Effective customer experience is the one that’s continuously evolving so as to accommodate the every changing needs and expectations of customers from your business. From a multi-channel customer journey and advent of the Internet of Things and machine learning to leveraging personalization and digital transformation, the evolution of trends and technology is real and it’s for us to keep up.
As we step into the new decade, customer experience has become the key to gain a competitive advantage over, and embracing innovation is the most efficient way to achieve this end. A consistent and dynamic experience for customers that keeps them engaged and looking forward to new and better ways has become a priority for many companies that are big household names.
The Future Of Customer Experience Innovation:
Clearly, things are endlessly evolving, which means companies need to keep finding innovative ways to meet their customers’ every need. Keeping this in mind, I want to talk about how customer experience innovation is changing business practices to meet customers’ changing perspectives.
Prioritize Services Over Products:
The global market is moving from selling products to selling services, and this shift will go on to be even more prominent in the years to come. People are generally moving away from consumerism, especially the young lot.
Whether it’s the recent rise of anti-hoarding lifestyle or generational attitude, people are buying less while leaning more towards experiences rather than things. For example, research shows the total holiday sales in the U.S. rose by just 2.3 percent, which is lower than the annual increase of 3.5 percent the ten-year average.
It’s time for companies to re-imagine many of their business strategies, particularly that factor in on what they are selling to customers. The approach to adopt here is to sell services that facilitate customer than just to sell products. There are several ways that companies can compete on experience, such as providing personalized service, experimenting with innovative store concepts, teaching customers and staying connected within the community.
Your Culture Tops The Customers:
It’s time companies realize that customer experience actually starts with employees and building a cohesive culture. Many CHROs are now taking on the job of delivering impactful employee experience. As the world becomes more socially inclined and aware, the realization has started to hit home that beating the drum for customer experience is not going to have any major effect until it starts from within the walls of the company.
That said, cultivating an influential company culture isn’t very easy. However, the investment pays off in both the cases of employees and customers.
Google is one of the first names that come to mind when you think about a strong company culture. It has become synonymous with top grade employee experience while setting the path for other companies and startups to follow suit.
Cultures that are very buttoned up are frustrating for employees. Moreover, in the era of #MeToo and privacy concerns, it is not such a good idea for companies to dust their lacking under the rug. Hence, companies need to have difficult conversations and address their cultural shortcomings.
Thoughtfulness Is In Trend:
Brands are always struggling to find the best ways to connect with their customers and provide great experiences. But, it turns out the solution is very simple. Before wanting to interact with technology, your customers need to feel understood and acknowledged.
When your customers feel a sense of emotional connection with the brand, they are more likely to become its loyal advocates who make repeat purchases and recommend the brand to others as well. Even though these feelings are not a typical business metric but more and more number of companies are taking them seriously. Instead of concentrating exclusively on the product or service, businesses need to focus on building trust and foster relationships.
An approach filled with thoughtfulness will require a customer-centric mindset where the focus is on delivering the best solutions. With all the talk about how technology is the future, companies need to leverage top notch innovation to push customer centric behavior at the top of their concerns. You should aim to build an emotional connection and relationship with your customers because only then will they respond to brands and show interest in them the way you want them to.
The Change Leaders
Companies need to up their efforts and always be on the lookout for new and better ways to serve their customers to get ahead of the competition and retain the customer base. Whether it’s through technology, company culture or thoughtfulness, you need to enhance the customer experience by considering the pain points of your customer base. Here are a few examples of brands that are transforming their practices and solutions to cater to the evolving needs of customers.
Ford Takes Self-Service Technology Up A Notch
Ford is focusing on transforming their personalized customer experience and take it to the next level. The FordPass app is customized for each driver, according to their vehicle. The app facilitates tailored responses, maintenance reminders, earn rewards, and the app also helps owners schedule appointments, offering a completely personalized experience. As a hallmark of top-notch app development, Ford is currently leading the way through its integrated app, but this is not just a standalone example as all customer-centric firms focus on powering the best customer experience innovation to take their brand to the next stage of growth.
VF Corporation Is Using AR Mannequins To Up Their Game
Popular retail brands like The North Face use technology to improve their conventional retail experience. However, the new retail space of VF Corporation in London features their clothing and accessories through avatar-based AR mannequins. This allows customers to customize their settings so that they can better highlight specific aspects in the complete picture that fits into their own lives.
Mercedes Introduces The AR-Based Owner’s Manual
When we think about the car owner’s manuals, we think of long and bulky documents that no one wants to read. For the purpose of improving customer experience, Mercedes has designed a customized app that doesn’t only get the manual’s job done but also keeps tracks on everything related to the car and driver. The Mercedes Me app gives users access to the car’s relevant features without needing to read the entire manual. It also helps drivers to view data about the vehicle from any place in the world.
Whole Foods Chatbot Helps Customers Find Recipes.
Whole Foods has launched a powerful Chatbot to augment their shopping experience. Customers can find new recipes and different ways of using the ingredients they buy from the store. The Chatbot gives them ideas about recipes and various food items. Furthermore, people who are in a hurry can instantly look for specific food recipes by sending the emoji for it.
The remarkable growth we are seeing in the customer-centricity right now is only slated to progress even more in the coming decade, creating new opportunities for companies to grow. The sooner companies realize that it’s the customers who in reality are the heroes and begin catering to their solicited and unsolicited needs, the better chance they have at building a brand that creates a lasting and sustainable impact.