2020 was a digital tipping point for brands and businesses across the globe. Businesses that were on the precipice of digital adoption suddenly discovered they were the laggards and the ones ahead of the digital curve found themselves coping with the unprecedented challenges of the COVID world.
2021 doesn't promise to be easier. To stay competitive in the post-COVID digitally-driven marketplace, enterprises must continuously embrace new channels, bring new digitally-evolved products to market, and utilize new technologies to enable scaling at pace.
Let's look at the 5 emerging trends which are expected to dominate in 2021.
An accelerated shift to digital
Digital interactions became a necessity in 2020. Those using non-digital channels of communication have now grown accustomed to digital communication channels and this is not expected to change. According to Forrester, there will be a 40% increase in digital customer service interactions in 2021, which will necessitate the need for additional channels. One thing is clear - customers expect a new level of digital experience and the high expectations are here to stay.
The rise of empathy and emotional insights
Brands are suddenly waking up to the importance of emotional analytics. In 2021, more brands will make use of tools like AI-based text analytics, sentiment analysis, and social listening to gather a more comprehensive understanding of their customers. Forrester predicts that 10% of customer intelligence (CI) budgets in 2021 will go towards emotional analytics. Empathy has also emerged as a key organizational capability for businesses in 2020. A large number of businesses are working to build a more empathetic organization.
Voice will emerge as a key channel
While the world has gone digital, voice calls are still the most popular channel. Due to its empathetic nature and emotional interactivity, voice communication will continue to be popular in 2021. For brands, this will present new challenges. To offload the repetitive, routine cases, contact centers will be compelled to leverage customer service automation technologies like email process automation and self-service chatbots.
Virtual assistants will play a bigger role
One of the biggest challenges facing customer service teams is handling the increase in customer support calls and emails. More businesses will rely on virtual assistant software to ease the pressure of increasing volumes. While virtual assistants will not be able to replace human reps, they can answer quick and simple questions to save time for both the customer and the company.
Increased adoption of customer data platforms
A large number of organizations struggled to pivot their customer strategies during COVID-19. Since their data was residing in silos, it became difficult for them to get a unified view and drive a better customer experience. In 2021, enterprises will continue to focus on having a single view of the customer. Brands will strive to make better sense of data across every touchpoint – from mobile apps and websites, to social media, in-store interactions and the calls to the contact centre. This may necessitate a complete overhaul of how data can be segregated based on a more accurate and targeted profile of the customer from multiple sources.
Creating a bridge between the commerce layer and the digital experience platform is the key to achieve the sustained flexibility necessary to evolve customer engagement at the pace required by the increasing velocity of technological advancements that inform consumers’ expectations.
As a digital agency with deep technology capabilities, TA Digital is often in a position to mediate between organizational priorities and support the adoption of a toolset that can ensure opportunity and operations are running parallel and producing long term benefits to the enterprise. Reach out to our team of digital experts for more information.
About TA Digital
TA Digital is the only global boutique agency that delivers the “best of both worlds” to clients seeking to achieve organizational success through digital transformation. Unlike smaller, regional agencies that lack the ability to scale or large organizations that succumb to a quantity-over-quality approach, we offer resource diversity while also providing meticulous attention to the details that enable strategic success.
Over the past 20 years, TA Digital has positioned clients to achieve digital maturity by focusing on data, customer-centricity, and exponential return on investment; by melding exceptional user experience and data-driven methodologies with artificial intelligence and machine learning, we enable digital transformations that intelligently build upon the strategies we set into motion. We are known as a global leader that assists marketing and technology executives in understanding the digital ecosystem while identifying cultural and operational gaps within their business – ultimately ushering organizations toward a more mature model and profitable digital landscape.
Recognized in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2019, 2020 and 2021 Inc. 5000 list as one of the fastest growing companies in the United States, TA Digital is pleased also to share high-level strategic partnerships with world class digital experience platform companies like Adobe, SAP, Acquia, commercetools, Sitecore, and Elastic Path.