5 Predictions: How Customer Experience Will Change in 2021

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As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to disrupt our lives, digital commerce and customer experience are the keys to success in your business. With e-commerce transactions at an all-time high, you may be struggling to keep up with customer service demands. A seamless digital experience can solve that issue and create life-long customers.

Your customers don’t always reach out when they are struggling. They may not even know why they are hesitating to complete their transaction. You can avoid customer struggle without compromising efficiency. By creating a smooth online experience, you have the opportunity to recover some of the $18 billion in yearly sales revenue lost due to cart abandonment.

Here are five ways we predict customer experience will change in the new year:

1. Brands will serve customers in the channels they prefer most.

Two-thirds of customers say the most important thing a company can do to provide good service is to value their time. Don’t make your customers go on a wild goose chase to find important information. Instead, get clear on what your customers’ expectations are regarding what is important to them in their online experience as well as which communication channels they prefer. When it comes to digital interactions, consumers prefer email and chat over text and bots. So before investing in technology to support your customers, make sure they prefer it.

2. More customer experience leaders will anticipate struggle before it happens.

The days of self-service being only a cost-saving measure are long gone. A thoughtful, well-executed experience that allows your customers to help themselves is also the fastest way to win brand loyalty. If you provide a frictionless experience­­–one that removes anything that impedes your customers from completing their journey–you’ll attract loyal customers. According to our recent study, 13% of customers prefer self-service when communicating with a business.

With tailored information snippets to address their pain points and guide them to success with ease, you can meet your digital customers’ expectations by helping them help themselves.

3. Customers will help themselves a lot more often.

While the information consumers need may be somewhere on your site, it can be difficult for them to find when they need it – especially on mobile devices. Proactive communication can help eliminate your frustrated customers from calling, emailing, and sending you a chat simultaneously. Confused or hesitant customers often abandon their experience, but if you provide relevant intervention, it can mean the difference between a completed transaction and a lost customer.

Shifting your customer engagement strategy from a strictly passive approach to a proactive approach will increase your sales and decrease the number of customers who reach out.

4. Contact deflection strategies will evolve into customer guidance strategies.

Digital guidance offers proactive assistance your customers expect without the need to involve an agent. For example, offer qualified customers a valid coupon code when an expired code fails, or to guide customers to reset their password to avoid lockout and unnecessary contact.

A tip, suggestion, video, buying guide, or link that is proactively served when your customer experiences friction can eliminate customers’ struggle and hesitation all together. No doubt you will see there are certain repetitive customer questions that you can proactively address.

Remember, guidance should look different throughout your customer’s journey. The trick is to identify the friction points throughout the journey and map them to effective engagements that can alleviate customers’ struggles. In the earlier stages, engagements are more subtle, while later-stage frustrations will call for a more straightforward response.

5. Analyzing big data from the contact center will uncover valuable insights.

Analyzing chat, email and other contact center data together can help you identify friction points in real-time. Customers share questions, feedback, frustrations, and praise – across millions of contact center engagements.

Chat can sometimes be a challenging dataset to model because of the subjective disposition rating by agents or abbreviations used by customers. But doing this analysis is invaluable. But by analyzing large data sets will help you deliver even better products and services to your customers.

As the new year approaches, ensure you’re implementing these tips to provide proactive customer service, create a seamless digital experience, and maximize your revenue.