7 Technology Trends Evolving the Customer Experience Previous item Comstor EDGE Conference... Next item Cisco Executives Offer...

Recently, customer experience has been a hot topic on EDGE360, and for good reason. The traditional customer journey is changing every day due to the implementation of digital technologies, and VARs can no longer compete solely on product and price. While these digital solutions provide a better, more fluid customer experience, they are complex and require the VAR community to navigate through multiple interactions with the customer on varying platforms. To excel in customer experience, it’s important for IT resellers to understand the technologies that are impacting the IT channel and evolving the customer journey. Cisco recently explored the seven technology trends that are defining the future of customer experience.

Smart Stores

With the rise of digital commerce, retailers are creating an omnichannel experience that links both online and in-store experiences. Taking this one step further are the smart brick-and-mortar stores that mimic online feeling but offer unique in-store experiences that can only be offered at a physical location, such as demos, in-store pickup, or trials. “Walking through the doors is just like walking into our website,” says Angela Ahrendts, the former Burberry CEO, on omnichannel experience.


Customers no longer respond to non-personalized advertising, they require unique experiences. With the demand for individualized products and services on the rise, it’s important for companies to adapt their products, services, and advertising efforts. This applies to the IT channel community, as well. Molly Sherwood, Director of Marketing for Westcon-Comstor North America,  recently explored how this changing landscape is influencing the channel. She noted that a vast number of new outlets and tools are emerging to help VARs understand how their customer prefers to engage. Knowing the data behind customer preferences will be key. According to Forbes, by 2020, 1.7 MB of new information will be created every second for every human. Organizations can leverage this data to boost personalization efforts.

Intelligent Assistants

Forty-five percent of U.S. adults already own a voice assistant, according to Forrester. Intelligent assistants like the Amazon Alexa or Apple Siri have the ability to engage customers by adding a voice to interactions. With advancements in AI technology, assistants will begin to participate in more complex interactions, such as shopping and customer support.

Remote Experts

Although customers rely heavily on digital technology to fulfill their needs, human customer support is still a necessity. It is still critical to build in a customer connection to increase satisfaction. Comstor’s Sherwood predicted that 2019 would be the year for customer experience in the IT Channel and thus far, its proven true.  Accenture estimates that when customers switch companies due to poor customer service, the cost is devastating, over $1.5 trillion. To remedy this, companies must maintain a digital customer service presence while offering remote, human customer support.

Instant Fulfillment

Over 30 percent of Millennials believe that same-day shipping is important when making an online purchase, according to Econsultancy. With rising customer expectations thanks to services like Amazon Prime, same-day deliveries and pickups may not be far off. With drones and driverless cars becoming a reality, the potential for same-day delivery could be in the near future. According to McKinsey & Company, over 25 percent of customers would pay for same-day delivery.

Virtual and Augmented Reality

According to Forrester, there will be over 15 million phone-based virtual reality (VR) units in the U.S. by 2020. With VR and augmented reality (AR), creating engaging experiences that blur the lines between the digital and physical world is possible. Companies have the opportunity to use the technology to bring demos to life.

Application Experience

A great customer experience is only made a reality by the high-performing applications that run it. Application monitoring technologies are an important aspect of the customer experience plan to ensure that technology is running correctly. According to Wired, 40 percent of customers will abandon a website if it takes more than three seconds to load. To ensure the performance of websites, apps, and social experiences, application technologies are a must.