At the heart of every successful enterprise lies the customer journey, and to genuinely boost customer engagement, it’s essential to identify and address pain points to make this journey as seamless as possible. This process requires a deep understanding of the customer journey and an ability to anticipate potential bottlenecks.

The strategic application of technology in this process is crucial for delivering exceptional customer experiences. By optimising business operations and facilitating seamless interactions, the right technology can give your business a substantial competitive edge.

Opportunities for Improvement

There are numerous pathways for businesses to enrich customer interactions, two of which have become particularly attractive due to recent advances, namely Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Business Process Automation (BPA).

Improving the Customer Experience with AI

AI is a game-changing technology that can help businesses tackle various customer experience challenges. It enables personalized messaging, intelligent decision-making in real-time, and predictive analytics for anticipating customer needs.

Some key opportunities include:

  • Enhanced Customer Service: AI-driven chatbots and virtual assistants can provide 24/7 customer support, answering inquiries and resolving issues promptly without the need for constant human intervention. This not only improves customer satisfaction but also allows businesses to scale their customer service operations efficiently.
  • Improved Decision Making: By leveraging AI for data analysis, businesses can gain deeper insights into customer behaviour, market trends, and operational performance. These insights enable more informed decision making, helping companies to strategise more effectively and anticipate market shifts.
  • Increased Productivity: AI can automate routine tasks, from scheduling to inventory management, freeing up human resources for more complex and creative tasks. This automation leads to significant improvements in customer interactions and productivity.
  • Personalised Customer Experiences: AI technology can analyse individual customer data to deliver personalised recommendations, offers, and content. This personalisation enhances the customer experience, it also fosters loyalty and increases engagement.

Improving the Customer Experience with BPA

BPA involves automating business processes to streamline operations, reduce errors and improve efficiency. It is a valuable tool for businesses looking to enhance the customer experience by improving internal processes.

Some key opportunities include:

  • Faster Response Times: BPA can automate workflows and eliminate bottlenecks, leading to faster response times and improved customer satisfaction. For instance, automated order processing systems can significantly reduce the time it takes for customers to receive their orders.
  • Consistent Service Delivery: By automating routine tasks, BPA ensures consistency in service delivery. Customers can expect the same level of service quality every time they interact with a business, leading to increased trust and satisfaction.
  • Reduced Costs: BPA eliminates the need for manual labour in certain processes, reducing costs associated with human error and increasing operational efficiency. This cost-saving can be passed down to customers through better pricing or improved services.

Real-World Examples

Let’s take a closer look at how the following businesses successfully implemented technological advancements to enhance their business operations and customer experience.

Case Study: Automated User Creation

To streamline the experience for their internal clients, the IT team at a large non-profit organisation leveraged SharePoint, Power Automate and Entra ID to automate the creation of user accounts for new employees.

This solution not only reduced the time required to provision a new user it also improved the quality and consistency of the end-result, reducing the number of follow-up interactions required for the new employee to be fully provisioned.

Case Study: Customer Service Chatbot

During the Covid-19 Pandemic, many companies’ customer contact centres faced overwhelming challenges due to shutdowns and resource constraints.

To address this, a Financial Firm worked with a Microsoft engineer to implement Azure Bot Service, hosted on a customer – facing website. These bots were designed to handle routine inquiries and processes, thereby freeing call centre capacity. By automating self-service interactions, contact centres could refocus staff on more complex enquiries, improving overall efficiency and customer experience.

Case Study: Project Reporting & Bid Tracking

An engineering firm specialising in large-scale infrastructure projects faced several challenges related to project management and their legacy project management platform. Existing spreadsheet-based processes were no longer able to cope with the complexity and volume of client projects.

To tackle these challenges, the Grassroots IT team leveraged the Microsoft Power Platform to provide users with enhanced functionality around project reporting and bid tracking. This strategic application of Business Process Automation streamlined project management and improved communication channels, resulting in reduced project delays and increased client satisfaction.

Evaluating Customer Experience Opportunities

When evaluating and implementing new technologies within a business setting it is critical to ensure that investments enhance capabilities and align with long-term goals. Our tip: This should involve a multi-step approach, starting with three important tasks:

  1. An in-depth evaluation of existing processes and technology, mapped against the customer journey.
  2. Identify key processes and areas along the customer journey for improving the customer experience.
  3. Carefully select technologies that offer the most significant potential for impact.

Below are key considerations and steps organisations should undertake in this process:

  • Identify Customer Pain Points and Opportunities:Start by pinpointing the aspects of your business that could benefit most from technological improvements. This might include streamlining manual processes through automation or enhancing customer touchpoints.
  • Research and Compare Solutions: Conduct thorough research on potential technology solutions that address customer needs. Compare features, costs, and user reviews to find the best fit for enhancing the customer journey.
  • Consider Scalability and Integration:Choose technologies that can grow with your business and integrate seamlessly with existing customer systems and processes, ensuring a smooth experience as your business expands.
  • Involve Key Stakeholders:Engage key stakeholders, including employees and customers, in the evaluation process. Gather feedback to understand their needs, address concerns, and ensure the chosen technologies enhance the customer journey.
  • Provide Training and Support: Offer comprehensive training and ongoing support to employees to ensure they are proficient with the new technologies. This minimises disruptions and maximises the benefits, leading to a superior customer experience.

Related: The Benefits of Automating Business Processes (and how to spot opportunities)

Conclusion

Advancements in technology such as AI and BPA offer numerous opportunities to enhance the customer experience. From automating routine tasks to providing personalised recommendations, these technologies can significantly improve efficiency, reduce costs, and foster loyalty among customers.

However, it is crucial for organisations to carefully evaluate and select the right technologies that align with their long-term goals and provide adequate training and support for employees to fully utilise them. By implementing these technologies effectively, businesses can not only improve the customer experience but also gain a competitive advantage.

Grassroots IT offer a range of services to improve business operations to fortify the customer journey. Contact our friendly team today to talk about your IT strategy and improved customer interactions.