The need for exceptional customer service is always high, and it will stay that way. The pandemic has forced businesses to shift to digital customer experiences. It has made organizations implement technologies that will give them a competitive edge. The need for better CX policies and implementations was a ‘nice-to-have’ thing once, not anymore. It has become a matter of survival for all companies.
2021 has been a year of immense changes across the entire digital ecosystem, affecting companies of all sizes. It forced businesses around the world to change their legacy systems and adopt the latest technologies. Businesses that were using legacy IT systems found it very difficult to navigate to a remote work setup, forced by the pandemic. McKinsey says there was an increase of 65% in digital consumer interaction during the pandemic.
In this article, we are going to look at the top digital customer experience trends for the year 2022 and how technology is going to enable them.
1. Increased AI adoption:
In the context of the current pandemic, artificial intelligence has been helping customer success teams meet increasingly high demands. The need and expectation of customers for round-the-clock service is only possible with the help of AI. To create value, AI in CX must be considered as a long term asset by businesses. The more they invest in AI, the better will be customer engagement. 57% of respondents in emerging economies reported AI adoption.
Brands should develop a culture where there is an increasingly high focus on AI, not only to meet customer expectations but also to strengthen their internal infrastructure and operations.
2. CX agility:
That is no doubt about the fact that customers value the purchasing experience as much as the product that they are buying. Businesses should really focus on the kind of experience they offer customers as high-quality interaction interactions will provide a huge opportunity to stay ahead of the competitors. It is important that the focus is not limited to the processes but also extends to technology and behavior.
3. The death of personalized advertising:
Earlier, businesses had to identify unique users across mobile apps and websites so that they could send them highly personalized recommendations. With the latest iOS changes, Apple has made it difficult to collect IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) that requires users to consent to other forms of tracking. In fact, Google is also planning to get rid of third-party cookies for tracking. So here's what could happen: there will be an increase in advertising costs, there will be an increase in company acquisitions of businesses that help with advertising, and an increased focus on user retention and lifetime value.
4. Rise of subscription models:
You will see an increase in the popularity of subscription-based business models. Instead of trying to acquire a huge user base with the help of advertising, businesses will concentrate on trying to retain their existing customers to achieve business growth. As a matter of fact, companies will reduce their ad spends and work on ways to increase customer satisfaction
Retaining users with a subscription model requires huge investments in customer experience and additions in features and functionalities. Since businesses will interact with fewer users, it will be possible to deliver much better and personalized experiences.
It will result in zero-party and first-party data becoming more important. Businesses will try to influence customers by word of mouth and viral growth. Subscription-based app monetization models will be the new standard and it will also create shifts in the ecosystem.
Unless you are living under a rock, it is impossible to have missed the hype that are NFTs. NFTs are assets in the digital world that can be purchased like any other property. Non-fungible tokens or NFTs create a plethora of intellectual properties which can be of high value in the postmodern creator economy.
NFTs have the capability to change the entire customer loyalty landscape. It can hold smart contracts, and it will play a huge role in boosting customer engagement.
Brands will create NFTs to communicate their identity, share their story, and prove their social commitments. Brands will use NFTs to sell and reward loyal customers. For a growing generation of users who value their online identity more than their offline identity, NFTs are something that brands should pay attention to.
For example, Coca Cola sold digital NFTs to fans and donated the proceeds from it to Special Olympics.
Flawless customer experience is indispensable to any business, no matter the industry. Watch this short video in which our Our Technical Solution Architect & Product Manager, Sridevi Ramasamy, explains how great customer experience can be a competitive advantage in banking sector.
6. Customer self-service:
The meaning of great customer service doesn't really imply a satisfying interaction with a customer service agent. The last thing that a customer wants is to get on a call and speak to a CX agent. Going through the IVR process to reach a human agent can be a frustrating process. Instead, businesses can offer a number of options where customers themselves could find solutions for their issues.
Here are a few examples of self service options: creating a knowledge base, providing how-to tutorials, comprehensive FAQ pages, a user guide section, and an intelligent onboarding process where each functionality is explained in detail.
7. Empathy-driven customer service:
Empathy is the ability to understand and identify with someone else's situations, feelings and motives. It is one of the most important things required to provide a fantastic customer experience.
You need to understand how the experience that you are providing makes your customers feel. In the post-pandemic world, empathy is going to be pivotal. The pandemic has increased the need for emotional connection in the customer. Customers would not want to go through complicated workflows and communications. It is imperative that businesses find ways to engage customers emotionally and make it easier for them to work with your product.
8. Real-time customer experience:
Thanks to the rapid change in software speed and network technologies, real-time customer experiences is something that has become a mainstream expectation. There was a time when businesses could get away by responding that they will get back in 24 to 48 hours. But the scenario has completely changed now as customers expect highly relevant and personalized responses from brands- immediately at that.
Instead of customers reaching out themselves, they expect updates from brands directly. For businesses that want to provide real-time updates to customers, using the right technology stack is immensely important.
9. Omnichannel will become more important:
Customers engage with brands through a number of channels and devices, from web browsers to smart TV and mobile apps. Creating a highly consistent cross-channel experience is extremely important for businesses that care about CX.
Even if the user experience is spread across multiple channels, it has to be cohesive. To create a seamless customer experience, there should be a collaboration between the product, marketing, and engineering teams. In the same vein, companies should also have a unified technology stack that will allow multiple integrations and the possibility of sharing data with others.
10. Design for everyone:
There is a growing awareness that marginalized communities should be brought to the forefront. Of late there has been an increase in activism, such as Black Lives Matter (BLM), #metoo and #ally, to name a few. There is an increasing expectation that digital products be built in such a way that they are accessible for everyone and meets their needs.
11. Voice AI:
Voice AI is going to be one of the biggest channels for managing customer experience. It has the ability to decode unstructured and natural conversations, thanks to its NLP technology. Voice AI understands the questions posted by customers, is able to decipher customer intent and manages to respond accordingly.
12. Immersive customer experiences:
There are a number of ways using which brands can communicate with new audiences. Some of these could also be marketing-focused experiences via virtual platforms. The reason why there is a lot of appeal for it is because of the engaging customer experiences that are possible with the integration of virtual reality and augmented reality.
Immersive experiences are multi-sensory, it is not just a virtual or augmented interaction. It is about the positive connection a consumer experiences while interacting with the brand. 43% of customers say that they are ready to pay for a good customer experience. By making your customer’s experience immersive, you give them an incentive to spend more on your products.
Managing customer experience is a complex task and involves a deep understanding of their needs and desires. There is no surprise that there has been a huge change in the behavior of customers as well as companies because of the pandemic. If companies want to thrive, they need to invest in the right technology partner and provide the right set of solutions to deal with the demands of customers. In 2022, there will be a lot of changes in CX and a number of new factors will gain importance.
If you are looking for a technology partner to improve your customer experience, look no further. Zuci will ensure that right suite of technology stack is used for your business by understanding it deeply, so that your customers feel valued.