Not sure which tech trends to invest in? Check with your customers

It’s the time of year when inboxes are bombarded with the biggest trends to watch out for in 2018. Pip Stocks knows how to find what’ll work for you.

pip stocksBlockchain, AI, voice, bots, virtual reality – none of these concepts will be new to you highflying, in-the-know marketers.

Their applications can be amazing:

  • A person to person currency exchange service, Weswap is also using AI to recommend travel budgets. It has developed software that can tell travellers how much to allow for daily expenses and to help them buy currency when the rates are favourable.
  • The Santander banking app in the UK lets people make payments with their voice. Once you are logged into its app, it uses voice recognition technology to execute money transfers, check account balances, report lost or stolen cards and inquire about spending patterns and particular transactions.
  • Chatbots are one of the most useful new technologies and there are over 100,000 on Facebook Messenger alone. Last year using Kik, Sephora used chatbots to engage customers about makeup tips and product reviews.

 

So how do you know which one of these tech trends to invest in?

Don’t start from a cost perspective. Don’t pop a bot in to reduce traffic to your call centre if that bot is only in place to save money. If it’s not helping your customer or making your brand experience better then it will only cause more pain down the line.

Start with the problems your customers are having and see how you could help make that better. Then, and only then, look for the right technology.

Banks in Australia are now offering customers the ability to link their email or phone number to receive or pay others instantly. We no longer have to use a BSB or an account number which can be a painful experience – not only to find but also to input. Email and phone is not a new technology but this feels easier than the dealing with some of the drawbacks that are happening with voice technology. Speed, accents and background noise are all affecting the effectiveness of this technology.

When Tommy Hilfiger launched TMY.GRL. a bot through Messenger in late 2016, the idea was to engage with younger shoppers and promote the new Gigi Hadid fashion collection. Although the idea was cool, the execution made for a more difficult shopping experience than just browsing through the web. It was hard to flip between interfaces and the simple things like telling customers about product availability happened way down the buying funnel causing frustration. Had the team built, tested and amended based on exactly what customers wanted, the experience may have been easier.

How to tell what’s best for your customers

Consider our trademarked Customer Value Optimisation (CVO) Model.

CVO brandhook

 

It takes five key elements to make up a powerful customer experience and drive customer value optimisation: consistency, choice, control, customisation and care. The key to executing these is making sure you know your customer’s needs inside out – true customer intimacy.

Over the next few months, my columns will be breaking down this model and giving some sage advice on how to build powerful CX. I will discuss those companies doing it well and the rest that do it poorly.  There will be scattering of technology, latest platforms and clever ideas.

Something I will leave you with.  PWC’s ’21st CEO Report’ has highlighted that even though there is more optimism around, your Asia-Pac CEO is anxious about the speed of technological change and whether she/he has the right skill sets in the business to grow it. Anchoring your tech innovations in the customer need will help you get this right, help grow the business and put you in favour with your CEO.

 

Pip Stocks is BrandHook CEO.

 

Further reading

 

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