The year 2020 was a difficult one for most businesses, but it also marked a major transformation in the way many businesses were conducted. Most of these changes are now permanent features in the way businesses are operated. At the helm is the reality that customer service is no longer an issue any organization can afford to handle with kid's gloves.
No doubt, customer experience management has always been of concern to industry leaders in the past, but today, to be a business executive in an increasingly digital world calls for more detailed strategies and responses. We should expect new trends in industries such as automobile, banking, retail, and high-end service providers. In 2021 and years to come, customer care services are bound to change and adapt to the new normal that has been created by the global pandemic.
Do you have a business and understand the need to pivot with the times? Then, here are some major customer experience trends to watch out for and possibly implement in 2021 and beyond.
Increased focus on customer experience (CX)
In the coming years, the focus on customer experience will be much higher. Many consumers will walk away from their preferred brand after one sad experience. Some of us have been there before. So, for any business to thrive in 2021 and beyond there must be an improvement in the customer service sector.
Although customer experience has to do with the delivery of goods and services, it also involves the entire process of how these services are provided to the consumer. Customers are more likely to trust a brand that not only keeps promises but also demonstrates a genuine interest in guiding them through the processes.
Recent happenings on the global stage have provoked a major shift to the digital economy. There have been new policy formulations and major changes have been seen in the ways companies deal with customers. Consumers will most likely shift their loyalty to organizations that not only provide simplified digital assistance but also offer physical intervention if the need arises.
Digital interface with the real world
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, you probably held multiple physical meetings with your team and you may have even had the opportunity to interact with clients/customers. But the pandemic has changed everything. Most businesses have shifted their day-to-day interactions to a digital workspace.
Corporate meetings, interviews, and seminars are now hosted on apps such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, GoToMeeting, WebEx Meetings, Google Hangouts Meets, etc. For many organizations, this is a new management trend that is much welcomed. These online applications have been found to be very helpful in several ways. Global meetings can now be held with shorter notice periods and significantly fewer overhead costs.
As nations are opening up and travel restrictions are being relaxed, many organizations may revert to the old ways of business operation. However, while we seek to achieve a renewed sense of normalcy, it will be a great disservice to throw away the digital gains made over the past year. Forward-looking companies will not be quick to let go of systems that have proven effective in what was undoubtedly the most unstable period in modern economics.
The use of artificial intelligence (AI)
AI is technology designed to assist humans by reducing workload. It has no intelligence of its own but it is programmed to function in sectors that require repetitive tasks. For some years now, companies have been leveraging this technology to scale their services especially in the area of customer support.
AI chatbots are integrated into companies’ websites to help in managing the response and resolution time. Until recently, the idea of Artificial Intelligence generated much controversy in corporate circles, but the inconvenience resulting from the lockdown has triggered much support for the involvement of this technology in today’s business operations. Executives should watch out for greater utilization of AI technology in the coming years. This trend will help brands in building a better customer experience.
Omnichannel customer relationship
A customer could get frustrated when there is a delay in response when faced with urgent situations. Having to constantly repeat themselves does not only lead to frustration, but it breeds distrust, especially if the information being repeated is personal. Customers have expressed dissatisfaction with being transferred from agent to agent in an effort to get practical solutions or assistance.
An omnichannel could help “management” interact with the customers with less friction and interruption. It will make it easier for you to communicate with your customers on their platform. The customer chooses from options such as email, voice call, web chat, social media, or SMS.
Omnichannel marketing provides an easy platform to reach out to your customer or respond to their call for assistance as someone in a senior or management role. There has been growth in this trend in the past few years but there is a greater need for consistency with this customer relationship approach now and it will ideally be one of the most essential customer experience trends in 2021 and beyond.
More personalized brands
There has been growing receptivity for personalized brands. According to Mckinsey, this is one of the customer experience trends that will be a determining factor in consumer satisfaction in 2021. A study has shown that 80% of retail customers will prefer a product personalized to their experience.
To be abreast with the new customer experience management trends, you can start by collecting detailed customer data. With the information gathered, personalized offers can be made to them. Automated tools can be used to customize information such as SMS and social media notifications to the customer's identity.
Increased attention to privacy
These days, there is a growing concern for cybersecurity. As much as consumers are willing to provide their data to a business on demand, they also care about the protection of this information. The new management trend requires that companies pay more attention to the security of people's information at their disposal.
A company that provides a sense of security for its customers is one that will earn loyalty over time.
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