What Is Customer Experience?
Customer experience is inclusive of any aspect of a business that affects how a customer feels. Customer experience prioritizes the relationship with the customer, regardless of length of interaction, or past or prospective purchases. Think about the last really good or really bad experience you had when interacting with a brand. This interaction could be something as simple as completing a purchase or as complex as engaging in an extensive live chat conversation about a particular product question. How did that experience make you feel? The way that a customer interacts with and perceives your brand throughout the entirety of their process with you, from discovery to purchase to loyal customer, is all part of the customer experience.
The customer is the lifeblood of the brand, and the modern customer has high expectations for its interactions with your company. Transforming your customer service into a company-wide customer experience culture is essential to delivering a CX strategy that not only meets but exceeds expectations, creating life-long brand advocates.
Customer Experience Trends in 2023
At the outset of 2022, a post-pandemic global economic recovery effort was gaining momentum and supply chain issues were beginning to ease. Despite an auspicious start of the year, the past twelve months have been turbulent for many organizations. International conflict, inflation and the continued ripple effects of the pandemic have placed burdens across nearly every industry. Looking ahead, inflation and layoffs seem to still loom for many, as companies brace for economic downturn.
As a result, buyers are tightening their budgets and becoming more cautious about spending. For brands looking to come out of this wartime period as successful, it will be essential to provide connected service that scales and delights.
We believe the following five trends will underpin success in 2023 and beyond:
- Efficiency Matters
- Messaging… the New Default Support Channel
- Conversations as Meaningful Experiences
- Empathetic Personalization
- Courting the Conscious Consumer
Ready for a CX solution that will enable you to underpin success in 2023? We help businesses of all sizes connect with customers the same way they do with family and friends, on the channels of their choice, by delivering a messaging-first experience that builds trust and strengthens customer loyalty. Download our CX trends ebook today and unpack the tips and tricks that can transform your organization.
Customer Experience Trends in 2022
Keeping up with what’s new in customer service trends can be difficult when trends emerge so regularly. However, we can help you navigate through the trenches and understand the ones that matter most. Follow down our blog or hit the links below to jump to the 2022 customer service trends that appeal to you most:
- Embracing Digital Technology
- Proactive Support
- Instant Gratification
- Context is Key
The world of customer experience is ever-evolving. New trends that emerge quickly become baseline expectations for customers. Currently, we’re seeing a rise in the use of SMS, social media messaging, and live chat support. Eighty-one percent of CX organizations report that reducing wait times is an extremely important priority to achieve within the next three years.
These four emerging trends share the opportunity to meet customers where they are while saving money and freeing up time for your customers and agents. Learn more about these experience trends in our guide for the future of customer engagement.
- Embracing Digital Technology
Embracing digital technology is key to creating the best experience for your customers. Today’s customer expects business to be available across all communication channels (the web, social media, phone, email and text) with text messaging, according to our own data, being the most frequently checked and responded to channel, especially among younger customers.
This omnichannel strategy (when businesses are open to communicate across multiple platforms) also helps to build a relationship with the customer through brand awareness and maintaining customer loyalty. With 64% of consumers reporting they enjoy talking to customer service via the same channels they communicate with family and friends, the importance of expanding your communication methods to SMS and social media cannot be underestimated.
We all experimented more with digital channels during the pandemic, and that’s not going to go back to where it was prior to the pandemic. There is going to be some increased level of expectation from customers that your business is able to service them both in person and digitally.”-MATT IDEMA,
VP OF BUSINESS MESSAGING, META
- Proactive Support
As previously mentioned, customers don’t want to be treated like a task that has been checked off a company’s list. If they’ve reached out to a business with a question or issue, they expect that line of communication to remain open, and to be remembered, even after the initial conversation ended. For example, when a customer reaches out to a business with an issue, it takes time, energy, and patience on their end to explain the situation. Hopefully, by the end of that conversation, the company has done all they can to reach a solution with the customer. However, if the same person reaches out again, the company is expected to have a history of the previous interaction and proactively support them in continuing this conversation. Seventy-three percent of consumers appreciate follow-up after their problem is solved. Perhaps if the company in this scenario had taken the proactive step of following up after the initial interaction, the customer wouldn’t have even had to initiate the second conversation, saving everyone time.
- Instant Gratification
A major shift in the evolution of customer service is the modern customer’s expectation of instant gratification. Gone are the days where the average person expected to wait in long lines, hold on the phone, or receive a delivery longer than after just a few days of placing their order.
Customers expect a convenient and speedy response to their questions, with nearly half of them expecting customer service representatives to respond in less than four hours. However, the average response time for customer support teams is over 12 hours. By implementing response automations through your customer experience software, businesses can more easily resolve this disconnect and work toward delivering higher rates of customer satisfaction and an overall better customer experience.
4. Context is Key
Creating personalized experiences for consumers is yesterday’s news. Leading brands have been personalizing online shopping experiences for many years now, with features like personalized product recommendations based on past purchases.
People need to be understood as individuals. Brands must not forget that consumers are people, too, and need to be treated as such. Building relationships with customers provides value for the brand, the business, and the customer that’s buying. Context is key, and 2022 will be all about harnessing data to enrich customer interactions.
Consider the fact that 84% of consumers get frustrated when they have to repeat information to an agent. The modern support experience, for many brands, focuses so much on listening, but forgets to actually hear consumer preferences and commit them to memory. This is achievable through collating a single timeline view of all the customer’s interactions with the brand in order to understand them as an individual and foster a relationship, not just one-off interactions.
What Did We Know? Customer Experience Trends of 2021
2020 brought huge changes to the business world and impacted customer service and operations across the board. Next year will undoubtedly bring even more fascinating developments.
There were five emerging customer experience trends that we predicted will shape customer experience in 2021.
- 1. Personalized Customer Service With AI
- 2. Chatbots
- 3. Virtual Assistants
- 4. Connecting Data to the Customer Experience
- 5. Customer Service Goes Remote
Looking Back at Customer Experience Trends in 2022
Powerhouses like the Kustomer CRM make creating a cohesive, convenient customer experience easier than ever. Let’s talk about some of our favorite ways to increase efficiency and satisfaction throughout the customer journey.
According to a Kustomer survey of 2,000 Americans, 67% of consumers expect retailers to know them and personalize how they interact. The steps to implementing this customization are simple: know your customers, meet them where they are, and use AI to interact more intelligently. A true CX strategy should ensure that every touchpoint with every customer should be rooted in empathy and respect. In a world of chatbots and dynamic data, it’s important that the implementation of personalization is strategic. Always avoid robotic and ingenuine interactions that can leave customers feeling undervalued.
- Omnichannel Support
Omnichannel support is providing consistent service across communication channels that allow one conversation to start where the other ends, no matter what channel a customer or agent is on (not to be confused with multichannel support). 79% of consumers report getting frustrated when they can’t contact customer service through their preferred medium or platform.
- Proactive Support
Proactive support allows brands to solve issues before customers are able to reach out. The goal with proactive customer support is to get ahead of potential issues by reaching out to customers, offering self-learning resources, and being honest when something goes wrong.
- Increased Availability
Much like omnichannel support, establishing a culture of increased availability to your customers can reap countless rewards. This applies to platform and time availability. No matter the location or time that a customer needs help, there should always be an option for them. Though seemingly straightforward, this tactic can make all the difference in your CX strategy.
- Self-Service Tools
The use of self-service tools has become so popular with customers that recent research shows that 88% of consumers expect brands to now offer at least one self-service option. Another great convenient customer experience tactic, self-service tools allow customers to find the information and solutions they need without the need to contact the company. Self-service empowers customers to find answers, how-to tutorials and other support content without ever having to interact with agents.