Three Transitions That Will Stimulate Customer Experience in 2020

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Consumers everywhere have expected dramatic improvements in customer experience for years now, but the promises made by organizations in this regard has hardly come to pass. According to Forrester’s annual CX Index reports, the customer experience index showed no growth between 2017 to 2018, and it only grew a measly 0.4% in the year 2019 as 81% of brands on the index sat inert with not having improved their scores at all.

However, the year 2020 is tipped to be the time when businesses finally turn this around. And as hordes of companies rally their forces to transform customer experience on an enterprise-wide level, any company not having customer experience as their top priority will be left in the dust.

Poor customer experience can, and will, lose you customers. According to American Express’s Customer Service Barometer study, you risk losing almost 33% of your customers after just a single instance of bad customer service.

In the on-demand digital economy of today, customer experience has continually evolved and has forever been on the rise. And with customer experience expected to overtake product and price as the top competitive differentiator this year, business leaders and marketers are doing everything they can to keep up with the latest customer experience trends. So much so that improving customer experience that leads to better satisfaction is the top priority for over 55% of companies.

2020 is poised to be the most exciting year for customer experience. CX is expected to be deeply entrenched within the culture of most companies and is something that all of them are prioritizing to build a competitive advantage. In fact, businesses successful in building a stellar digital customer experience can even prescribe premiums of up to 25% on their products.

The onus on companies to deliver a seamless and consistent customer experience while looking towards the future to find creative ways to meet their needs has never been higher. Businesses looking to redefine their customer experience story would do well to be aware of the upcoming trends that will stimulate customer experience in 2020. Here, we’ll look at the three most important transitions for businesses to take care of to beat their competition in 2020 and beyond.

1. Selling Services Over Products

In 2020, businesses will see a general shift to selling services around their products instead of simply selling their products. At first, the difference between selling services and selling products doesn’t seem apparent; after all, aren’t products created to serve customers?

But products are designed to be one-size-fits-all solutions. Rather than being made well enough to fit every individual need, products are usually built to benefit the wider audience.

Supplementing this problem is the discovery that consumers are turning away from consumerism. This means that they won’t part with their perfectly functional old phone just because a newer version is available in the market. For businesses, coming up with new ways to sell customers updated versions of the same product isn’t a solid revenue-earning business model anymore.

Companies are realizing that they have to remodel their business practices by keeping the customer at the heart of their new developments. Organizations are gearing up their product strategies and focusing it on how it can actually help customers instead of simply developing new products to sell to them.

As such, many products are turning into commodities by turning them into services. As younger consumers move more and more away from the idea of owning something, like a car, to instead paying monthly fees to beget access to a shared car, essentially turning it into a service, retailers are shifting their focus to delivering better services instead of focusing simply on the products. Businesses have made great strides in this regard with a few examples being creating experiential concept stores, providing personalized service, furthering community work, and more.

2. Surveying Customer Feedback

Businesses have since long relied upon data gathered from customer feedback to measure CX satisfaction levels. But, while customer surveys will still maintain their importance as a valuable tool, they will need to be supplemented by capturing unsolicited feedback in 2020.

Businesses believe that this is where the real treasure chest of information lies. This is because insights about customers are siloed within various operational layers of your organization. Organizations are realizing that data collected about the customer from all departments is invaluable, and as such, they are turning their attention to gathering complementary customer insights, aka unsolicited feedback.

The problem with solicited communications is that it deals in extremes. Speaking generally, only one out of every 26 customers who have had an exceptionally positive or negative experience are likely to voice their thoughts by completing surveys.

What this means is that often the most insightful feedback a company can find is by recording the real-time data of those other 25 customers. In 2020, it’s expected that business leaders will pay more attention to capturing this real-time feedback during customer interactions to inform customer experience and initiate a change within.

3. Balancing Out Humanity and Automation

Automation is the frothiest job-related topic of today: it is a savior for some while it is a bane for others.

Most companies today use AI to bridge the gaps in customer service. For example, knowledge bases are integrated into chatbots which are deployed through communication channels for customers which frees up the time for customer service teams to focus on more productive tasks.

These technologies that further automation have found many proponents as various industries over the world are taking the route of automation for improving the effectiveness and efficiency of customer service. This is to such an extent that Gartner thinks 85% of customer interactions in 2020 will not include a human agent.

But even in the age of smart customer experience, human customer service agents are still a must. Consumers in 2020 still find it difficult to place their trust in chatbots with 37% of them being dissatisfied with the service of a chatbot, assuming they can request for the help of a human service representative. You can find out more on chatbots here.

If you are scratching your head over if you should automate customer service or not, the answer is both yes and no. More accurately, the answer lies in finding a balance between which aspects of customer service you should automate and which aspects you shouldn’t to creating an ideal customer service experience.

Aspects to Automate

->Welcome Emails: Build an automated email template so that it shows your clients that you are ready to provide them with human support when they need it. Not only will this leave customers with a feeling that you care, but it will also save you a lot of time from writing emails.
->Registration: No one likes pen-and-paper registration forms. Get rid of them and make the whole process online. Listen to what your customers say: according to a survey, 90% of responders said that they preferred online registration. Online registration makes data processing easy and also facilitates visitor management.
->Customer Support Responses: Automated responses can well help you save time and clean up unanswered inquiries and improve the customer experience as a whole. In fact, 71% of consumers in the age bracket 16 – 24 believe that instant responses can drastically improve their customer experience.

Aspects Not to Automate

->Personal Customer Greetings: If there was ever one aspect of customer service that should not be automated, it is greeting your customer. According to Chartbeat, the initial 15 seconds are what determine whether a customer will stay with you or not. A polite service representative can do wonders in this regard.
->Human Interactions to Onboard Customers: Customer onboarding is one of the most crucial parts of customer-business relationships and is so valued by customers with 42% of them claiming that they would pay more to businesses that provided better service. In the case of onboarding, make sure not to employ automated services. Try to build real emotional bonds with your customers and watch them coming back for your services.
->Service Interactions: Customers usually contact you when they want a problem resolved. However, simply resolving their problems won’t make them loyal. Customers need extra value in the form of an emotional bond that only a human agent can provide. This will help you build positive experiences for clients by negating the cold responses provided by bots.

What’s Next for 2020?

The Financial Times had long since said that “The long-term health of free enterprise capitalism will depend on delivering profit with purpose. Companies will come to understand that this combination serves their self-interest as well as their customers and employees.”

Each of the trends described above address, marketing developments and the evolving business behaviors of today. Whether you are making innovations at the product line, recording customer opinions about your offerings, or implementing smart technologies to automate business practices, you have to ensure that quality of experience is at the heart of these developments and is, therefore, a key differentiator of your product.

p.c. : https://images.pexels.com/

Laduram Vishnoi
Acquire
Laduram Vishnoi is CEO and Founder at Acquire. He loves to share his research and development on Artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural network and deep learning.

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