01 Apr The 6 Customer Experience Trends to Follow in 2022
CX (Customer Experience), continues to be one of the most significant considerations for any business hoping to thrive in a competitive landscape. Without a strong CX strategy, companies can’t hope to outshine the competition, and maintain consumer loyalty.
However, it can be difficult to stay ahead of the game with customer experience, particularly when expectations keep changing. The last couple of years, the challenges and threats of the pandemic have made a significant difference to what customers expect from their favourite brands.
Rapidly, we’re discovering that business leaders need to remain agile and “plugged in” to the needs of their digitally-transforming customers if they want to stay ahead of the game.
Here are just some of the CX trends you should be following in 2022.
1. Cloud and the Rise of Agility
While the shift to the cloud in the contact centre landscape has been underway for some time now, the last year has accelerated the rise of CCaaS technology. The rise of remote and hybrid work has prompted countless companies to start investing in ways to keep their team members online and connected, no matter what might happen to their business.
The cloud also allows businesses to access a higher level of agility, so they’re able to implement new technologies and transform their contact centre strategy at any given moment. Only with CCaaS can companies rapidly provision new team members with contact centre technology or implement new AI tools at the tap of a button.
Companies moving into the <strongfuture of CX will be forced to move more of the technology into the cloud to keep up with the pace of their customers and support a wider range of hybrid workers.
2. Demand for Instant Gratification
Customers have already wanted fast service from their preferred brands, but now instant gratification is a must-have for businesses to stay ahead of the curve. According to the NICE Digital CX data, customers now expect companies to be faster and more efficient than ever.
More importantly, these consumers are relying on a range of avenues and tools to access the service they want. Around 96% of customers now attempt self-service channels before connecting with an agent. To thrive in this digital landscape, companies will need to:
- Optimise chatbots to make self-service smarter, with tools that can understand the context of conversations (e.g., conversational AI).
- Enhance the agent experience to support greater productivity. Employees will need access to things like AI-powered knowledge bases and instant coaching to be as efficient as possible.
- Track the customer journey. Paying attention to exactly where your customers interact with your brand will make it easier to deliver the right experiences.
3. Generation-less preferences for Digital
The demand for digital experiences isn’t just rising among digital natives anymore. Previously, older generations with less exposure to the technology landscape during their youth relied more on phone calls and emails for interacting with brands. Since the pandemic pushed more of us to rely on a wider range of digital technologies, this is beginning to change.
Companies investing in a future of CCaaS and CX technology will need to think about how they’re serving their audience with the right digital solutions. While phone calls and voice may be relevant in some environments, there will be a greater demand in future for amazing digital experiences.
To deliver the right outcomes for customers, start by evaluating the touchpoints your customers currently use, and the communication tools offered in CX by your competition. This should give you an insight into the kind of omnichannel environment you need to build in the contact centre.
4. Empathy is key
In recent years, customers haven’t just demanded greater speed and efficiency from companies, they’ve also begun to look at brands which offer a higher level of empathy. If you want to provide a good customer experience today, you need to think carefully about how everything you do makes your customers feel.
Paying attention to analytics and implementing sentiment analysis tools into the CCaaS environment for a better understanding of the consumer voice should help with this. It’s also worth remembering how important empathy is when companies begin “automating” aspects of the CCaaS landscape.
While automations can help to make teams more efficient and reduce repetitive tasks, they shouldn’t eliminate the opportunity for empathy when customers need it. Ensure bots can still pass conversations over to human agents when empathetic insight is needed.
5. Proactive Service is Key
As the adoption of cloud technology and artificial intelligence continues to grow, customers are beginning to expect more than just speed from their preferred brands. 45% of customers say they’ll switch brands of a company doesn’t actively anticipate their needs.
The percentage of customers expecting proactive service is growing as digital-first opportunities continue to evolve. To deliver proactive service, companies will need to invest more heavily in analytics solutions to help them “predict” what their customers are going to need.
In-depth, end-to-end analysis of the customer journey will give your contact centre better visibility into customer pain points, so you can begin to build a proactive future. Contact centre analytics can even be infused with AI to help you pinpoint patterns and trends you may not have noticed.
6. Security is Crucial to Success
Shifting business environments, like the move from in-person to hybrid workforces, is presenting a range of new challenges for companies from a security perspective. With staff working from home, there are more potential vulnerability points for business leaders and IT leaders to be aware of.
While CCaaS and other cloud-service providers are consistently working on improving security measures around the storage and transmission of data, risks are still a constant concern for IT. A single data breach today could be enough to bring your entire company toppling downwards, so it’s crucial to think about how you’re managing safety.
Look at your infrastructure for security and compliance and ask yourself where you might be able to improve. For instance, could you use AI-based biometric voice authentication to deliver fast and secure experiences to customers, while protecting against fraud? Could SBC solutions help to defend your employees working remotely?
What’s next for CX
Here, we’ve looked at only a handful of the trends which have the potential to impact the way you manage your customer experience strategy in the years to come. There are countless other points to consider, from the rise of extended reality in the customer experience space, to the use of video for managing conversations.
As always, partnering with the right, forward-thinking CX solution vendor will help you to ensure you can stay ahead of the right trends.