High inflation, talent scarcity, and supply chain challenges are all merging together to create what we refer to as “the triple squeeze.” In short, it’s a tough market out there, and CFOs are feeling the pressure – as per Gartner, 47% find it difficult to find and hire enterprise talent, 50% still see a significant wave of workforce resignations, while 48% believe that supply chain volatility and shortages will last beyond 2022.
How can CX leaders recognize this economic downturn as an opportunity and boost their CX strategies to match? Now is the time to be bold and supercharge workforces for growth. Now is the time to invest in AI for CX.
Investing in Digital
In a Gartner survey conducted in late July/early August 2022, CFOs and financial leaders were asked about their strategies to combat inflation thus far, and looking ahead toward the rest of 2022. 21% had already embraced greater automation within the past several months and 24% plan to do so throughout the remainder of the year if inflation persists.
The good news is that customer service/support is not the top target for cost-cutting – a separate survey found that only 7% plan to decrease spend in this area, compared to the 72% that plan to maintain it, and 21% plan to increase spend in CX.
Most CFOs plan to increase their digital spend – only 3% of CFOs plan to decrease digital technology spend, while 69% plan to increase spend on technology.
With a Little Help From Conversational AI
Despite the economic pressures of the triple squeeze, digital spend is on the rise and customer service is an area that is relatively safe from cost-cutting, where should business leaders direct their energy and resources? How can savings and inefficiencies be reduced? Here is where the opportunity for automation and conversational AI comes into play. Conversational AI, as Gartner pointed out, is expected to reduce contact center agent labor costs by $80 billion by 2026!
Netomi helps support teams reduce inefficiencies by automating repetitive tickets such as queries regarding order status. Going one step further and taking a proactive stance, Netomi helps leaders get ahead of customer issues, by anticipating tickets to preemptively resolve them before a customer even knows that one exists. Resolution time is decreased and customer satisfaction increased.
What’s more, to capture the real voice of the customer (VoC), indirect/direct feedback is on the rise. Rather than relying on customer surveys alone, alternate methods such as speech and text analytics are now being deployed, and Gartner predicts that 60% of organizations with VoC programs will supplement traditional surveys by analyzing voice and text interactions with customers by 2025. Traditional surveys may fail to capture key details and customer sentiments, such as ‘I am so frustrated that my WiFi network continues to have problems.” How can we think of other ways to capture vital information to create stronger connections with customers?
With conversational AI, the opportunities are endless to create authentic connections with customers and engage with them in the moments that matter. Because we are also in the era of the Relationship Economy where strong connections count.
Customers like to have the freedom and options to chart their own paths and solve issues on their own. In order to meet these needs, and to deliver a low-cost and low-effort experience, leaders need to prioritize digital self-service channels, whether that may be chatbots, a comprehensive Q&A section on a website, or community forums. Self-service containment is a much more cost-effective way of providing resolutions – costing $0.10 compared to assisted service (such as email or web chat) which costs an average of $11.00.