Are you ready to find out the secret to creating a futureproof customer experience strategy? If only it were that simple. The reality is that there is no foolproof plan you can put in place to counter any eventuality in the constantly changing customer experience landscape.
There are, however, certain mindsets that can be nurtured throughout the business to help create an environment of continuous improvement. That, along with a close eye on the latest trends will stand you in good stead. With that in mind, we’ve taken a look at this year’s trends as they unfold, and a glimpse into what the future holds for us all. Hold onto your seats, we’re taking a ride into the future of CX as we know it.
How the customer experience is evolving
People love innovations. Fact. People young and old, from all walks of life. We’re talking about tech advancements that help everyone from the elderly in care homes, to the youngest users looking to interact with digital platforms for fun.
In itself, our thirst for digital innovation may never change, but our expectations are. In Entrepreneur, tech expert Rashan Dixon talks about how new product releases used to the golden ticket for keeping a company afloat. Not anymore. Now, anticipating customer needs and proactively tackling them is the safest route to success. Again, we’re back to the idea of mindset. From the top down, companies who are flying the flag for great CX are thinking, even obsessing, about how they can meet customer needs and expectations.
We like it personal
This all means one thing. A personalised experience is always going to feel superior to a customer than the alternative. More and more, it’s simply expected by customers as they start to engage with companies.
Internet Retailing reported that 69% of customers want this personalised experience, with a mismatch in brand response. Only 50% of brands are listening to this trend. Zoom out from the stats, and you’ll see what this looks like in the real world. Personalised communications and product offerings are just two examples of how you can tick this box.
Think about fashion brands like Lookiero to get an idea of this in action. Customers enter a bit about themselves, and they act as a personalised stylist, delivering outfits that match the criteria to their door.
Chat and a cuppa anyone?
People love to chat and feel connected, right? You might argue that this is all part of being human. That said, we’re moving further and further into an age where much more communication is happening online.
Brands understanding the ways to harness this chat and speak to customers on channels they commonly use is another engagement technique. Studies show that 53% of people prefer channels like chat, text, and bots to communicate with customer service teams. That idea would probably sound outlandish in years gone by. But now, advanced technology and people’s view on AI is making the idea of chat-based interactions attractive and commonplace.
Delve into data
Data is vital if not troublesome facet to improving the customer experience. Yes, there have been and continue to be stories in the news of hackers getting hold of customer data. But despite this, people are using online platforms more and more, security moves in pace with threats, and the ball continues to roll.
If we go back to Dixon’s insights in Entrepreneur, we see how Microsoft, Adobe and SAP have partnered with Open Data Initiative, meaning they can access data to integrate real-time services. They are also leading the way with things like behavioural data, which again feeds into the realisation of personalised experiences.
Focus on the people inside the business
We talk a lot about the customer in building the customer experience, which makes sense of course. But what about the people on the other side of the fence. What about the people building and delivering this great customer experience?
Remembering to focus on the people that make up the business is something that comes as second nature to most leaders in the CX world. Forbes talked about how it’s no big secret how Amazon creates a fantastic customer experience. As the journalist puts it, “employees are just insanely focused on customers. The entire company has a customer experience mindset.” Mystery solved. Rather than giving the task of creating that experience to a team or an individual, everyone is focussed on it.
Investing in the right tech
Technology is at the heart of the customer experience, as it is at the heart of the day-to-day world. Without the right tech, the whole premise of better the customer experience falls down. The problem is tech changes all the time. Think about the systems companies invested in, just a blink of an eye ago. The rulebook was ripped up by things like the internet, and again by open source technology. What’s next?
Rashan Dixon believes that an open marketing technology platform should be top of companies’ shopping lists. This will enable you to access the latest advancements as they come along, and tailor your services to suit your customer base, all the while, building intuitive platforms for customers to use.
In summary …
Doing your homework is the best start to creating a customer experience strategy that stands the test of time. If we’ve learned one thing, it’s that nothing stands still in the world of CX and technology. In such a dynamic environment, change is always around the corner. It’s not so much as bracing yourselves for it than connecting with it.
Through the right investment in people and technology, companies can stay in tune with their customers and connect the dots between that and the tech that best serves that need. The customer need. That is what futureproof customer experience strategies look like, however, the detail manifests itself in each individual company.