There’s no denying that customer experience (CX) is taking a more central role in how businesses plan to engage their audiences. A study by Forrester found a 1 000% increase in C-level CX roles in B2C and B2B companies between 2014 and 2019.
The rise of the Chief Customer Officer (CCO) means that more brands are looking at their customers as active participants in an ongoing, two-way conversation instead of generic personas at the receiving end of a loudspeaker.
We have experienced a period of unique challenges in the business world. With so many operations going digital and almost every business restating its value to customers, everyone is turning to CX to keep customers engaged and maintain brand loyalty.
These are the biggest CX trends of 2021 so far:
Connected customer data
Businesses now have access to more data than ever before, which is good because we know more about customers. However, issues of data fragmentation and disparate systems still affect how efficiently data is managed. Customers want brands to understand them without having to repeat themselves. Businesses must collaborate internally and improve their CRM systems to build more accurate customer profiles.
The AI advantage
We’re uncovering more uses for artificial intelligence (AI) as the enthusiasm for the technology grows and fear wanes. AI is providing the tools to develop better virtual assistants and chatbots, automate repetitive processes and manage data more efficiently. We can personalise and optimise platforms for individuals based on historical interactions, which hints at more “organic” digital interfaces in the future. And this leads us to the next trend…
Go ahead help yourself
Customers who would like to find a quick solution with a minimum amount of effort are increasingly looking for self-service options. This means rather than focusing on providing customer service agents, brands can provide AI-powered chatbots, a repository of information to serve as a customer service library, or a social media customer service portal. There is also the advantage that this will free up their agents for more challenging customer service queries.
Everyone is a customer
We now know that building your CX strategies solely for end consumers is short-sighted. Everyone who interacts with your business fulfils the definition of a “customer” for CX purposes. Your suppliers, investors, employees and other stakeholders must buy into your brand, so you have to craft consumer-grade experiences for them too. The sooner you start unifying experiences across all touchpoints with your business for everyone, the faster your brand will mature.
Mobile-first is the future
Smartphone penetration in South Africa has surpassed 90% of the population. Maximising CX means deliberately building for mobile first. This has several implications for messaging, design and content. For example, dark themes in UI design are rising in popularity because people spend more time on their devices and prolonged exposure to blue light has negative health consequences. Attention spans are also becoming shorter, so content needs to be bite-sized and concise.
Omnichannel brings it all together
You can’t have a conversation about CX without discussing omnichannel customer experiences. The points at which consumers will start an interaction with a business are expanding, but the experience still needs to be seamless. Tech giants like Apple and Uber look, sound and feel the same however you encounter them and customers are starting to expect this level of consistency even from startups.
Are you ready to transform your customer's experience of your brand? Find out how League will help you develop an exceptional customer experience strategy that builds a foundation of loyalty and improves customer retention. Contact us to start your journey to CX success.