2020 was unpredictable, but one trend businesses had to embrace was integrating digital customer service platforms. And it’s a good thing that most companies switched to digital platforms, as it became the primary means of communication during the lock-down.
Customer Experience is critical for any business’s success. Monitoring the trends and new developments in customer experience puts businesses at an advantage. Still, it is also important to remember that being dynamic and adaptable is very important to ensure your business continuity.
7 Customer Experience Trends for 2021
1. The shift to Social Media Customer Service will accelerate
With limited resources available at call centers, there was a massive shift to using digital customer care in the last year out of necessity, but it has turned out to be a huge benefit for businesses. Digital platforms, mainly social media platforms, became perfect places for businesses to interact with customers and learn about audience behaviour.
The world has about 3.8 billion active Social Media users, and it’s growing everyday. So it is essential to know the platforms your key customers are active on and plan your social media strategy accordingly, to be more accessible to them and gain more accurate customer insights. There will be a significant influx in content generated by users, which will enable brands to really leap forward.
2. CX-Centric future of Customer Service
80% of businesses expect customer experience will be the key differentiating factor between customer service in the present and the future, according to Gartner. Apart from key customer experience factors like customer efforts and convenience, safety and trust have become critical components.
Customers are concerned with whether brands prioritize safety measures due to the current situation; hence, it is vital to gain customer’s trust and use all the customer touchpoints to be more transparent in this prevailing situation.
As per this market research by Forrester , there has been a universal initiative in CX improvements focused on advancing core CX resources, such as their CX strategy, customer insights and ROI metrics, rather than prioritizing back-end systems problems.
3. Customer insights and analytics will become a more significant part of CX strategy
Businesses can expect customer insight to become key to CX strategies and performance. Brands with access to real-time detailed metrics on customer journeys can learn what an ideal customer experience should look like.
Investing more in understanding customer insights is key to understanding the customers’ sentiment towards a brand. Emotion or sentiment-based senses are becoming increasingly important and popular among businesses.
AI-text analytics, sentiment analysis, and social listening can help you translate emotion into metrics to understand your customers comprehensively and map their journey.
4. CX consistency is becoming a standard
Maintaining a consistent brand image is not the only priority, but rather ensuring consistency across all aspects of your business, especially customer experience. One way brands can maintain consistent and cohesive brand messaging and image is to be consistent across all customer touchpoints.
Conversations with customers across platforms should also maintain consistency, if a brand chooses to use a more casual approach for social media customer service, it should stick to that approach in all aspects of customer engagement. The purpose of consistency in CX is to ensure customers remember and recognize your brand. Part of this is via a consistent brand tone in your CX design but the larger part is having an omnichannel product to consolidate and monitor this consistency.
5. Proactive Customer service is going to be a priority
Proactive customer service is anticipating customer issues and resolving them preemptively before they become a problem. Companies have massive adoption of proactive customer engagement as they realized it drives tremendous business growth.
The saying “prevention is better than cure” applies to customer experience as well; it is far better to prevent an issue from rising rather than waiting for customers to raise queries.
Creating seamless interactions with a comprehensive customer profile with all past communications will help your agent identify your customer with the required background information. They can then address the customers’ needs without them having to repeat the concern.
6. A more in-depth analysis of metrics to measure ROI
Measuring the impact of your customer service efforts has been a trick in the past for businesses. Insights like customer satisfaction, customer sentiment, etc. do give you a holistic picture of your brand performance, but there are certain metrics which directly impacts your customer happiness.
Measuring and monitoring insights from the ticketing system is incredibly beneficial, metrics like FRT (first response time), AHT (average handling time), the number of new tickets coming in, and how long it takes to close them are important to monitor to make any improvements needed. These things heavily impact your overall brand performance.
7. Enhance Customer Experience with AI and Chatbots
It’s not news to anybody that AI is revolutionizing the way businesses interact with and engage customers. According to Microsoft, it is predicted that 95% of conversations will be through AI by 2025 . The goal of integrating chatbots and AI into customer service is to simplify and accelerate the process and to ensure agents are able to address top priority cases rather than dealing with large volumes of low-level support issues.
Customers have made the switch to using digital channels, specifically social media to contact businesses. And with that, their expectation to receive instant replies and resolutions has increased. Chatbots can help you provide 24/7 support and consistent results regardless of external factors such as volume of inbound tickets, while being cost effective.
Simplify360 is an Omnichannel platform that allows businesses to manage and respond to all their Social Media, Messaging Channels, Review sites and more. With our AI insights, monitor and manage your brand performance. We also provide automated response management for reviews that integrates our AI assistant, ReviewAssistTM.
We are also a Google Partner for Google Business messages.