6 Trends in Customer Experience for 2021
Customer experience is the 2021 buzzword on every leader’s lips. How your customers perceive your brand holistically matters more in the current landscape than ever before.
Research from Zendesk shows 55% of customers are ready to spend more with companies that offer a better customer experience. On the other hand, 38% of customers are ready to switch to a competitor after just one bad experience.
The numbers don’t lie. Customer experience (or CX as it is known) matters so it’s time to pay attention.
So, where do you start? Let’s take a look at the most important customer experience trends right now
1. Customer experience is the new brand differentiator
Good CX is no longer just a nice-to-have. It’s a competitive advantage. Customer experience will soon beat price and product as the key brand differentiator.
Today, customers are empowered and not only expect a good experience, they demand it. The companies that step up and offer the good CX are the ones that will stand out. Others will get left behind.
The goal is to exceed your customers’ expectations and in the process capture and retain loyal customers, through meaningful experiences.
2. Omnichannel presence is a must
In the current climate, customers expect to be able to communicate with companies when and where it’s most convenient for them. A customer may contact you via social media first, then move on to email and perhaps even to phone support afterwards.
It is on you—not the customer—to make sure your agents are aware of the customer’s support journey at every stage of their contact with you—no matter what channel they come from.
Businesses, therefore, must be able to deliver a seamless and consistent customer experience across the board.
3. Self-service support
Customers with questions are no longer waiting for organisations to provide them with answers or solutions. They are searching for, and finding the answers themselves.
You can help your customers find help on their own by giving them the right tools. For instance, create a knowledge base or FAQ section with answers to the most common issues your customers face. Also, consider using AI and technology to improve the self support customer experience.
4. Leading with empathy
Empathy is more than just a customer experience trend. It’s a cornerstone quality of good customer service.
With 2020 being the year that it was, both your agents and customers would certainly appreciate more empathetic leadership. With everyone busy trying to make sense of and survive through various challenges, customers want companies that put their needs ahead of sales.
Don’t forget about your team either. Leaders need to be able to relate, connect, listen and bond with their teams to inspire and empower their lives. Happy employees will lead to happy customers.
5. A delicate balance between personalisation and privacy
Can hyper personalisation and privacy go hand in hand? Well, that’s exactly what your customers are demanding.
A Gladly’s 2020 Customer Expectations Report indicates that 84% of consumers will spend more with brands that provide personalised customer service.
But, while these customers are seeking highly personalised interactions, they are also uneasy about the increasing invasion of privacy. Customers are now wary about how organisations collect, store and use their personal information.
Be mindful about how you use customer data to shape your customer experiences. Reassure customers that their data is not being used or stored inappropriately. If you can find a way to create personalisation while respecting your customers’ need for privacy—you’re more likely to win their trust.
6. Technology and tools will be the game changer
Performance and speed are two important factors when it comes to delivering efficient and quality customer experiences. The tech you use to deliver the customer experience—for example, your knowledge base and self service portal—should always be up to date, and must be easy to search and navigate.
Customer service response should be fast and responsive. Hence, the growing popularity of AI chatbots and social messaging for customer support.
When it comes to your staff, take advantage of learning management systems and training portals to streamline training and talent development.
Creating good customer experiences is going to matter in 2021 and beyond. What we consider as trends today will become tomorrow’s reality so it’s best to get ahead of the curve.
Customers will continue to expect more from companies—and will definitely be looking for a holistic experience. If you fail to deliver, you risk losing the customer’s loyalty.
So are you ready for this new reality? Schedule a Diagnostic Session now.