Each and every industry is evolving at its own pace. However, there is a universal movement across industries, and it’s aiming towards improving customer experience. It’s a customer-driven market. The competition between businesses is fierce, so people have an ability to choose from more options than ever. Their choice is often based not only on cost-effectiveness, but on convenience, too.
According to the progress report by Walker, customer experience will become the key brand differentiator by 2020. This factor will overtake price and product, which is the current main differentiator.
What are the current trends that leave towards that status? How are different brands trying to enhance the level of convenience and satisfaction? Let’s list the top 5 current trends in customer experience.
- Increased Focus on Data
Data is what reveals the preferences of a target audience. It helps brands tailor their products and services in such ways that meet the needs of their customers. The trend of focusing on data will only be strengthened over the upcoming period. All companies will have to leverage every channel, platform, and touchpoint.
With the Internet of Things becoming a more prominent trend by the day, we’re getting an increased volume of data to analyze. With the EU GEneral Data Protection Regulation, which is introducing changes in data subject rights, marketers will have to rethink the strategies through which they collect and analyze data.
Consumers are hungry for personalized brand interactions. They want to feel like the companies they rely on understand their needs and preferences. Although they access most brands via Internet, they don’t want a robotic experience that lacks personality. They still want to get in touch with customer representatives who help them choose the best products. They want systems that anticipate their needs and make personalized recommendations.
Although chatbot technologies are widely available across websites, the users demand something more. This will drive contact centers towards improved tracking of the customer’s journey across multiple channels. That will help them provide a more user-friendly online customer experience. Autodesk managed to improve the experience of its customers through real-time customer service through its virtual agent AVA. With this, Autodesk enhanced customer response times by 99%. It’s a nice example of where this personalization trend is going.
- Even Greater Investments in Social Media
People are constantly using social media to share opinions, reviews, and testimonials about brands. They are also using social media to search for social proof on the brands they intend to use. These conversations are getting more prominent than ever. It’s a clear indicator that all brands should invest more resources in proper presentation across social media channels.
Vanessa Milian, marketing manager for BestEssays, explains how important social media is as a trend that improves customer experience: “Everything is going in the direction of responsive social media support teams. Many people are no longer willing to visit a website and get in touch with its support system. Since they are looking for all information on social media, visiting a website is an extra task. When they are able to get a unified customer experience through social media, their impression of the brand improves. Savvy companies can benefit a lot from this trend.”
- Artificial Intelligence
Customers are expressing complaints and requesting assistance across all channels. They use the phone, online chat, social media sites, e-mail… the list will keep expanding. It’s difficult for many companies to establish customer support teams that are efficient across all channels. This results in slow response times, which contribute towards a negative customer experience.
Artificial intelligence is about to change that. We’re talking about intelligent virtual assistants, which can imitate the human customer service. A bot can glean information from the customer, and engage them on both the voice and digital channel. Bots may not have all the answers to situation-specific and complex queries, but they will be getting better at seamlessly escalating issues to live agents.
- Customer Identity and Access Management
As the demands of our customers are getting higher, we must boost our attempts to meet their expectations. Customer identity access management (CIAM) helps us close the gap between their expectations and the company’s real achievements.
This system enables more personalized brand interactions. It does that by collecting relevant data in a secure manner through every touch point. With that, the brand can create personalized engagement strategies. They can make offers and promotions tailored to the specific needs of a particular customer.
The trend of boosting customer experience is shaping the way we tailor and promote our products and services. Business owners and marketing experts have to be aware of all effective and current methods. It’s a race that demands constant commitment and progress.