Technology has always driven changes in consumer habits – from the invention of the wheel, through to feudal technologies of ploughs and wine presses, to the airlines that whisk us across the globe for work and play. Digital technologies have also transformed department stores from places that you spend hours walking around in to websites that you browse through while you half-binge a series on Netflix.
We are now all 24-hour consumers. So long as there’s money on our credit cards, we can buy anything. And we can buy it whenever and wherever we want. As consumers, we’re always digitally engaged and we expect the companies that we interact with to be the same. This shift in consumer expectations is dramatic, leaving many businesses uncertain about how to digitalize business in a way that increases sales and improves the customer experience in equal parts.
The trends affecting today’s businesses
McKinsey & Company’s latest research effort outlines the trends, and concerns, that customer-care leaders say most affect their businesses. These trends are distilled into these main points:
- Inbound transaction calls will decline significantly or be eliminated entirely, as many expect, and care will move toward ever-higher levels of customization.
New-age Internet robots and virtual assistants will serve as gatekeepers for critical channels, such as chat, voice, and automated interactive-voice-response systems (IVRs).
- Focused investments will be needed to improve the skills of customer-care workers in both service and sales and to hire new ones who can handle increasingly complex interactions.
- The demand for higher-end personal experiences will force companies to determine which levels of customized care they want to provide and whether to provide them in-house or through outsourcing.
- Technology-investment choices will be critical as managers navigate the new products now proliferating and balance costs against scalability and implementation speed.
The research highlights the need for a more detailed eye to be cast over technological investments. By also underlining the hunger for personalized experiences, and the drive away from the call center and towards online, McKinsey’s research is directing the focus of these investments away from contact channel tools and towards intelligence.
Intelligence-led technology is a critical business need
It will only be through using technology that understands user behavior, in real-time, that companies will be able to truly personalize experiences. And it is only through using intelligent technology that directs the online user flow away from the call center, and towards online sales channels, that they will be able to reduce the number of inbound sales calls.
Both of these needs are the reason why Predictive Intelligence exists. It uses website data to understand why each visitor is online before going on to determine which contact channels they should be served based on their specific needs. It is also fully responsive and reactive to the needs of the business. Which means that it not only delivers the right channel to the right visitor at the right time, it also helps brands understand what is driving online visitors to the call center allowing them to mitigate any onsite issues.
Increase online sales
It does this by identifying visitor priorities and understanding the pressure points that help each individual consumer to convert. With this information, Predictive Intelligence is able to drive more sales through the online channels, encourage more visitors to self-serve, and help to speed up digitalization
With a visitor-intelligence solution in their back pocket, online managers will be more able to circumnavigate the choppy waters of changing consumer habits. They will also be able to accelerate their online sales. It can be difficult to find a reliable partner in an age where the future has already happened. By making a targeted investment in technology that is set-up to scale and develop with consumers, digital managers will find their new best friend.