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The Autonomous Customer of 2015

The Autonomous Customer of 2015

Reconnecting and engaging with the Autonomous Customer of today

We catch up with Nicola Millard, BT’s Customer Insight and Futurologist at this year’s Customer Contact Expo, who shared a few of her insights on the Autonomous Customer in 2015 and what this means for organisations and customer experience alike. 

A key point Nicola makes is that the modern customer should not necessarily be grouped under the ‘Omni-Channel’ umbrella – they are driven by goals and are looking for alternative ways using multiple channels and mediums to achieve these goals. According to research undertaken by BT and Avaya ‘Autonomous Customer 2015: On hold for Intelligent Customer Service’, for organisations to really improve their customer experience, they must do more than just offer alternative mediums –   four in five say advisors should be instantly familiar with their details across all channels. 

Nicola prompts us to consider that customers are becoming increasingly less loyal. Autonomous customers are busy people, and loyalty is not the biggest factor in deciding whether to purchase from that organisation again – instead the deciding factor boils down to whether the buying process was seamless. Autonomous customers are increasingly self-sufficient and are being driven by the need to investigate their purchases online prior to buying, with  three in four consumers saying they consistently research commodities online. 

Nicola goes on to talk about the growing popularity of video and social media. There has been a considerable rise in customers these days utilising YouTube videos to research a new product or service, with one in three consumers saying they use this method instead of a traditional search engine. According to Nicola, social media has also become a growing trend for customer service, being the fastest growing customer contact channel in the past five years. 

To sum up, Nicola prompts the listener to consider what the Autonomous Customer means for contact centres and customer experience alike. How do we start to devise better strategies for autonomous customers who are perfectly willing to work by themselves, however still need a slight bit of help in order to achieve their end goal? The challenge for organisations today is finding a way to re-connect and re-engage with the autonomous customers of the modern day.