Looking to stay ahead in the increasingly competitive business world? Building a solid customer experience will be critical.
While product differentiation and marketing strategies are important, companies that focus on customer experience are poised to win in the long run. After all, multiple surveys show that customers are looking for much more than the product when deciding which brands to engage with.
Below are 10 emerging customer experience trends that businesses should focus on in 2020.
1. AI For Customer Service
A survey indicates that 67 percent of consumers would switch from a brand with poor customer service to its competitors.
Today’s consumers are looking for proactive brands that are responsive to their needs. Companies need to satisfy the desire of customers to get instant feedback. Businesses will have to turn to artificial intelligence (AI) technology to improve customer service by offering personalized real-time feedback.
AI takes digital customer experience to the next level by enabling brands to be available to their prospects at every stage of the buying process. For instance, AI chatbots can help to uncover a user’s intent through a series of questions tagged with specific trigger words. The user’s conversation can then be passed to the relevant department, based on the trigger words detected, for further action.
2. Omnichannel Marketing
Companies should focus on omnichannel delivery to provide customers a uniform experience across various touch points. For example, customers may start interacting with your brand on Twitter and continue the conversation elsewhere. Their experience on both of these platforms should be seamless.
Enabling uniform customer experience across multiple marketing channels helps to build brand consistency and loyalty. Brands should implement a digital customer experience strategy across multiple channels where their prospects hang out.
3. Use of Predictive Analysis
Predictive analytics uses historical data, statistical algorithms, and machine learning to predict future consumer behavior. In 2020, more brands will continue investing in predictive analytics in their quest to deliver more personalized experiences.
Brands will be banking on predictive analytics to determine consumer responses, improve operations, and manage resources.
4. Hyper-Personalization for Online Consumers
According to Internet Retailing, 69% of consumers expect a personalized experience from brands. However, only 40% of brands actually deliver personalized experiences.
Consumers expect personalized communication through whichever media a company uses to reach them, be it a newsletter, email, SMS, and more. In 2020, hyper-personalization will be key to the bottom line of most companies.
Companies can use call analytics software to uncover the path that customers take when interacting with them. Using call tracking software, brands can also determine where their prospects originate from, which platforms they prefer, the average interaction period, and other data that can be used to improve conversions.
5. Increased Focus on Employee Experience
Various studies show that employee experience and overall customer satisfaction are directly related. For example, this study indicates that companies with more engaged employees perform better nearly 1.5 times than their competitors.
Brands looking to improve in all spheres of their operations will need to focus on employee satisfaction in 2020. Deploying intranets and extranets, providing incentives, and surveying employee satisfaction are some of the things that can help boost productivity.
6. Online Staff Training and Collaboration
More firms will be turning to online training portals to streamline staff training. The online collaboration will be adopted to ensure staff can learn on their own, which is important for operational continuity.
Collaboration tools will become more integral in staff communication in 2020. Brands will leverage various technologies that enable collaboration to ensure their staff has the latest training material on demand.
7. Robust Online Security Measures
To offer personalized experiences, brands will need to gather more data about their consumers. This data will have to be managed and stored in line with industry regulations, such as PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard).
More companies will be adopting cloud technologies for secure data management. Also, the use of biometric technology, such as facial recognition, fingerprint ID, and voice biometrics, will rise in 2020.
8. Augmented Reality Marketing
Augmented Reality (AR) enables users to interact with virtual content in a real-world setting. For example, shoppers in a retail store can see how different outfits would look on them without actually putting the clothes on.
With 5G technology being rolled out, more companies will be looking to take advantage of Augmented Reality to improve customer experience.
9. Consumers Will Demand Transparency
In the digital age, honesty is the new currency. Research from Sprout Social indicates that 86% of consumers prefer brands that are honest. Firms can use social media platforms to foster good relationships with their prospects and customers.
Consumers care more about their interaction with brands and use various platforms to reach out to them. Brands will have to be proactive in engaging their audiences in their voice to cultivate trust.
10. Chat Bot Marketing Will Increase
Thanks to advances in AI technology, chatbots are no longer the robotic avatars seen on websites five years ago. Today, chatbots can hold engaging conversations with consumers, helping to solve their problems, when no human agent is available.
Businesses can use chatbots to reduce their support workload. The bots can be configured to handle general inquiries and pass specific information to designated departments or employees for further action.
The use of chatbots helps companies to handle more customer queries without increasing their overheads. Moreover, brand employees save time on customer support issues to handle more complex tasks.
Successful online customer experience management is critical in industries where there is little in terms of product differentiation. The new decade is, without a doubt, going to be an interesting period for customer experience. The rise of AI and rollout of 5G provide new opportunities for delivering personalized customer experience.
The brands can implement these customer experience trends in 2020 to stay competitive in their spaces.