The last few years evolved in a way no one would expect. Every business had to adapt to new restrictions and find new ways to work. The act of shopping changed dramatically and so did customer behavior. To keep up with the competition and meet new customer expectations, companies need to focus on delivering outstanding customer experiences. So what are the customer experience trends you need to watch out for? Keep reading to find out!
According to a study conducted by Qualitrics XM Institutes, 8/10 customers believe customer experience needs to be improved. Besides that, the study revealed that the biggest areas for companies to improve are prices and fees, customer service, product characteristics, and online resources.
What is customer experience?
Customer Experience is the impression customers have of your organization when in any direct contact with it. This contact generally occurs in the course of the purchase or use of your product or service. This results in their perception of your brand and impacts several factors such as if they will return to buy from you or not.
Customer Experience is an integral part of Customer Relationship Management (CRM). It represents an important aspect of any business because a customer who has a positive experience with a business is more likely to return.
7 customer experience trends for 2022
As technology advances and our society changes, customer experience trends are bound to change as well. Here are seven of the top customer experience trends we can expect to see in 2022. Keep these in mind when designing your customer interactions, as they could make or break your brand’s reputation!
1. New ways of shopping
Before e-commerce existed, the only way to shop was through brick-and-mortar stores. Now, e-commerce is part of our daily lives and everyone buys online. As a result, e-commerce has seen huge growth over the years, especially since the pandemic started.
However, new ways of shopping are on the rise! Customers are present in numerous channels and prefer to buy from them directly. Besides being more direct and easier to shop, it creates stronger relationships with brands. For customers, shopping through Instagram, Facebook or Whatsapp offers a more personalized experience and direct contact with brands. For organizations, selling through these channels represents more sales and higher engagement levels from customers.
Nowadays, customers expect a personalized shopping experience. They are not just looking to buy the product but seeking added value in the shopping experience through personalized actions. An effective personalized shopping experience can help retailers meet the customer’s desires.
Personalization now extends to the whole customer experience, which means that every touchpoint the customer has with a brand is personalized. These personalized actions are not targeted just for the alike customer, but for the customer as an individual. Through AI mechanisms, and data collection it is possible to provide product suggestions, offers, and communications that are uniquely relevant to an individual.
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The level of customer service provided by companies has a huge impact on how they are perceived by customers. It is a key feature of the customer experience and can make or break customer relationships.
Customer experience automation is a set of technologies that help customers solve their problems or needs and help organizations save time and minimize manual operations. Some aspects of customer experience can be improved like response times, efficiency, checkout processes, and so on.
When considering automated processes, think about the customer journey and identify where it can be improved by solving customers’ pain points. Find a balance between what improves customer experience and what benefits it can bring to your organization.
4. Immersive experiences
Immersive experiences are becoming more and more popular, providing customers with an engaging and unique experience. To keep your customers coming back, you need to give them an engaging and unique experience. Besides creating a pleasant and immersive customer experience, this offers the opportunity for companies to communicate their message and engage with new audiences.
Virtual and augmented reality play a vital role in immersive experiences as businesses can leverage the opportunity to connect and engage with customers from the comfort of their own homes.
The topic of transparency and data collected by companies has been on the rise for years now. It is an important subject regarding consumer safety and many are concerned about how companies collect and process their data.
Customer experience should aim to build transparent relationships with customers by assuring their privacy will be protected. In return for sharing their data, customers benefit from personalized experiences. For this purpose, it’s becoming more and more important that businesses collect first-party data instead of recurring to external databases or bought data.
Nowadays, sustainability is a key component when it comes to customer experience. Almost every company is trying to figure out how to integrate sustainability into their customer experience, but it’s not always easy. There are a lot of different factors to consider, and it can be tough to find the right balance. But it’s worth it, as sustainable customer experiences are more rewarding for everyone involved.
To provide a sustainable customer experience, companies need to focus on three main factors: environmental responsibility, employee engagement, and social accountability. Each of these areas is important for creating a sustainable customer experience strategy.
7. Ease and convenience
The pandemic changed how consumers manage their expectations while shopping drastically. They shifted their priorities and now look for new solutions. Consumers are searching for convenience more than ever as 83% of shoppers say that convenience in shopping is more important today than 5 years ago.
Customers generally prefer convenient goods and services and that factor has a great impact on buying decisions. It has been shown that convenience affects how customers perceive and evaluate such products or services. A study conducted in 2007 found that convenience is the most relevant factor when it comes to the use of mobile devices for online shopping.
The customer experience isn’t a thing of the past. It will only grow in importance as time goes on. As we enter 2022, these are seven trends to keep an eye out for that you can use right now to improve your business’s customer experience and stay ahead of the curve. What strategies do you plan to implement this year?