In today’s hyper-connected, multi-device, multi-channel world the consumer engages with businesses across more touch points than ever before. According to Forrester, 90% of consumers cross devices in pursuit of a single customer journey, 98% move between devices in the same day, and 66% use smartphones and tablets simultaneously. Against that backdrop, product comparisons happen in real-time, changing brands has become a lot easier, and customer loyalty is fleeting.
Every interaction counts between the enterprise and the customer.
It’s clear that enterprises need to focus on the entirety of the customer journey – providing support for all channels of engagement, maintaining context across those touch points, and ensuring that the user experience is consistent in each interaction. The combination of these elements comprises an "omnichannel" experience.
While omnichannel, by itself, provides significant advantages, the true game changer for enterprises comes when omnichannel becomes more intuitive and significantly drives down the effort exerted by customers to get things done, also known as “customer effort.” This transformative step comes through the application of big data, predictive analytics, and real-time decisioning to make omnichannel experiences predictive.
Predictive experiences are all about anticipating the customers’ intent in real-time and engaging them when, where, and how they want while keeping context persistent across their omnichannel journeys. For example, if a customer starts his journey on a website and then calls a contact center the enterprise should be aware of what the customer was trying to achieve on the corporate website, predict why the customer is calling, and assist the customer accordingly whether the call bypasses an IVR to go straight to an agent or is handled with a dynamic self-service app. This results in more frictionless customer interactions, quicker customer journeys, and lower customer effort, which then drives revenue, customer satisfaction, and loyalty higher.
Given the increasing use of the words “prediction,” “predictive analytics,” and “predictive experiences” in the industry today it’s highly likely that they will be buzz words in 2014 and 2015 as more enterprises embrace big data and omnichannel to create predictive experiences to drive sales and service outcomes.