to track and maintain best practices and synchronize across all of the touchpoints on a customer journey.

One core part of managing this mixed bag of communications is via digital communication tools that enhance the customer experience.

These communication tools allow businesses to collect customer data from multiple channels and across multiple customer touchpoints to improve training materials and best practice purposes. A key element of this for customer service applications will be recording phone conversations with customers.

You can find out more about how we use call recording to boost CX here.

Another crucial element of this is how communication tools improve the employee experience. By creating a one-pane view of your communications, your calling agents get the data visibility they need to deliver a fast, joined-up, and personalized comms approach.

6

Customer experience technology: a key differentiator

CX technology isn’t a passing trend. It’s now fundamental to how a business can compete, improve brand loyalty, reduce operating costs, and minimize customer churn.

And if not treated as critical, you’re handing your competition an operational leg up.

With the right combination of technology you gain better control of your processes, deliver more empathetic service, and gain a much better understanding of customer needs.

Core foundations such as CRM systems, right through to AI chatbots which improve self-service provision, give you greater visibility into the way your customers engage with you. This insight can then inform how you optimize your CX strategy to ensure you’re delivering the experience your customers expect.

But CX technology is also about expertise. At Ubiquity, we’ve helped businesses deliver best-in-class CX through strategic advice and great technology choices. So if you want to talk, we’re all ears.

Or if you want to learn more about how we use CX technology first, You can start with our introduction piece on CX technology.