Every party that ends with the guests telling the host that they had a good time or ‘What a lovely experience the night was’, can be safely deemed as a successful party! Wouldn’t you agree?
People are all about experiences and having enough great ones will overshadow minor inconveniences and errors. People react similarly as customers and when dealing with brands. Today, customer experience is the prime focus of companies due to the exceptional ROI it offers. According to a study by Temkin Group, “A moderate increase in customer experience generates an average revenue increase of $823 million over three years for a company with $1 billion in annual revenues.”
Customer experience (CX) is the reflection of the holistic journey of the customer with a brand. It is the overall experience a customer has while transacting with a brand, which includes pre-sale and post-sale service, as well as customer satisfaction.
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The Evolution of Customer Experience
The 2020 global lockdown had a massive impact on consumer psychology, buying decisions, and purchase behavior. The lockdown brought awareness to the fact that the market is flooded with companies more than willing to meet customer’s every demand and ensure 100% customer satisfaction. Customer expectations have since risen and they are looking for more than just a ‘good’ product. A coherent experience throughout the integrative customer journey is now the common demand of a modern-day consumer. Customers want to associate and transact with brands that value customers and their time. Transactions are no longer just monetary
In this article, we will explore the emerging CX trends, challenges you might face, and a detailed guide to help you enhance the customer experience.
Emerging Customer Experience Trends in 2021
- Omnichannel Experience – Omnichannel channel experience is improving customer experience at various touchpoints across the buyer’s journey. For example, you searched and inquired about a specific model of tennis shoes online and went to a physical store to purchase it. The customer service representative will have all your details and will show you the exact model in the size, color, and design you want. Omnichannel experience improves efficiency while saving time and offering a seamless experience to the customers.
- Personalization – A more personalized approach to marketing and customer experience is what most companies are aiming for. 70% of customers use private messaging to interact with brands. More and more brands are aiming to offer a personalized approach across all touchpoints, catering to the requirements of every customer specifically, while enhancing the overall customer experience.
- Complete Automation – Just over two-thirds of customers prefer self-service over speaking to a company representative. The emerging trend to enhance the customer experience in 2021 and the coming years is complete automation, ensuring cost efficiency, speedy resolution of queries and grievances, and maximum customer satisfaction.
- Customer Experience to Overtake Price – 2021 is all about the experience and the feel-good factor. According to Conversocial’s State of Customer Experience Trends 2020 report, “Consumers valued great customer experience almost as highly as product quality and much more than the price of the product or service.” The report also forecasts that CX will become the most important brand differentiator in 2021 and going forward.
The Challenges You Might Face
- Uniqueness and the Eccentricity of Customers – Every customer is unique, and every customer has different requirements and expectations from a brand. It is impossible to satisfy each and every customer or even understand their preference and expectations. This could be a major challenge you as a brand might face while designing strategies to enhance customer experience.
- Management of an Omnichannel Experience – Customer expectations have risen since the lockdown in 2019. More and more companies are making the best of technology by offering an omnichannel customer experience. However, installing and managing an omnichannel experience is an expensive affair that requires ample experience and expertise.
- Not all Customers Are Vocal – Only 5-10% of customers share feedback and reviews. If a customer is ‘OK’ or mildly satisfied with a product, they are less likely to share their experience through reviews, but 82% of them trust and seek out online reviews before making a purchase. Simply speaking, negative reviews outweigh the positive writeups which could pose a grave challenge to accurately analyzing the impact of your current customer experience strategy. Also, older reviews have lower relevancy. According to BrightLocal, “85% of consumers consider any review older than three months to be irrelevant.” This is another challenge you may face with customer reviews.
- Accumulation, Management, and Accessibility of Data – Not every organization has the bandwidth to systematically and effectively accumulate, manage or even access data. Without data analysis, it is difficult to understand customer purchase behavior and design the best suited-marketing and customer experience strategies.
Step by Step Guide to Creating an Optional Customer Experience
- Introspect – Before you launch any strategy, it is crucial to understand your position in marketing. Analyzing customers’ perceptions of your brand and projected brand personality are basic requirements. This will give you perspective and point out departments where you are lacking which will help you serve your customers better and enhance customer experience.
- Study the Competition – Perhaps one of the easiest ways to upgrade your customer experience strategy is by analyzing the competition. A thorough analysis will give you insights into what appeals to the audience and what does not. Accordingly, you could make improvements to offer your customers a better experience.
- Make your Customers your Sole Priority – Customer-first culture will make you sensitive to customers’ requirements, help you understand them better, and offer an experience worth their while. An excellent strategy to improve customer satisfaction is by adopting loyalty programs. Loyalty programs help to engage customers and extend their association with their brand. In the words of Horst Schulz, “Unless you have 100% customer satisfaction you must improve.” Connect with Annex Cloud, to learn more about dynamic loyalty solutions tailored to suit your brand persona and marketing objectives.
- Map out the Customer Journey – Next step is to identify and then subsequently improve service and experience at all touchpoints; doing so throughout the customer’s journey will improve customer satisfaction.
- Capture, Consider, and Work on Customer Feedback – Perhaps the easiest way to detect flaws in your marketing and CX strategies is by studying and analyzing customer feedback, but actually working on ironing out grievances and implementing suggestions altogether is a different ball game. If you genuinely work towards resolving customer issues and implementing suggestions, you should not only have an enhanced customer experience, but also a high retention rate and unparalleled customer satisfaction.