Businesses must consider these CX trends to remain competitive post-pandemic.
The past few years have been a time of great upheaval and change. The global pandemic has forced us to re-evaluate what is important to us and to question how we do everything, from schooling and shopping to work and business processes. As we begin to tentatively emerge from the pandemic, we must identify the changes we want to hold on to.
Like many other business practices, customer experience (CX) saw rapid shifts in both delivery and customer expectation. The pandemic has forced businesses to adapt their models to align with these changing customer demands. And while some of these shifts were temporary, others have real staying power and the potential to enhance your business.
Here are the post-pandemic CX trends we think should be permanent:
Improved customer service delivery: Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp for business are becoming increasingly popular as new ways for customers to communicate with businesses. As more people turn away from traditional phone calls, these platforms offer a low-cost alternative that can be customised by the customer, allowing them greater control over how they interact (and what information is given) during their interaction process.
This CX trend will likely continue as customers become more comfortable communicating with businesses through these channels. Businesses that don’t already have a presence on these platforms will need to invest in developing one if they want to remain competitive.
Personalisation at scale: In the post-pandemic world, customers are now even more discerning about where they spend their money. New technologies have made it easier than ever before for people to comparison shop and provided them with an endless stream of options from which businesses can choose as well. As a result, companies must find ways to make themselves stand out by providing personalised experiences that address specific customer needs.
The trend will become increasingly important in the future because, despite economic uncertainty, there remains one thing all consumers want: convenience when doing business.
Increased focus on digital channels: Businesses have been forced to put more emphasis on digital channels to stay connected to their clients. This shift is largely because many customers now work remotely and have less time for in-person interactions. Additionally, with social distancing guidelines, many customers were hesitant to visit physical locations. As a result, businesses have had to find new ways to reach their customers online. This shift will continue as customers become more comfortable conducting transactions online and through mobile apps.
Improved data collection, analysis and governance: The mass migration to digital also resulted in a big increase in the data businesses collect about their customers, which is unlikely to change in the post-pandemic world. Customers are becoming more comfortable with sharing their data with businesses, and businesses are becoming more adept at collecting and analysing this data to improve customer experience.
This trend is set to continue as businesses use data to improve their understanding of their customers and deliver more personalised interactions. It also means marketers have a greater responsibility to safeguard and process data to adhere to strict regulations that protect customer information.
Improved communication and transparency: Another change we've seen since the onset of the pandemic is improved business communication and transparency. Customers now expect companies to be more open and honest about their products and services. Businesses should not be afraid of getting negative feedback from customers by being honest about what they offer and how they can improve.
Customers also expect companies to update them on changes or delays in a timely manner. This shift is likely due partly to the increased scrutiny businesses have faced during the pandemic. With so much uncertainty, customers want companies they can trust.
Increased use of artificial intelligence: The pandemic accelerated the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in customer experience as businesses sought ways to automate repetitive tasks and free up staff for more complex jobs. This trend is set to continue in the post-pandemic world as businesses seek to improve efficiency and reduce costs. AI can also be used to provide more personalised experiences by automating tasks such as product recommendations and targeted marketing messages. Read more about the ways AI, especially chatbots, can take your CX to the next level in this blog.
The pandemic has forced businesses across the globe to rapidly adapt their operations to survive. While many of these changes were implemented out of necessity, some have had a positive impact on customers and employees alike. Businesses that want to stay ahead of the competition must keep these CX trends in mind as they develop their strategies for the future.
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