Improving the customer experience has been the focus of companies for some time. But what does this mean after the business and work-life disruptions of the past two years? How do current tech-innovations impact these improvements? Is it possible to make these improvements more agile and affordable? Let’s answer these questions by examining current customer experience trends.
Why the Customer Experience Matters
Customers will pay more for a valuable experience. And providing it helps companies build trust with customers, which enables the sharing of data. This adds up to the customer experience being the playing field where companies engage in brand competition. To stand out in the field, companies need to provide a superior customer experience. What does the future of CX look like as we move into 2022?
Customers expect their experience with companies to be tailored to their needs with consistency across all touchpoints. It can be a tall order, but by leveraging technology, companies can deliver fluid customer experiences from start to finish.
Tech delivers on-target marketing to customers who are a good fit for their products and enables companies to build stronger connections and deeper relationships with customers to scale.
Personalized Customer Experience
Customers expect personalized engagement with brands, products, and services. Companies earn trust with their customers by showcasing the personal value of what they provide. Tech makes this a relevant proposition by providing deeper, real-time connections through tech-driven solutions.
By reaching the right customer at the right time with the right product, technology provides the means to cultivate “micro-moments” with customers to scale. An opportunity in seconds where a company can identify a potential customer and in the same second act on it.
Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), and Internet of Things (IoT)
The level of engagement and quality of services is key to customer experience trends. These technologies can provide customers with a persistent, immersive online environment to connect, communicate, and interact in exciting ways over virtual platforms. This helps earn the trust of a customer in a refreshing way.
Move from Anticipatory to Predictive
The use of AI to make auto-handling within contact centers better is bringing a personal touch to these systems. Augmenting automation with AI includes:
Using these technologies to improve written and spoken communication helps contact centers route customers to better solutions. Incorporating AI enables more intelligent routing based on data. It takes more into consideration, including customer personality, past inquiries, and situational circumstances, and processes it in real time. This provides valuable insights that improve the customer journey, moving it from anticipatory to predictive.
Human Connection Balanced with Automation
Automation, yes, but as we move into the new year, one of the most compelling customer service trends is a focus on the human connection in CX. Developing the customer experience with a balance between automation and empathy needs to be weighed moving forward.
Customers have strong feelings about automation, and it often creates a barrier instead of trust. A Chatbot is ideal for FAQs, but a human touch is needed to build trust.
Providing this human touch in customer service involves:
Designing the customer experience to interweave intelligent data analytics at scale with empathetic human interaction will make your company standout from the competition.
The Customer Experience Hinges on Employee Experience
2021 brought disruptions. From the supply chain to the great resignation, businesses were forced to consider the customer experience and the employee experience. Workers have taken the time to re-evaluate what work means and what options different working situations can bring to their lives. Workers are looking for individual work-life strategies that work for their individual lives, giving meaning and purpose to what they do. So why is employee experience important to the customer experience?
One emerging trend is that the customer isn’t always right, not when that mindset sacrifices employee well-being. Stressed, frustrated employees do not create meaningful customer interactions. A company cannot see CX improvement without listening to employee feedback and providing the personalized employee experiences that workers are looking for. Upgrading your customer experience in 2022 means upgrading your employee experience too. They are hinged together.
Creating long-term customers is a primary importance when it comes to customer experience trends. According to Forbes, almost three-quarters of customers would stop doing business with a company due to a negative experience. This can translate into one bad customer experience equaling a lifetime of never again. That’s no way to run a successful company.
Designing significant touchpoints for customers creates customer trust, and it is that trust that has customers returning. Increasing investment that will improve CX is an investment in the lifetime value of a customer.
But not complaining does not equate to satisfaction. Customer loyalty and retention are keys that unlock company growth, despite market uncertainty and business disruptions. These keys are forged by:
An Affordable World-Class Customer Experience
Providing deeper personalization and the level of service customers expect is necessary to remain competitive in today’s market. In the past, helpfulness was often sacrificed in the name of automated efficiency. This did not improve the customer experience. It most often exacerbated it. It’s way past time to figure out how to provide world-class CX without breaking the budget. How do customer experience trends in 2022 play out without the budget falling out?
In an experience economy, customer-centric companies rise to the top. An organization needs to cultivate a customer-centric culture where everyone contributes to the customer experience to achieve that. It cannot only be the foray of customer service departments or sales and marketing but needs to move up and down and across departments. Everyone company-wide needs to see it as a part of their job. To do this affordably, building processes and systems across the organization need to be streamlined to put the customer in the center.
This focus includes:
Remote work catapulted to the stratosphere with the pandemic. It’s here now as an integral part of working life. Building stronger and more efficient remote teams moving into the new year is a part of building a world-class customer experience. Engaging a business process outsource (BPO) partner affordably provides a customer experience specialist who gives customers:
Outsourcing remote teams can also enhance your processes and expand your customer experience with new methodologies, paving the path to a more customer-centric culture and CX improvement.
Consistent Multi-channeling Service
Omni-channel engagement was another thing that catapulted during the pandemic to become a mainstay of the customer experience. The focus moving forward is to streamline for consistency. The key to growth is clarity, providing coherent and reliable communication across channels. Your business remains the same for customers regardless of what delivery channel is used. This loops back to upgrading your operations through a CX lens across departments.
Growth in 2022
As we move into 2022, customer experience trends are focused on creating a competitive edge through tech-driven solutions that balance data automation with an empathetic, personalized, human experience. Delivering an affordable, relevant, and seamless experience for customers is a long-term strategy for growth in the year ahead and beyond.