The concept of customer experience is something that remains unclear to many businesses. While some businesses think it is similar to customer service, others consider training their employees to assist customers in shopping.
But none of these approaches are enough to enhance the customer experience.
The Petrova Experience conducted a leadership survey this year and the results revealed that 53% of the professionals do not even have a customer experience head in their enterprise. However, the ray of hope is that 23% of them reportedly have a customer experience leader who reports to the CEO directly.
Customer experience is especially significant in today’s times when customers are bound to rely on the digital landscape forced by restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic. So organizations need to go that extra mile in designing and implementing customer experience programs that cater to today’s customer expectations. Customer experience is much more than just following COVID protocols for, say, shipping fine art using art shuttles. It is essentially the overall experience that a brand offers its customers in every aspect right from start to end.
As we arrive in the last quarter of 2020, it is once again time to look forward. In 2021 and beyond, to deliver the best, businesses need to watch out for evolved customer experience trends like the ones below.
- More customers are caring about customer service
According to a source, after COVID, 59% of customers are putting customer service at the forefront before making their purchase. So if you have not paid much attention to the customer service department earlier it is high time to make the necessary improvements. In simple words, if you are still not able to predict and cater to the needs of your customers, they would not hesitate to switch to another brand.
- Having a customer experience strategy is a must
As mentioned already, there are going to be severe transformations in customer services owing to enable the no-contact formula. Your job as a business leader would be to make the customer journey as seamless as possible even when the fragmentation of the service channels is becoming overwhelming. To accomplish it, you need to build a strong customer experience strategy before the onset of 2021. The strategy should comply with the COVID protocols while making the customer journeys hassle-free.
- Some safety protocols might stay forever
Even a few years back, contactless experience in restaurants and airports was considered out-of-the-box, but today it is the need of the hour. When Oracle surveyed this, the results said that 35% of the customers will choose to stay in a hotel if it offers contactless services even in the future.
Although most businesses claim to offer a contactless experience, they still have a long way to go to make all their services completely contactless. For example, even if all the services are contactless, the payment process requires you to swipe your card, it would not be considered truly contactless. Businesses must brainstorm ways to resolve this issue by even enabling a contactless payment procedure to cater to the actual needs of the customers. Although facilitating such services requires investment but it is completely worth it if you see the bigger picture.
- Telehealth is not going away anytime soon
If you keep tabs on news portals you would be aware of the astonishing growth of the telehealth industry this year alone. Gone are the days when all the patients would visit clinics and hospitals to book their appointments. A recent survey revealed that almost 60% of people wish to make online appointments in the clinic and they expect a decent customer experience during the booking process. Like other industries, healthcare should also consider designing a seamless patient experience in digital channels. Owing to a huge demand the healthcare industry has been planning to invest in implementing human-centered design to improve patient and physician experience.
- The website experience will be more important than ever
Websites have always been the information hub about businesses, and it keeps drawing more and more visitors even now. However, the need for websites has risen exponentially as customers are curious to gain all the information about a particular brand or its services. But the shocking part is that, even as we are approaching 2021, businesses are still yet to update their websites with their latest information. Post-COVID, websites need to facilitate a messaging function via which the customers can enquire about the things to expect in the physical spaces of the business.
- Time to show your empathetic side
2020 has undoubtedly been one of the hardest times for everyone, and thus it is a great time for brands to bring out their caring nature. Customers are evaluating brands on the human scale before making a purchase nowadays. For instance, today hotel guests are found to be enquiring whether the staff is treated well by the owners during COVID. Needless to say, if the answers are not positive, the hotel could end up losing a large number of customers.
How can SAP helping businesses ride the customer experience trends?
Today the expectations of the customers have evolved more than ever and businesses are going out of their way to fulfill them. Those who can readily adapt to evolved customer expectations and offer real-time engagement continuously over all possible channels of communication can sustain themselves better than the rest. But for that, it is important to have the right technological infrastructure.
Adopting software solutions like SAP Customer Experience can easily help organizations attain agility in all their processes and better respond to the changing times. With the help of SAP’s Customer Experience, organizations can streamline and centralize all sorts of customer data and analyze it using the power of machine learning, AI, and other cutting-edge technologies. SAP Customer Experience includes a range of cloud solutions as SAP Intelligent Enterprise, which can help businesses innovate faster and weather any challenges thrown by evolved customer experience trends.