News & Insight

4 Customer Engagement Predictions for 2017

Advancements in digital communication and intelligent engagement will continue to drive customer interactions in the year ahead, using insights and data from the expanding network of connectivity to better understand customer behavior, habits and preferences. 2017 will focus on harnessing big data to help brands improve and personalize customer experience. Here are four customer engagement predictions for 2017.

The Rise of Virtual Reality

Virtual reality headsets are a hot commodity on holiday wish lists as major technology brands including Samsung, HTC, Google, Sony and Apple launched VR platforms. The recent introduction of consumer VR headsets is a pretty good indication that virtual reality will not only become a popular gift this holiday season, it could also be the next big engagement channel, following in the footsteps of other major game changers like social media.

Data from our recent survey points to VR as the next frontier for customer engagement; one in three consumers say they’re excited to communicate with a company via virtual reality.

Humanizing Big Data

As more devices and systems become connected to the Internet of Things, the volume of data transmitted and created by these networks also increases. While this exchange of information provides valuable user behavior insight that can help personalize experiences, it also presents a challenge of analyzing and processing it. It’s simply impossible to review and understand all of this data, creating the need for our next customer engagement prediction…                                   

Integrated Machine Learning

Machine learning is a powerful tool for brands and a necessary aspect of contextualizing data created through the Internet of Things. It has the ability to access massive amounts of data from the cloud and provide insight and predictive analysis on customers, ultimately creating a more personalized experience. As consumers’ level of connectivity increases, companies will become more dependent on machine learning to decipher the patterns and opportunities to improve the overall customer experience.

Communication at the Heart of Interaction

Although systematic automation is on the rise with chatbots and machine learning, the value of direct human interaction and authentic communication will not fall by the wayside. According to recent reports, contact centers currently employ millions of people globally and are set to grow by 10% annually until 2019. Why? Because machines will never completely replace humans when it comes to customer engagement.

When automated technology fails, it’s the quality of 1:1 human interactions that ultimately keeps customers engaged with a brand. The importance of connecting emotionally with customers, solving issues, and improving brand perceptions as a result of every conversation is critical to successful customer engagement strategies even as companies incrementally move toward automation in 2017.