The Future of CX: Top Customer Experience Trends to Watch Out For
By Umar Akhtar
There is opportunity on the horizon for organizations that are committed to delivering an exceptional customer experience (CX). In 2023, the gap between customer-focused businesses and those that are struggling to keep up is predicted to narrow significantly.
In a recent report, Forrester boldly stated that the playing field will level considerably and the range between the best and worst in CX will close as 25% of below-average brands improve, while 50% of above-average brands will decline or stagnate in the execution of their CX initiatives.
This presents a golden opportunity for businesses across different industries to stand out from the crowd. By capitalizing on these 7 emerging trends, they can set themselves apart and become the go-to choice for customers seeking remarkable experiences.
Companies will rely on automation and self-service tools
In the coming years, keeping up with customer demands will be even harder for companies. As a result, expect many of them to turn to automation and self-service tools to help ease the burden on their existing customer service employees while reducing hiring requirements for new service representatives.
Self-service options will enable customers to solve more problems independently so that human representatives can handle more complex, nuanced, or unique situations that require a personalized touch, emotional understanding, or expert knowledge. Plus, automation of workflows and processes will increase efficiency for organizations and allow them to use their resources better.
Walmart uses base natural language understanding (NLU) to help them accomplish this with their chatbots. With an understanding that more of their customers want “do it for me,” the retail giant has trained their chatbots to provide real-time conversational help for simple tasks while agents focus on more complex tasks.
How organizations can prepare: Conduct workflow and process audits to identify the best areas to automate. Implement user-friendly interfaces and digital experiences that encourage customers to leverage self-service options.
Customers will demand faster and more personalized experiences as AI advancements continue
2023 will forever be known as the year when the AI revolution began, and the impact on the customer experience will continue to be felt with further advancements. As AI becomes more sophisticated, customers will expect companies to be able to serve them even faster than before.
However, on the other hand, they will also expect companies to fine-tune their personalization efforts so that they aren’t treated like a cog in the machine, which can sometimes happen since AI lacks the emotional and human nuances that customers enjoy.
How organizations can prepare: Leverage AI to generate deeper insights on customers to improve their experience and keep up with the speed of service they expect.
Under Armour shows other companies how this is done with its fitness app. The iPhone or Android app tracks training information provided by users and then provides a recommended fitness plan. It also syncs with wearable technology and other devices to get more data to enhance the training experience.
Customers want to choose the best option to serve their needs
Not only do customers want self-service options, but they also want multiple options to solve their problems in the way that suits them best. This could range from an FAQ list to answer common questions for B2C companies to a complete knowledge base that allows B2B customers to research the next products they plan to purchase.
Other solutions must be available, such as chatbots that help customers navigate to their best solutions, whether on a website or mobile app.
Amazon offers a great example of how to do this with its extensive Help center. You can search for answers on various topics, from finding missing packages to the status of a refund. However, the Amazon blog and the option to speak to a customer service rep are also available.
How organizations can prepare: Companies can diversify their customer service channels and self-service solutions. Ensure that all customer experiences are user-friendly and filled with up-to-date information that helps customers get where they need to faster.
Enterprises will need to blend multiple customer support options
Businesses can no longer sit back and only provide the best customer experience on one channel while neglecting the rest. There is a need to blend physical and digital, as well as human and computer-based customer support, to create a cohesive experience as the customer moves from one touchpoint to the next.
Customers that interact with an organization via a mobile app should be able to visit a physical location and have a customer service representative pull up profile data that is up-to-date and integrated everywhere.
How organizations can prepare: Find ways to integrate online and offline customer experiences as well as experiences across channels. Also, create tiers for what should constitute an artificially generated response and what will require human input to help get customers to their ideal destination.
Organizations will stop seeing customer service as a tactic and move to embed customer obsession into their culture
In previous years, finding new ways to provide better customer service was a differentiator for leading enterprises. However, as customers continue to take center stage, organizations must move toward embedding customer obsession into their cultures.
Companies like Amazon have mastered this approach and use it to guide their decisions. Businesses that want to do more than the average will need to view every customer interaction as an opportunity. This means recognizing that every interaction enables them to build lasting relationships, increase brand loyalty, and positively impact business growth.
How organizations can prepare: Create training programs and guidelines that educate employees about serving customers and the best way to go about it.
Omnichannel experiences become table stakes, seeing those without them fall further behind
Modern consumers are accustomed to engaging with their favorite brands on multiple channels. Websites and mobile apps, digital kiosks, social media platforms, and in some cases, innovative solutions such as AR and VR devices are where interactions between businesses and their customers happen.
Creating a seamless and harmonious connection between these channels or omnichannel experiences is essential for delivering the best customer value. However, almost every enterprise understands the importance of multichannel content delivery, and many are already working toward connecting these solutions via an omnichannel strategy.
Ultimately, omnichannel will become more common and less of a differentiator, leaving those businesses that can’t deliver it falling behind the competition.
Several brands, from Zappos to Starbucks, have been able to provide customers with help or respond to praise on channels like Twitter for quite some time. However, they also offer assistance via mobile apps and, of course, their websites.
How organizations can prepare: Ensure that the business has the technology and processes in place to create a consistent omnichannel digital experience for customers.
The employee experience will only come second to the customer experience
Facilitating the best customer experience requires companies to invest in their employees first. Providing employees with the necessary tools, processes, and digital experiences enables them to serve their customers better.
Walmart provides another example using its Ask Sam voice-assistant app. The app is built for associates and helps them with everything from store maps and sales information to locating products and checking prices.
How organizations can prepare: Prioritize employee engagement and development by providing the necessary tools and training for your staff to excel in their roles, enabling them to deliver superior customer service.
Amplify the customer experience
Organizations that want to remain at the cusp of the customer experience revolution must be aware of the latest trends to disrupt them in 2023 and beyond. To adequately prepare for these trends, take advantage of them and drive new and engaging customer experiences requires the right support.
With Content Bloom, enterprises can benefit from end-to-end digital consulting and a range of services that help them better serve their customers. From our deep expertise in headless content management to our knowledge of modern technologies and UX strategies that drive customer engagement, Content Bloom can be the partner businesses need to stay on top of customer experience innovation.
Netgear benefited from Content Bloom’s assistance as they reimagined how their people, processes, and technology were used to deliver digital experiences. They not only migrated to a modern CMS but also redesigned their website and increased conversions and the number of ecommerce transactions twofold in under 90 days.
Read the case study to see precisely how Netgear amplified the customer experience.
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