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Agility in Action (2): Invest in flexible technology to allow your organisation to meet their customer experience goals

Zendesk’s CX Trends 2021 Report looked at the data from more than 90,000 companies across 175 countries on the Zendesk platform, including 29,000 businesses in Europe and the UK. In our series ‘Agility in Action’ we analyse in a market environment that is shaped by the current, cautious reopening.

Published September 8, 2021
Last updated September 8, 2021

We previously examined the importance of self-service options and messaging as a way of making it easy for your customers to help themselves. In the second part of our series, we take a look at how flexible technology, especially one that allows for a unified view of the customer, can empower companies to provide a personalised customer experience. We then explore to what extent customer organisations see that their investments in agile transformation pay off.

A unified view of the customer to respond to rising customer expectations

For businesses in 2021, being able to adapt to the latest consumer trends to meet the expectations of customers is crucial. Already before the start of the pandemic customers have shown an increased desire for a personalised customer service. Now 72% of UK customers now expect personalisation. What does this mean for a company, and more specifically, what for support agents?

Companies are recognising the need to harvest customer data for better and personalised experiences. To empower their agents, they are providing them with the tools to view customer information across all different channels where they interact with customers, but in a unified view. This includes emails, web forms, purchase history, and messaging channels such as WhatsApp and SMS.

The majority of agents in Europe and the UK say they use more than one channel when interacting with customers. Yet, over a third of agents in the UK still only use one channel on a typical day. Nonetheless, improving the internal use of customer data has become more urgent for companies in Europe and the UK and has grown by 7%. This allows for a deeper understanding of the customer, e.g. through their ticket history and previous requests. It’s encouraging that over two thirds of agents in the UK and Europe confirm they have access to the right type of tools to view customer information.

Despite these efforts, European companies’ adoption rate of omnichannel strategies remains flat. Notably, the region has the lowest adoption rates against other surveyed regions.

The right investment in technology can reduce costs and increase efficiency

Investing in technology such as easy-to-use low code tools, open technology or integrating with apps as part of a larger ecosystem can substantially help to become more agile and reduce costs. In the UK in our survey said they have achieved moderate (44%) or even high cost reduction (35%).

Investing in ways to provide agents with tools to enable a unified view of their customers drives higher efficiency; they can simply resolve customer issues faster when they have the full context.

Another option is to invest in artificial intelligence such as chatbots. It allows agents to focus on more complex requests, improving their overall efficiency, productivity and the quality of the service they provide. 50% of boomers would rather interact with bots for simple issues.

Within a well-planned omnichannel strategy, these improvements will in most cases lead to improved customer satisfaction rates and ultimately increase revenue growth. Customers appreciate that: 75% of customers would be willing to pay more for positive experiences.