Businesses around the world are hoping that 2021 brings with itself much-needed stability and normalcy back into our lives. But one thing is clear: customer behavior has changed based on how brands pivoted and delivered through the pandemic.
Many reports from leading research institutes have emphasized the role of customer experience going forward. Hence, companies need to focus on raising their CX bar. With this in mind, the following are our top picks for CX trends to sail smoothly next year.
1. CX Will Be a Major Contributing Factor to Brand Loyalty
I know what you’re thinking, “This ain’t no surprise.” But the intensity of this is: one of the latest research by Zendesk & ESG Research states that as many as 89% of organizations believe that CX stagnation will lead to business disruption. While CX has always been a significant factor for customer loyalty, it is now table stakes for companies. Hence, companies need to invest in improving their CX capabilities.
Ensuring that your touchpoints and self-service channels are responsive, intuitive, and the processes oiled with the latest tools will contribute to better CX. How easily customers can find information, order, raise support tickets, connect with service agents, etc., on your online portals will be deciding factors of whether or not they’ll repeat shop with you. Hence, our advice is to focus on upgrading customer-facing interfaces as well as the backend processes (in customer service) with the latest technology.
2. CX Channels That Are Integrated and Personalized Will Lead the Way
Time and again, it has been opined, and rightly so, that you need to meet the customers where they are. Its simple translation is: provide multiple channels to your customers to connect, i.e., chat, online communities, call centers, discussion threads, etc. But this approach is successful only when all the channels are connected. If your brand isn’t offering a unified experience, your customers will end up getting frustrated, sooner or later.
The next thing is hyper-personalization. If your customers are using certain products or services, the channels should optimize accordingly. For instance, when they open your self-service portal, they should see questions suited to the product(s) versions they own, and recommendations related to previous interactions, purchase history, etc. This experience is what sets pacesetters and laggers apart.
3. CX Champions Will Empower Customers to Help Themselves by Being Proactive
The service leaders’ mantra is ‘help customers help themselves.’ Self-service channels came into existence as a cost-saving effort or a nice-to-have website. Successful brands have turned them into strategic advantage by anticipating customer challenges and struggles to provide solutions proactively.
This practice will be more important going forward. Companies that will invest in sentiment analysis technology will be in a stronger position to iron the wrinkles as they form. When you know the root cause of issues, it is easier to fix them. It will also help effectively triage support tickets and ultimately raise the CX game.
4. 2021 Will Be About Scaling Digital Experiences With Empathy
Customers and businesses are going through tricky times. That’s why you need to be more empathetic when interacting with customers. A recent Salesforce research established that 71% of consumers say that companies who show sensitivity to current times are more likely to earn their loyalty.
There are AI-based apps that help you scale online customer experiences humanely. These include:
- Chatbots that leverage NLP (Natural Language Programming) to infer customer sentiments and respond accordingly;
- Apps that identify tickets more prone to escalation so that service agents can take pre-emptive action.
Such intelligent and nifty applications are a must-have for companies to prepare for the years ahead.
5. Predictive Analytics to Gain Insights & Provide for a Real-Time, Dynamic Experience
If there is a time to invest in artificial intelligence, it was yesterday. You are already behind if your workflows are not leveraging predictive analytics. It is paramount to your success that you access customer actions such as clicks, views, questions raised on discussion forums & social media, etc.
Customers will expect real-time, in-the-moment guidance when they feel stuck in your product or online platforms. You can offer it at scale with cognitive search. It integrates multiple digital properties and offers rich customer insights, which, in turn, accelerates real-time assistance and recommendations when customers search. It even helps in assigning the right customer health scores to predict customers at risk of churn.
Want to Be 2021-Ready and Provide Exceptional CX? Get Started Now!
Tune into this on-demand webinar titled, “Double Win: Transforming Customer and Employee Experience with AI.” In this session, Vishal Sharma, CTO – SearchUnify, and Chad McDaniel, President – Execs In The Know, dive deep into proven strategies that can transform your CX and EX across every stage of the customer journey and the role of cognitive technologies in redefining experiences across industries.