tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/customer-experience Latest Customer Experience content from Econsultancy 2017-04-21T12:55:00+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/3008 2017-04-21T12:55:00+01:00 2017-04-21T12:55:00+01:00 Internet Statistics Compendium Econsultancy <p>Econsultancy’s <strong>Internet Statistics Compendium</strong> is a collection of the most recent statistics and market data publicly available on online marketing, ecommerce, the internet and related digital media. </p> <p><strong>The compendium is available as 11 main reports (in addition to two sector-specific reports, B2B and Healthcare &amp; Pharma) across the following topics:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/advertising-media-statistics">Advertising</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/content-statistics">Content</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-statistics">Customer Experience</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/web-analytics-statistics">Data and Analytics</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/demographics-technology-adoption">Demographics and Technology Adoption</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/uk/reports/ecommerce-statistics">Ecommerce</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/email-ecrm-statistics">Email and eCRM</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/mobile-statistics">Mobile</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/search-marketing-statistics">Search</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-statistics">Social</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/strategy-and-operations-statistics">Strategy and Operations</a></strong></li> </ul> <p>Updated monthly, each document is a comprehensive compilation of internet statistics and digital market research with data, facts, charts and figures. The reports have been collated from information available to the public, which we have aggregated together in one place to help you quickly find the internet statistics you need - a huge time-saver for presentations and reports.</p> <p>There are all sorts of internet statistics which you can slot into your next presentation, report or client pitch.</p> <p><strong>Sector-specific data and reports are available under the following areas:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong><a title="B2B Internet Statistics Compendium" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/b2b-internet-statistics-compendium">B2B</a> </strong></li> <li><strong><a title="Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals Internet Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/healthcare-and-pharmaceuticals-internet-statistics-compendium/">Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals</a> </strong></li> <li><strong><a title="Financial Services and Insurance Internet Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/financial-services-and-insurance-internet-statistics-compendium/">Financial Services and Insurance</a> </strong></li> </ul> <p><strong>Regions covered in each document (where data is available) are:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Global</strong></li> <li><strong>UK</strong></li> <li><strong>North America</strong></li> <li><strong>Asia</strong></li> <li><strong>Australia and New Zealand</strong></li> <li><strong>Europe</strong></li> <li><strong>Latin America</strong></li> <li><strong>MENA</strong></li> </ul> <p>A sample of the Internet Statistics Compendium is available for free, with various statistics included and a full table of contents, to show you what you're missing.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68990 2017-04-19T11:00:00+01:00 2017-04-19T11:00:00+01:00 Why brands should be bothered about (voice)bots Nick Hammond <p>On Thursday 6th April, I attended a very impressive voice tech session hosted by the Hoxton Mix Collective. The impressive line-up of speakers included - Oscar Meary, co-founder of Opearlo, talking about ‘Alexa Design and Best Practices' ; Marc Paulina, interaction designer from Google, on ‘VUI Prototyping Tools, Design Sprints and Research Best Practice,’ and Dean Bryen, voice/AI evangelist from Amazon. </p> <p>As it was also the day that <a href="http://www.wired.co.uk/article/google-home-uk-okay-launch">Google Home was released in the UK</a>, this seemed an appropriate time to take stock of the current state of voice tech and associated opportunities.  </p> <p>So, what then did I learn? </p> <h4>Consumer expectations</h4> <p>A major issue in this space is around high consumer expectations and the challenge of managing them. We have all seen films like <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzV6mXIOVl4">Her</a> and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYGzRB4Pnq8">Ex Machina</a> , and we therefore think we know what AI will be like in the future. As a result, a rather unrealistic benchmark has been set for the ‘real’ voice tech that is being developed today.</p> <p>In addition to this, people are less tolerant of voicebots than they are of other digital assistants. This is because voice (talking) is the way that humans naturally prefer to communicate with each other as the process is, generally, an easy one. If a voicebot cannot meet this level of ease or proficiency, then the experience can be frustrating. </p> <p>A clear message from Oscar Meary of <a href="http://www.opearlo.com">Opearlo</a> (a voice design agency) is that despite all the excitement, this is a very new area. Companies looking to develop a voicebot <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68786-amazon-alexa-brands-must-be-careful-before-rushing-in/">need to be realistic</a> about what can be achieved successfully. One of the main problems can be around integration - an organisation’s digital design department may create a voicebot, but if this is not connected to back-end systems, then there is no sense of a joined-up user journey for the consumer.</p> <h4>Games or utility?</h4> <p>One speaker made the case for a more conservative ‘gamified’ approach, focusing on simple conversational design voicebots or gamebots. This simpler experience takes the user into a different world more easily than a utility bot, and because it has a more light-hearted approach; individuals are more likely to be forgiving of functionality issues. Content examples in this space are around games, such as pub quizzes and ‘would you rather’ games.</p> <p>The current scenario with voice tech and bots reminds me of the early days of the web, when brands rushed to acquire digital real estate or shopfront ‘ brochureware’ websites; where they could show of their products. It took some time before marketeers realised that consumers were not interested in visiting websites housing uninteresting and functional product information. This mistake was often repeated during the peak period of app development, where brands rushed to create their own apps, and this could easily happen again with voicebots. As always, the solution lies in providing useful content - what value can be added and how brands can add to the user experience. </p> <p>Perhaps surprisingly, the technical build of a voicebot is relatively easy via the use of available SDK’s, but the real work goes into the design of the customer interface and experience. Key areas to address in the design process include – setting expectations, limiting choices and options (to keep the process simple) and minimising pressure on the user. This last one is interesting because, again due to the nature of human voice interactions, consumers can feel under pressure if the interaction process does not feel relaxed or natural enough. </p> <p>I learnt some interesting voice tech language as well, including the importance of spending time on ‘edge cases’, ‘half happy paths’, ‘utterance expansion’ and taking a heuristic approach. All these techniques and approaches are concerned with fully testing a voice interaction (<a href="https://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&amp;node=13727921011">such as an Alexa skill</a>) to ensure a successful consumer experience. </p> <p>NB; for the avoidance of doubt, the video below is an example of a poor automated interaction and user experience.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wM1P7GMnd38?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h4>Voice as first brand touchpoint</h4> <p>Voice tech is important for brands because, in the future, voice will be the first brand touchpoint for the consumer. This is already taking place on mobile (e.g. with Siri), in the home (with Alexa and Home) and is moving into the automotive sector. As the importance of voice and voice tech grows, it is essential that an approach is effective and integrated, across different platforms.</p> <p>Voice is also likely to become central to the area of identification, with the increasing use of <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biometrics">biometrics</a>. The human voice is considerably more distinctive and individual than finger prints, and will increasingly be used for identification purposes, as in voice PINs for example. </p> <p>Most exciting for brands is the area of sentiment analysis. By listening to a user's tone of voice, brands will not only be able to understand what consumers want, but also how they are feeling. </p> <p>Google’s perspective is that voice technology, AI, and bots are all converging and will eventually represent one technological interface. Amazon’s ambition is to provide ‘the world’s most powerful voice service’ that will ‘power the connected home’. Dean Bryan, from Amazon, sees Alexa having an impact with audio, in the home, in car and with partner brands, for example Uber and Just Eat. I rather liked the fact that Dean sees the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MA1hD3XRlh0">Star Trek computer</a> as the apogee of voice tech and the product they are trying to emulate.</p> <p>The key to any successful technology is that it should be invisible to the end user. A fitting end to this summary piece, is the quote shared in the session from <a href="https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0116WC5JE/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&amp;btkr=1">The Media Equation</a> (Reeeves and Nass 1996) – ‘…Individuals’ interactions with computers, television and new media are fundamentally social and natural.’</p> <p>This is especially true with voice tech. The intrinsically ‘human’ nature of the automated voice, means that people will want to interact in a very natural and social way. Brands, becoming involved in this space, will need to ensure that this happens.</p> <p><em><strong>Now read:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68499-the-problem-with-voice-user-interfaces-like-amazon-alexa/">The problem with voice user interfaces like Amazon Alexa</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:WebinarEvent/870 2017-04-19T04:11:29+01:00 2017-04-19T04:11:29+01:00 Customer Experience: Trends, Data and Best Practice (APAC time zone) <p>Econsultancy APAC's Trends Webinar for May looks at the latest trends, data and best practice within customer experience. This insight comes from Econsultancy's research, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/implementing-a-customer-experience-cx-strategy-best-practice-guide" target="_blank">Implementing a Customer Experience Strategy Best Practice Guide</a>.</p> <p>This session will be hosted by<strong> Jeff</strong> <strong>Rajeck, Research Analyst, APAC at Econsultancy</strong>. There will be a 15 minute Q&amp;A session after the presentation.</p> <p><strong>FAQ:</strong></p> <p><strong>I'm not an Econsultancy subscriber, can I join?</strong></p> <p>Ans: You sure can. The sessions are complimentary for existing customers and new friends.</p> <p><strong>Will the session be recorded?</strong></p> <p>Ans: Yes! We record all of our webinars, and we'll send out a link to the recording the following week.</p> <p><strong>What if I register but can't make it?</strong></p> <p>Ans: It's all good. We'll send a follow-up with key takeaways and a link to the recording.</p> <p><strong>Can I ask questions?</strong></p> <p>Ans: Absolutely! This session is for you. Bring your questions and participate during Q&amp;A.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68959 2017-04-12T01:00:00+01:00 2017-04-12T01:00:00+01:00 Why can't marketers understand the customer journey? Jeff Rajeck <p>In our most recent <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-intelligence-briefing-2017-digital-trends/">Digital Intelligent Briefing</a>, survey respondents once again put 'customer experience' at the top of the priority list for 2017</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5186/figure8.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="613"></p> <p>But when asked about their strategy in this area only around one in ten (11%) marketers said that they had a 'well-developed' customer experience improvement strategy in place. </p> <p>One reason why marketers are finding it difficult to improve customer experience emerged in a recent survey of nearly 1,000 marketers Econsultancy conducted with Emarsys, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/understanding-the-customer-journey-in-apac">Understanding the Customer Journey in Asia Pacific</a>.</p> <p>In the report, we found that <strong>fewer than one in five (17%) felt that they had an 'advanced' understanding of the customer journey</strong>. The remaining 83% felt they were at least missing 'important pieces of the jigsaw' of the customer journey and many of them felt that there were 'a lot of missing parts'.</p> <p>This is quite possibly the main reason why customer experience isn't improving. It's hard to imagine how an organisation could possibly improve its customer experience when they don't even understand the customer journey. But why is this the case? What is standing in the way?</p> <p>From the report, two main reasons emerge.</p> <h4>1) Marketing is in charge of the customer journey (but perhaps customer insight should be)</h4> <p>One place to look for reasons why organisations don't understand the customer journey is the department which holds responsibility for understanding it. Knowing who has been tasked with such an important part of improving customer experience should shed some light on the obstacles.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5187/figure26.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="620"></p> <p>Fortunately, very few survey respondents (7%) indicated that 'no-one' is singularly responsible for the customer journey. This means that companies are thinking seriously about this responsibility and assigning it to one department or another.</p> <p>What is concerning, though, is that a majority of respondents' companies have placed the responsibility for understanding the customer journey with marketing (54%).  </p> <p>While it's understandable that one department may start the initiative, marketing alone is unlikely to be keep the program going. Understanding the customer journey requires the coordinated effort of many departments including sales, customer service, and finance. Someone sitting in the marketing department may struggle to coordinate across departments on an ongoing basis.</p> <p>This may, therefore, be one reason why customer experience improvement programs are failing to gain much traction despite being at the top of the priority list.</p> <p>One solution to this impasse is to have a team which is dedicated to improving customer experience and has the backing of the management to drive the necessary changes throughout the organization. Customer insight, which often acts as a bridge between research and marketing, may be the right place for this team, though few (6%) respondents indicate that this is the case at their organization.</p> <p>Tellingly, when we compare responses from organizations which have an 'advanced' understanding of the customer journey with those who do not, the 'advanced' organisations are three times more likely to have assigned responsibility to 'customer insights' than their peers (12% vs 4%). As organizations mature in their understanding of the customer, then, the trend appears to be to transfer responsibility of the customer journey from sales and marketing to a more cross-functional team.</p> <h4>2) Too many touchpoints</h4> <p>Another way to find out why progress in understanding the customer journey and improving customer experience has been so slow is to ask those responsible. Thankfully, most of our survey respondents are those most likely to be responsible for the customer journey (marketing), so their answers provide useful insights.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5188/figure27.png" alt="" width="800" height="446"></p> <p>As mentioned in a previous post, several time- and resource-intensive steps must be carried out when mapping the customer journey. It follows, then, that for more touchpoints, more work is required.</p> <p>Additionally, as marketers learn more about their customers, they may find even more touchpoints to analyze resulting in even more tasks to complete.</p> <p>It is unsurprising, therefore, to see that the 'complexity of customer experience / number of touchpoints' is the most frequently-cited barrier (44% of company respondents) for those aiming to understand the customer journey. Additionally, those that can manage the complexity often run into problems when 'unifying difference sources of data', which is highlighted here by just over one in three (34%) respondents.</p> <p>Indeed, many organizations which start with good intentions of understanding the customer journey through touchpoints may end up discouraged when faced with the enormity of the task at hand.</p> <p>While there are no easy answers to this problem, one place marketers can start is by reviewing their company's marketing technology stack. Over time, adding new channels, systems, and measurement tools can result in a confusing array of technologies which make understanding touchpoints difficult, if not impossible.  </p> <p>Making a diagram of all of the systems, their purpose, and how customers interact with them can help with touchpoint analysis and, ultimately, understanding the customer journey.</p> <p>Diagramming the marketing stack has become so popular recently that MarTech now hosts an annual award, <a href="http://chiefmartec.com/2017/01/announcing-stackies-hackies-awards-martech-san-francisco-2017/">the 'Stackies'</a>, in which companies submit their marketing stack for review and awards. Below is this year's entry from Microsoft, but you can find many more inspirational examples at chiefmartec.com.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5189/m1.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="419"></p> <h4>So...</h4> <p>In order to improve customer experience, organisations must understand the customer journey. But to understand the customer journey, organisations have to overcome two major obstacles: the 'natural' ownership of the customer journey by marketing and the proliferation of touchpoints.</p> <p>Both of these make understanding the customer journey more difficult but can be overcome by creating a cross-functional 'customer insights' team dedicated to understanding the marketing technology stack and the touchpoints which make up the customer journey.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68981 2017-04-11T15:00:00+01:00 2017-04-11T15:00:00+01:00 Could established financial services firms lose a quarter of their revenue to fintechs? Patricio Robles <p>If that came to pass, it would represent a major upheaval in the financial services market and could force many of them to make drastic changes, including potential mass layoffs.</p> <p>Of the executives PwC surveyed, 88% indicated that they believe their firms are threatened by fintech firms that offer standalone financial services. By focusing on specific segments of financial services, fintechs have in many cases been able to build better technologies and products than entrenched firms. And on top of those better technologies and products, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68159-five-ways-fintech-upstarts-are-disrupting-established-financial-institutions/">many are delivering better overall experiences than established firms</a>.</p> <p>That has encouraged consumers to "unbundle" the financial services they purchase, making the days of giving all their business to one or two companies, such as a national or regional bank, a thing of the past.</p> <p>Segments of the financial services industry that PwC has identified as being most vulnerable to standalone fintechs and unbundling are payments, money transfers and lending.</p> <h4>Down, not out?</h4> <p>But are established financial services firms really so vulnerable that they could lose a quarter of their revenue in the next several years? That figure is a significant one, but it's not as far-fetched as it might seem.</p> <p>For evidence that change can occur quickly in the typically slow-moving market, consider the following:</p> <ul> <li>Following its <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68334-wells-fargo-scandal-shows-why-banks-are-vulnerable-to-fintech-startups/">fake account scandal</a>, Wells Fargo, considered by many to be the best-managed big bank in the U.S. after it emerged from the Great Recession largely unscathed, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/admin/blog_posts/new/%20http:/www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/news/2017/03/21/wells-fargo-checking-accounts-credit-cards-wfc.html">recently revealed</a> that new checking account openings have dropped by 43% year-over-year and new credit card applications have plunged by an even greater amount (55%) year-over-year.</li> <li>Non-bank lenders, many of which conduct business primarily online, <a href="http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-nonbank-lenders-20151130-story.html">have grown</a> their share of the consumer, business and mortgage loan markets substantially since the Great Recession. And their visibility among borrowers only continues to increase. For example, according to a J.D. Power study, 60% of small business owners who applied for a loan in the past 12 months considered a non-bank lender. At the fastest growing small businesses, that number increases to nearly two-thirds (74%).</li> </ul> <p>The good news for large financial services firms is that most of them clearly recognize that they are being disrupted and are taking action. 82% of the executives PwC polled indicated that the coming years would see increased partnership between their firms and fintechs, and many of their firms are investing in homegrown initiatives that could help thwart competition from fintechs.</p> <p>For example, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon recently <a href="https://econsultancy.com/admin/blog_posts/new/Upstart%20fintech%20companies%20are%20disrupting%20established%20financial%20services%20players,%20namely%20large%20banks,%20but%20just%20how%20serious%20a%20threat%20are%20these%20upstarts%20to%20firms%20that%20collectively%20control%20trillions%20of%20dollars%20of%20capital?%20%20According%20to%20a%20new%20study%20conducted%20by%20PricewaterhouseCoopers,%20which%20polled%20more%20than%201,300%20executives,%20established%20financial%20services%20firms%20could%20lose%20nearly%20a%20quarter%20(24%)%20of%20their%20revenue%20to%20fintechs%20in%20the%20next%20three%20to%20five%20years.">mentioned</a> that his firm spent more than half a billion dollars last year on "emerging fintech solutions." That's a huge amount when compared to the capital available to the average fintech, but still just a relatively small portion of the $9.5bn his firm invested in technology generally.</p> <p>But it's not clear that the abundance of capital is even beneficial to big financial services firms. Fintechs are largely succeeding by focusing on a very specific segment of the broader financial services market, building better customer experiences, and taking advantage of their ability to move in a nimble fashion. They largely don't have to worry about large legacy systems, and their priorities aren't pulled in a million different directions because they don't have a million different lines of business.</p> <p>In other words, contrary to what financial giants might be inclined to believe, older, bigger and richer can bring with it many liabilities for established institutions – liabilities that many fintechs are successfully taking advantage of.</p> <p>From this perspective, the greatest challenge large financial services firms have in addressing the fintech threat might be themselves, not the fintechs. Those that don't want to risk losing a big chunk of their revenue base would be wise to recognize that instead of trying to crush fintechs, they should try to emulate them.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68969 2017-04-07T12:00:00+01:00 2017-04-07T12:00:00+01:00 Four ways technology could impact restaurants in the future Nikki Gilliland <p>Today, <a href="https://pos.toasttab.com/restaurant-technology-industry-report" target="_blank">57% of consumers</a> agree that technology in restaurants improves their guest experience. And while we’ve already seen the introduction of apps and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68800-pizza-express-launches-booking-chatbot-is-it-any-good/" target="_blank">bots from restaurant chains</a>, this only marks the start of how technology might further impact the hospitality industry in years to come.</p> <p>Of course, it might not be such a smooth transition. Oracle’s <a href="https://www.traveldailynews.com/post/consumer-attitudes-on-emerging-technologies-and-their-impact-on-future-hospitality-experiences" target="_blank">Restaurant 2025</a> report suggests that consumers could find some tech a step too far, with 40% saying that being served by a robotic machine would feel invasive or strange.</p> <p>With this in mind, here’s a run down of a few examples of innovative restaurant technology that has already arrived, as well as how it could evolve in future.</p> <h3>Voice for payments and billing</h3> <p>According to Barclaycard, <a href="https://www.thecaterer.com/articles/369040/impatient-diners-want-fast-service-and-better-payment-technology-in-restaurants" target="_blank">37% of diners</a> prioritise quick service in restaurants over menu or value for money, meaning that convenient payment options are becoming increasingly popular.</p> <p>With many restaurants introducing apps that allow customers to order and pay without the need for a waiter, this demand is being met.</p> <p>Take <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68889-wetherspoons-launches-order-and-pay-app-is-it-any-good" target="_blank">Wetherspoons’ Order and Pay</a>. This is a particularly interesting example, however, as it changes more than just the payment experience. Taking away the need for any social interaction at all, some have suggested it spells the end of traditional pub culture. A rather dramatic view, perhaps, especially when you consider how many other well-known chains, like Wahaca and Jamie’s Italian, are using similar technology.</p> <p>Meanwhile, other London restaurants like Rum Kitchen and Salt Yard are also incorporating bill-splitting apps, making payment even easier for big groups.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Click here to download our Order &amp; Pay app, available for iPhone and Android<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OrderAndPay?src=hash">#OrderAndPay</a><a href="https://t.co/sN3tSWoS6s">https://t.co/sN3tSWoS6s</a></p> — J D Wetherspoon (@jdwtweet) <a href="https://twitter.com/jdwtweet/status/842013848987148290">March 15, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>So how will this develop in future?</p> <p><a href="http://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/news/starbucks-adopt-voice-recognition-ordering" target="_blank">Restaurant Business says</a> that voice could be the next step, reporting that several San Francisco-based eateries are already experimenting with a Google-supported system involving voice and facial recognition. Instead of asking for the bill and manually paying, all diners will need to say is “I’ll pay with Google” before being automatically charged. </p> <p>With suggestions that Starbucks and McDonalds are also introducing voice recognition into their apps in 2017, it could be here before you can say ‘happy meal’.</p> <h3>Staff using wearable technology</h3> <p>While smartwatches are most commonly used by consumers to track diet and fitness, we could see more restaurants utilising wearable tech in order to facilitate better customer service.</p> <p>Recently, Danny Meyer, the founder of Shake Shack, announced a partnership with Apple Watch that will integrate the technology into front-of-house service in a New York restaurant. Managers and sommeliers will constantly be alerted and informed via the watch, with information being sent about VIP guests, menu changes and complaints. </p> <p>In future, Oracle suggests that we could also see this technology infiltrating kitchens, with the Internet of Things enabling staff to ‘talk’ to appliances while they work.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5257/wearable.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="480"></p> <h3>Robot service</h3> <p>Robots taking over the world was once the storyline for every mediocre sci-fi movie, but it could now be the reality for the modern service industry at the very least.</p> <p>Self-service machines have overtaken humans in many restaurant chains, however this could also extend to the preparation and creation of food itself.</p> <p>Last year, Momentum Machines – a tech startup behind a fully autonomous burger-making machine - applied for a permit, indicating that it is to open a robot-only restaurant. While it’s hard to find any details on its progress or even if it's going ahead, this example shows that robots have the potential to replace both servers and chefs.</p> <p>With the prediction that <a href="http://uk.businessinsider.com/machines-may-replace-half-of-human-jobs-2016-2?r=US&amp;IR=T" target="_blank">50% of jobs</a> could be at risk from robots, it could also be a scary glimpse into the future.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5258/robot_waiters.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="560"></p> <h3>Virtual reality experiences</h3> <p>Lastly, while the likes of Heston Blumenthal has been experimenting with dining as a sensory experience for years, it’s now going beyond what’s on the actual plate, with virtual reality being used to transport diners to another place entirely.</p> <p>Samsung is one of the first tech brands to get on board, rolling out its Gear VR glasses to restaurants that want to create more than just a bog-standard meal.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5259/Samsung_VR.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="339"></p> <p>Even more mind-bending is Project Nourished, a New York-based tech company which builds solutions for ‘fine dining without concern for caloric intake or other health-related issue’. In other words, it uses tech to trick us into thinking we’re eating foods we're not.</p> <p>It’s as bonkers as it sounds. But what’s even crazier is that we can do this, yet we can’t make aeroplane food taste nice. </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68907 2017-04-06T10:28:22+01:00 2017-04-06T10:28:22+01:00 How Target, Birchbox and Sainsbury's ensure customer experience is king Lynette Saunders <h4>Extreme "brandsparency" at Ritual and Target</h4> <p>Trevor Hardy, Chief Executive of The Future Laboratory, highlighted how the nature of consumer trust has changed. Trust in institutions is no longer automatically granted but must be earned. He suggested education is the next frontier for brands and referred to the concept of ‘extreme brandsparency’, with retailers going to great lengths to prove their commitment to transparency.</p> <p>One such brand is Ritual multivitamins which shows where each ingredient comes from and provides links to manufacturers' websites. It also makes clear which ingredients are not included and why. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5025/rituals.jpg" alt="" width="990" height="538"></p> <p>Another example was Target’s Good &amp; Gather pilot which took a new approach to food labelling. It flips the traditional food label on its head by boldly and clearly displaying ingredients on the front of packaging rather than in fine print on the back.</p> <p>The idea originated out of work from the brand's Food &amp; Future coLab, which opened in January 2016. Other pilot projects have included allowing consumers to scan fruit and vegetables to find out their precise nutritional content. Then the consumer pays for the produce based on how fresh it is with less-than-fresh items toting a smaller price tag. </p> <p>So-called “smart scales”, placed next to participating produce, tell consumers a variety of information about the specific item such as how it was produced, whether it is organic, and its nutritional profile. The retailer is using the scales to get a better idea of the types of information that consumers are hungriest to know when stocking their homes.</p> <h4><strong>Sainsbury's focuses on "knowing its customers better than anyone else"</strong></h4> <p>The opening keynote from Mike Coupe, Chief Executive at Sainsbury's, highlighted the emphasis the retailer puts on their colleagues making a difference. Coupe talked about how Sainsbury's values make them different and are part of the DNA of the business. </p> <p>With customers having so much choice, the brand is focusing on knowing its customers better than anyone else and being there for its customers. To that end, Sainsbury's is using its transactional database to offer other products in ways that help their customers. A great example is with their car insurance product. The retailer understands that if a customer buys certain brands they are less likely to crash their car, and this enables them to offer discounts to customers based on what they know about them.</p> <h4>Birchbox shows it is not always about the 80/20 rule</h4> <p>Katia Beauchamp, Co Founder &amp; CEO of Birchbox, gave me a chance to hear at first-hand not just the story of how the brand has been at the forefront of innovation in the beauty industry, but the way they are now looking to defend this position and differentiate themselves.</p> <p>A key point that stood out was how they hadn’t chased the customers that everyone else in the beauty industry was going after ie. high spenders. They found a way to go after those not really engaged, the passive, under-served and under-spending. Competitors were focusing on <a href="http://www.investopedia.com/terms/1/80-20-rule.asp">the 80/20 rule</a> whilst Birchbox wanted to build a destination place for the beauty majority - the 80%. This is a group who value beauty products but within the context of their lives.</p> <p>Birchbox's success has been based on the realisation that consumers need to experience the product in real life before purchase. The brand wanted to provide everyone with their own beauty editor, like a best friend who opens the door to their beauty closet and hands you things they think would work for you and tells you then how to use them. This ethos led Birchbox to provide a real discovery experience with trial products supported by context information. </p> <p>Birchbox has continued to build relationships with its customers by keeping them engaged between deliveries of trial boxes through their engaging content and ongoing <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67095-how-birchbox-engages-customers-with-personalisation-that-disappears/">personalisation</a>, supported by all forms of social media. Snapchat video calling has been a great example of this - where followers can ask questions and get beauty tips.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4778/Snapchat-phone-call-.png" alt="" width="225" height="400"></p> <p>Birchbox has also recently announced plans to open its second brick-and-mortar store in Paris later this year, following its first in New York. For Beauchamp it is about using these stores to build on the relationship with their customers so they become even more powerful advocates in the real world. </p> <h4>Halfords says service is "in its DNA"</h4> <p>Jill McDonald, Chief Executive of Halfords, emphasised the importance of service in the brand's DNA, something that requires an engaged workforce.</p> <p>McDonald talked about the ways in which they are bringing their service ethos to digital, with emphasis on making every customer feel ‘sorted, inspired, and supported'. The slide below shows three of the tenets of this move to digital.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5024/Halfords.JPG" alt="move from ecommerce to service commerce, make mobile the heart of all halfords experiences, make Halfords irresistible with amazing new services" width="1002" height="544"></p> <h4>Timpson practices "upside down management"</h4> <p>The idea that your people are the key to great customer service was also reinforced by John Timpson, Chairman of Timpson, in his interesting talk on ‘upside down management’. “<em>You need to trust your people to do it their way</em>” he said.</p> <p>His approach was to give his shops autonomy and let them run the business, with even prices being simply a guideline. Reward and recognition are important, but Timpson saw finding the right people as crucial to the brand's success. You can teach people the skills to do the job, he argued, so he recruited people with the personality to deliver great service to their customers.</p> <h4>Shop Direct has "3 seconds to grab customers’ attention"</h4> <p>Alex Baldock, CEO of Shop Direct, sought to counteract predictions made in 2015 by Planet Retail that said pureplay etail will largely cease to exist by 2020. </p> <p>The challenge for retailers is to understand how much attention and patience customers have. Baldock believes relevance wins in retail and on mobile this is even more true, where Shop Direct sees 68% of its sales.</p> <p>Baldock argues the online retailer has three seconds to grab consumer attention. How do they do that? By focusing on imagery, video and making it relevant. Shop Direct focuses on personalising the experience for everyone - presenting a curated range of products at the front of the store, but still enabling customers to search from the full wardrobe.</p> <p>This approach starts with data. The retailer knows its customers so much better online, what they like and dislike and what they believe in. As a pureplay, all the testing is online, something which is more complicated for mutlichannel retailers.</p> <p>Shop Direct's test-and-learn approach ican be observed in the experiement below, conversion was increased by making the basket indicator more prominent, reducing the 'visual noise' of the header bar and highlighting the item count through a colourful indicator badge. These efforts resulted in a 1.6% lift in conversion.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4891/shop_direct_experiment.jpg" alt="" width="411" height="274"></p> <p>At Shop Direct agile working is key. People still belong to functions, but an increasing part of their time is spent with other parts of the business. It is about getting the right people to solve problems, giving them the authority and letting them loose to test their way to success. The team have been astounded by the ideas and energy created by working this way, radically improving the rate of innovation in the business. </p> <p>To hear more about what Shop Direct's approach to delivering an easy and ever-more personalised mobile experience with Very.co.uk, Econsultancy subscribers can sign up for our <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/events/mobile-trends-webinar/">Mobile Trends webinar</a>.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68920 2017-04-04T10:00:00+01:00 2017-04-04T10:00:00+01:00 Customer experience: 40% of companies say each department has its own agenda Ben Davis <p>This stat comes from a survey that forms part of Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/implementing-a-customer-experience-cx-strategy-best-practice-guide/">Implementing Customer Experience Strategy Best Practice Guide</a>. The guide includes a framework for implementing customer experience (CX), as well as advice and top tips on resolving CX challenges.</p> <p>Some of the responses to the survey show just how far behind some companies are. Alongside the 40% admitting to CX silos, 14% say that their business 'prioritises short-term profitability over customer lifetime value', 9% say they face 'barriers higher up getting strategy off the ground', and 2% say the 'C-suite is on board but doesn't communicate vision'.</p> <p>There are two chinks of light, however, with 29% of respondents saying reaching customer experience aims is 'a collaborative process' and 6% saying they 'have gained business support for CX because they were able to prove tangible business benefits.'</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5202/silos.jpg" alt="cx silos" width="615"></p> <p>In a question that could be seen to add further proof to the theory of disjointed CX strategy, when asked 'what is driving your customer experience implementation process?', 30% of respondents replied 'we design and measure our customer experience on a channel-by-channel basis' (see chart below).</p> <p>While there are some experiences that exist more neatly in a single channel than others, the challenges of service design and the best utilisation of first party-data are ones that are also best met by some sort of broader strategic thinking or mapping of the customer journey.</p> <p>Ian McCaig, founder and former CMO at Qubit, stresses the need for some centralisation:</p> <p>"The foundations have been missed. Organisations have got to get on with bringing systems together and having some kind of centralisation. You hear a lot of talk about single customer view projects or data lakes but they’ve simply got to get on and make it happen.”</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5203/channel_focus.jpg" alt="channel focus for cx" width="615"></p> <p>In Econsultancy research from 2015 (<a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-the-cx-challenge/">The CX Challenge</a>), mid-market companies were identified as struggling the most with CX. These mid-size companies said their biggest challenge was a lack of overall strategy.</p> <p>One hypothesis is that these companies are large enough to struggle with company culture, but not big enough to gain enough investment in staff and technology.</p> <p>All this may be seen to paint a sorry picture of company efforts to improve CX, but it should be noted that nearly a fifth of respondents in our recent survey said they "consistently meet customer experience expectations." Considering that there will always be changing expectations with regard to customer experience, this isn't too shabby a figure.</p> <p>However, it should be noted in the chart below that agency respondents were less confident about their clients' CX efforts.</p> <p>Only 11% of agency respondents thought their clients were meeting expectations and fully 20% said their clients "generally fail" to meet expectations (compared to 8% of company respondents choosing this option). </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5204/meeting_expectations.jpg" alt="metting consumer expectations for cx" width="615"></p> <p>While the understanding of what makes a good customer experience seems to be improving across organisations and at all levels of management, getting there is an age-old story of change management and organisational structure.</p> <p><em><strong>Subscribers can download the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/implementing-a-customer-experience-cx-strategy-best-practice-guide/">Implementing Customer Experience Strategy Best Practice Guide</a> for further findings from the survey and plenty of practical advice.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68958 2017-04-03T17:16:00+01:00 2017-04-03T17:16:00+01:00 The five key steps towards understanding the customer journey (and where most marketers are stuck) Jeff Rajeck <p>The results of cultivating a good understanding of customers and improving their experience are well understood. When excellent customer experience is achieved, marketers will better know how to engage with customers, consumers will be happier with our products and services, and, ideally, the business will have an improved bottom-line. </p> <p>To improve customer experience to any great extent, though,<strong> the customer journey must be well understood by the organization as a whole.</strong> And, as anyone who has tried will know, understanding the customer journey is not a simple task.</p> <p>To see where companies are in this regard, we surveyed nearly 1,000 marketers on this topic and published the results in a recent report in association with Emarsys, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/understanding-the-customer-journey-in-apac">Understanding the Customer Journey in Asia Pacific</a>.</p> <h3>Understanding the customer journey</h3> <p>What we found was that fully understanding the customer journey involves five key steps:</p> <h4>1) Building the business case</h4> <p>As mapping the customer journey requires spending in technology and resources, marketers must first convince management that the result will be measurable benefits for the business. Ideally the business case will include a designated team for completing this task.</p> <h4>2) Identifying the channels</h4> <p>Once the business decides to proceed, team members should start by looking at the various channels customers use to engage with the company. This is becoming especially difficult in the digital age in which consumers may research on channels which are outside of the company's control.</p> <h4>3) Acquiring the data</h4> <p>After the channels have been identified, team members need to figure how they are going to measure how frequently customers use each channel and how effective each channel is for the business.</p> <h4>4) Joining the dots</h4> <p>Once the channels are identified and the data is in-hand, the team must consider the best ways to track customers through the channels. The methods will never be perfect, but marketers should review the numerous technologies available for tracking customers and pick one which best suits the appropriate channels.</p> <h4>5) Measuring effectiveness</h4> <p>Coming full circle, marketers must then be able to produce metrics which back up the business case they made in step one. Without knowing what specifically has been improved, the team will struggle to claim that their efforts matter to the business as a whole.</p> <p>Then, once these steps are completed, marketers are able to use their new understanding of the customer journey to devise a strategy for improving the customer experience, both online and offline.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5175/cj.png" alt="" width="800" height="349"></p> <h3>Where marketers are now</h3> <p>To find out how far along marketers feel their organisations are toward understanding the customer journey, we asked them to reflect on their progress over the wide range of activities above and rate their organisation as belonging to one of four categories.</p> <p>The answers are presented in the chart below, and an overview of the answers and what each answer may indicate about the respondents' organizations follows.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5177/1.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="590"></p> <h4>Non-existent</h4> <p>In any measurement of progress, there will always be those who have not yet started. As mapping the customer journey has been a priority for some time now, <strong>very few (3%) survey respondents consider themselves at this 'non-existent' stage of understanding.</strong></p> <p>For those who are in this state, the problem can be that business as usual is working well and companies do not feel the need to change. This notion should be challenged by forward-thinking marketers as the consensus is that companies now must differentiate on more than just price, they must instead focus on providing a great customer experience.</p> <p>Building a business case to understand the customer journey, as described above, is an effective first step in doing so.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5176/3.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="600"></p> <h4>Beginner</h4> <p>Many companies have started to think seriously about the customer journey and marketers are keenly aware of the many benefits of doing so.</p> <p>However, once a company has a business case, a team of project members, and buy-in from stakeholders, issues start to emerge. Following analysis, team members may discover that there is quite a lot they don't know about their customers and find it difficult to come up with next steps <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68681-mapping-the-customer-journey-doesn-t-have-to-be-difficult/">for mapping the customer journey</a>.</p> <p>Marketers at this level certainly have started on their way, but are still at a 'beginner' phase. <strong>Just over one in three (34%) of our respondents felt their companies were at this stage.</strong></p> <p>To move on, team members should ask themselves basic questions about their customers such as:</p> <ul> <li>What are the different touchpoints customers use to interact with our product / service?</li> <li>Is there data available to measure the effectiveness of each touchpoint?</li> <li>Do we have a single view of the customer? Or is the data spread out throughout the organization?</li> </ul> <p>Answering these should go some way to identifying what the team needs to do to fill the gaps in their understanding of the customer journey.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5178/4.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="600"></p> <h4>Intermediate</h4> <p>Once the team has a plan to map the customer journey, they must then execute it. This involves many tasks such as identifying customer experience touchpoints, including the company's website, mobile presence, in-store, and customer service centers.</p> <p>On the bright side,<strong> nearly half (46%) of marketers surveyed feel like they are least on their way in this regard</strong> and so have rated themselves as having an 'intermediate' understanding of the customer journey. But less encouraging is that <strong>very few respondents (17%) indicated that they have moved past this stage and so they seem 'stuck' at this point.</strong></p> <p>Some of the roadblocks they face when trying to get all of the 'pieces of the customer journey jigsaw' include: </p> <ul> <li>acquiring customer data, both online and offline,</li> <li>accessing data, often locked up in department data silos, and,</li> <li>analyzing data with outdated, legacy technology solutions.</li> </ul> <p>These issues slow teams down and so they end up stuck at an 'intermediate' level of understanding the customer journey. That is, they have some of the information, but cannot yet piece it all together. </p> <p>Participants at a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68286-why-mapping-the-customer-journey-is-so-hard-and-what-you-can-do-about-it/">recent roundtable discussion held in Sydney</a> had some suggestions for those facing these problems. They recommend that marketers:</p> <ul> <li>work to change the company culture to be more customer-focused,</li> <li>review the suitability of IT solutions for capturing data across touchpoints,</li> <li>build up analytics expertise regarding customer data, and,</li> <li>prove ROI to the business to ensure existing executive support for customer-based initiatives.</li> </ul> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9069/joining1.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h4>Advanced</h4> <p>Marketers whose companies gathered the stakeholders, completed the tasks listed above and arrived at a 'coordinated approach' both online and offline categorize themselves as 'advanced'. Achieving this level is a remarkable task and one which less than one in five (17%) have accomplished.</p> <p>'Advanced' is where most organizations aim to be, however. In <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-intelligence-briefings/">our 2017 global survey</a>, <strong>70% of respondents said that 'optimizing the customer journey across multiple touchpoints' will be 'very important' for them over the next few years.</strong></p> <p>To do so effectively, the companies who are 'not advanced' have a lot of work to do.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5179/2.jpg" alt="" width="711" height="520"></p> <p><strong><em>Econsultancy subscribers can download the full report: <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/understanding-the-customer-journey-in-apac">Understanding the Customer Journey in Asia Pacific</a>.</em></strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68934 2017-04-03T14:11:00+01:00 2017-04-03T14:11:00+01:00 How chatbots and AI might impact the B2C financial services industry Alasdair Graham <p>Because of this, a significant proportion of FS businesses may not have felt the need to invest in digital. This is also potentially exacerbated by the fact that their competitors and cohorts are also lagging in terms of digital. Research by Econsultancy and Adobe shows that <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-trends-in-the-financial-services-and-insurance-sector-2016/">9% of FS businesses claim to be digital-first</a>, compared to 11% across all sectors.</p> <p>As younger, digitally native clients begin moving into the market for financial services at both a consumer level and professional level, becoming ‘digital first’ is now imperative for the financial services industry.</p> <p>In addition to the changing workforce and consumer landscape, the FCA also launched the <a href="https://www.fca.org.uk/firms/financial-advice-market-review-famr?field_fcasf_sector=unset&amp;field_fcasf_page_category=unset">Financial Advice Market Review</a> in late 2015 which aimed to review and explore ways in which financial institutions can take actions to:</p> <ul> <li>Provide affordable advice to consumers.</li> <li>Improve and increase access to advice.</li> <li>Address industry concerns relating to future liabilities and redress without watering down levels of consumer protection.</li> </ul> <p>With these goals in mind, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/marketing-in-the-age-of-artificial-intelligence/">AI</a>, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68046-five-pioneering-examples-of-how-brands-are-using-chatbots/">chatbots</a> and digital tick a range of boxes, particularly under the “affordability” and “accessibility” criteria.</p> <p>Like some systems that consumers may be familiar with, such as virtual assistants like Siri, Cortana or Amazon’s Echo platform, chatbots are essentially pieces of software that simulate human, natural language conversations and can respond to and act upon queries and commands from users.</p> <p>The advantage these systems have over a ‘real’ conversation with a human is that they are able to extract and analyse a user’s needs and intent and ultimately return the information a user has requested or perform actions for them faster, at any time of day or night, more accurately and at significantly lower cost than a human counterpart.</p> <p>This new AI technology has been taken note of by financial institutions on a global scale, with 80% viewing them as an opportunity.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5222/bots_opportunity.png" alt="" width="565" height="402"></p> <p><em>Image Source: <a href="https://thefinancialbrand.com/63596/financial-banking-bots-chatbot-voice-ai/">The Financial Brand</a></em></p> <h3>Bots are viewed as an opportunity by the financial services sector</h3> <p>As with most emerging technologies, smaller, agile fintech startups have been quick to adopt chatbot technology out of both necessity and choice. This mitigates the issue of expensive traditional customer service interactions and ultimately benefits the end users through savings and improved customer experiences.</p> <p>UK startup <a href="https://www.habito.com/">Habito</a> built the world’s first AI mortgage advice chatbot which queries applicant’s financial status, asking questions covering an applicant’s salary, personal life and employment.</p> <p>After this 10-15 minute ‘chat’ the bot then collates all the data given and queries hundreds of products, as opposed to the handful that a human advisor would be able to query, and in a fraction of the time.</p> <p>In line with the FCA’s ‘financial advice market review’ this results in a far less stressful process for the consumer, free of having to schedule and attend appointments within office hours, paying a premium for advice, or interacting with a potentially biased party.</p> <p>According to Habito's CEO and founder Daniel Hegarty: "Our digital mortgage adviser is a huge step forward in making mortgage advice accessible for consumers in the way they need it most: unbiased, always available and, most importantly, free.”</p> <p>Ultimately, this move to fully automated, impartial chatbot-based advice could result in consumers saving thousands of pounds per year.</p> <p>The benefits of this type of technology are clear with many people choosing to apply and research mortgages online through these types of systems rather than spending the extra time and potentially cash on a human mortgage broker that may not necessarily have the best deals available. These systems could potentially pave the way to a fully automated mortgage approval, further removing the potential for human error and bias from the process.</p> <p>American bank Capital One also launched a chatbot called ‘Eno’.  Eno is able to interpret text-based conversational queries and commands alongside emojis.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jvyHcjZoGJk?wmode=transparent" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <p>This includes the ability to check balances and pay off credit cards, while cash transfers are also in the works. Additionally for customers with Amazon Echo, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68791-should-financial-services-brands-follow-capital-one-on-to-amazon-echo/">Capital One has also built out a ‘skill’ that allows for voice commands</a>.</p> <p>The benefits of this are clear from both sides – consumers get what is equivalent to an ‘always on’ personal assistant at the bank that can perform actions for them without having to interact with cumbersome apps or websites and convoluted log-in processes for basic requests.</p> <h3>Percentage of FI's that believe bots will take over many of today's customer conversations</h3> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5223/percentage_of_fis.png" alt="" width="565" height="362"></p> <p><em>Image Source: <a href="https://thefinancialbrand.com/63596/financial-banking-bots-chatbot-voice-ai/">The Financial Brand</a></em></p> <p>At the business side, Capital One stand to make significant savings in terms of time and manpower as users transition from face-to-face and telephone queries to simply asking Eno.</p> <p>Given the abundance of data available to financial services firms and the often methodical, process-driven nature of consumer financial advice, chatbots seem like an easy decision for most consumer-facing financial services companies.</p> <p>The fact that mobile is now a huge factor in financial services and particularly banking is also a huge opportunity for chatbots and AI. Chatbots are particularly well suited for mobile given that messaging is arguably one of the most used features on smartphones.  </p> <p>Not to mention that financial service chatbots could easily be integrated into applications that billions of consumers already have and are using daily such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. This removes a significant barrier to entry in that consumers don’t have to download another app or alter their existing mobile behaviour patterns.</p> <p>With the above in mind, businesses within the financial services industry will only truly realise the advantages of AI and chatbots if it is implemented as part of a well-considered, omnichannel strategy.</p> <p><strong><em>Related reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68934-how-chatbots-and-ai-might-impact-the-b2c-financial-services-industry/"><em>How chatbots and AI might impact the B2C financial services industry</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/financial-services-and-insurance-internet-statistics-compendium/"><em>Financial Services and Insurance Internet Statistics Compendium</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68932-how-we-built-our-facebook-chatbot-what-does-it-do-and-what-s-the-point/"><em>How we built our Facebook chatbot: What does it do, and what's the point?</em></a></li> </ul>