Why everybody talks about customer experience (CX) today? The thing is that a proper customer-focused strategy can be the only difference between you and your competitors. Evidently, people will choose brands with better CX. Business leaders realize this fact so they focus on the users’ attitude heavily. However, Gartner reported that only 22% of companies offered services that exceeded client expectations in 2019.
If you want to build a solid strategy based on relevant trends, this guide is for you. It describes the essence of customer experience, its importance, and core trends for 2020. Particularly, we will focus on digital aspects and emerging technologies that reshape nearly all industries nowadays. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t follow these tips blindly. Always do extra research to distinguish the most promising trends for your company.
The Importance of High-Quality CX
To start with, let’s agree on the key term. While many researchers have different definitions of customer experience, we propose to stick to a simple one: “everything that an individual or business client feels during interaction with a product/service provider”. A good CX is possible when these feelings meet or exceed expectations.
Today, it’s barely possible to overestimate the significance of satisfied users. Here are a few quick facts to convince you:
- 33%of clients would consider changing a provider after just one incident.
- 73%of firms with above-average services show better financial performance.
- 73%of people name CX as a major factor, but only 49% are satisfied with it.
- 77%of consumers would recommend a company after a single positive case.
- 93%of buyers want to make another purchase from a brand with good CX.
Hope, it became clearer why a detailed strategy with a focus on end-users is a must-have. Without it, your business may fail to compete with other market players. Instead, with it, there are more chances to engage and retain clients.
Primary CX Trends for 2020
Now, let’s move to the main topic. In 2020, we expect some trends to continue and some new tendencies to emerge. For instance, enterprises will feel more and more pressing need in digital transformation based on innovative technologies like AI, virtual assistants, and robotics. Personalization, data privacy, and transparency will be essential, as well. Take a look at these five crucial trends, but don’t forget to look for alternatives that suit your team!
Digital Technologies on the Rise
According to Diceus and Gartner, modern technologies are quickly disrupting industries. Innovations are essential for current CX strategies as they help businesses to address the needs of customers, deliver new values, and enable opportunities. Generally, five trends will form the global tech development in 2020:
- Artificial intelligence. Smart solutions, combined with the creative power of humans, will boost all stages of customer interaction. From automated data processing to text recognition to predictive analysis, AI tools will enhance everything.
- Chatbots and voice. Based on AI, these solutions will handle client-business interactions. The cases start with basic text bots that just answer questions and end with voice-only shopping through virtual assistants.
- Extended reality.Combining VR, AR, and MR, this approach will expand the capabilities of different apps. Using them, buyers will be able to test products and services, check how things work, and connect to businesses on a new level.
- Internet of Things. Again, pushed ahead by Big Data and AI, the IoT industry will generate new touchpoints for users. Smart sensors will engage humans, surely. But they also may create a brand new segment of machine-to-machine sales.
- Demand-driven applications. On-demand services are already highly popular in the insurance industry and among companies involved in the sharing economy. Later, this trend will expand to new market sectors.
Undoubtedly, some brands will benefit from certain technologies more than others. E-commerce shops can integrate virtual assistants and AI tools, while furniture factories can try augmented reality applications. It’s a good idea to start with different simple tests to determine the best concepts and the highest demand.
General personalization isn’t enough for modern consumers. They want to get highly tailored offerings but don’t want to waste their time or money. That’s why brands should invest in AI tools and IoT sensors that collect personal data, process it, and predict the behavior of users. In this case, companies will be able to build a hyper-personalized strategy.
According to Accenture, 75% of people were more likely to buy something from a team that knows their names, tracks purchase histories, or suggests new products/services based on previous actions. Here are some ways to build a personalized CX system:
- Collect as much data as you can.
- Identify habits and behaviors.
- React in real-time and predict wishes.
- Understand customer pains.
By gathering and studying information, you will build client profiles. It’s essential to segment them not by categories but by persons. The best outcome is to get personal pictures and deliver unique content to each client. The simplest example is an offer to purchase a hoodie that would suit jeans purchased by a customer earlier.
Omnichannel Delivery and Humanity
With the rise of new technologies, new touchpoints will appear. Even today, people can access a regular site using a PC, a smartphone, a tablet, a TV screen, a smart bracelet, and so on. It’s crucial to provide an equally high-quality experience for all devices. Simultaneously, innovative interactions can’t replace previous alternatives. That’s why traditional human communication shouldn’t be abandoned.
At this point, we can define two essential points. Both of them improve CX but in different ways and for different audiences:
- Consistent experience, regardless of the chosen touchpoint.
- Phygital delivery that combines bots and humans.
Being correctly implemented, these points make customer experience nearly perfect. A person can start interacting with a business using any gadget, then switch to another touchpoint continuing the same journey seamlessly. If needed, a consumer can move between AI-based digital interactions and human-based or physical person-to-person communication easily. Remember that modern clients don’t have time for poor services. They want everything to be smooth.
Vital Data Transparency and Security
As consumers become more tech-savvy, they start prioritizing advanced factors over just price or quality. Mainly, they want brands to be transparent in their operations. As well, they want to see their data protected from hacks and breaches. Hence, we can distinguish two key parts of this trend again:
- According to Sprout Social, 86% of respondents want the firms to be honest. This vision includes transparent communications, pricing, advertising, and business goals. Surely, it also focuses on GDPR compliance that dictates how brands should collect data.
- Obviously, buyers also wish to cooperate with partners who can keep information safe and secure. For this, we can suggest regular security awareness trainings, proper tech protection like encryption and obligatory 2FA, and strict management in the field of role-based accesses to data.
Wider Adoption of Agile Principles
Agile is a pretty popular development model based on a combination of sprints with different core goals for each. It allows building a product more efficiently by testing everything regularly, gathering feedback, and making changes if needed. For CX, agility also means quick feedback-based response and collaboration.
The key idea of Agile customer experience is that each person’s concerns must be addressed quickly enough to keep this client satisfied. For this, companies should focus on customer-first concepts backed by decentralization. All the roles in your business should care about good CX, without exclusions.
Final Thoughts on Customer Experience
Last but not least, keep in mind that all people and all businesses are different. However, the modern world faces a few global trends that define the future of CX. New technologies enable next-gen interactions with perfect predictions and hyper-personalized offerings. Omnichannel strategies ensure users that they will have no problems accessing the promoted services. Versatility, privacy, and transparency are also demanded.
The catch is to grasp these trends to define the most relevant ones. Each brand should work hard to determine which ideas are the most viable. And this is the main challenge for any team that pursues perfect customer experience in 2020.