How people live, work, and shop has been forever changed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Simply relying on what your company has done in the past is no longer enough to keep consumers happy. It’s critical that organizations adjust to the changing consumer landscape and consistently deliver exceptional experiences. Companies that are ignorant of rising trends risk losing loyal customers to more future-facing competitors. Thus, here are four customer experience trends marketers should keep an eye out for:
1. Touchless CX is here to stay
Customers want to make purchases with as little interaction as possible. Touchless experiences such as contactless payments, curbside pick-up, and touch-free restrooms are not only safer but more convenient. In fact, customers want touchless options once the crisis subsides as it has proven to make their lives easier and more efficient. According to GetApp, 82% of customers expect contactless experiences in 2021 and beyond. Investing in making these experiences as seamless as possible will be key to customer satisfaction and loyalty.
2. Virtual assistants are the new app
Voice technology has come a long way. Roughly 1 in 4 Americans now own a smart speaker and over 110 million use a virtual assistant such as Alexa, Google, or Siri. Voice is frictionless and offers users almost instantaneous answers and gratification. It’s a hands-free and hassle-free experience, unlike having to download and figure out an app. The rising popularity of voice technology means marketers and CX specialists should explore ways to leverage voice to make the customer experience better. This will mean they will need to regularly fine-tune their SEO strategy to optimize for voice search. As voice recognition continues to improve, and usage of voice assistants grows, it will be imperative to have a strong voice SEO strategy to stay ahead of the competition.
3. Consumers want contactless, not human-less
While contactless experiences are preferred at checkout, companies must still provide real human support when technology fails. Few things are more infuriating to a customer than having to wait or speak to a robot for help. One bad support experience can sour an otherwise positive experience. Scouring help documentation or navigating complicated system trees to reach a customer support representative is annoying and time-consuming. If your company has call support capabilities, considering doing away with automated voice-system robots altogether or offer callers the chance to “press zero to immediately reach a customer service agent.” In-person help is the most ideal, but if that’s not an option, live text/chat can also bridge the contactless support gap.
4. Dynamic personalization
90% of U.S. consumers find marketing personalization very or somewhat appealing. Dynamic personalization is content that adapts to each individual customer and understands their purchasing habits and behaviors, so it is correctly modified to enhance their experiences and produce conversions. Investing in dynamic personalization can help marketers optimize the consumer experience so that every interaction your customer has with your brand is personal and custom-tailored to their individual needs and interests. Simple ways to leverage dynamic personalization are personalized recommendations, personalized email offers, and intelligent ads (offer a perfectly timed code or discount to convince your customer to pull the purchase trigger). By ensuring your website or app only presents useful or relevant material, you can build trust, improve your brand and encourage repeat business.
This content has been adapted from the Critical Trends in Customer Experience: CX Futurist Blake Morgan on What Consumers Now Expect webinar hosted by AdWeek.