"What the customer wants" is the question that does not give peace of mind to modern companies and motivates them to look for increasingly innovative ways to improve and facilitate the user experience. According to a Gartner survey, for 81% of managers, customer satisfaction will be the main area of competition soon, and only 22% say they have already developed processes that exceed customer expectations.
For this reason, any ambitious brand should pay attention to the main trends in the consumer experience. The opportunities are many, and the customers of the 21st century are demanding, capricious, and one click away from the competitors. Here are the 8 main guidelines for achieving leadership in attracting and retaining consumers:
1.Consumers expect hyper-personalization
According to an Internet Retailing report, 69% of users want a personalized experience, but less than half of the companies manage to provide it. In this regard, big data comes to the rescue, which is becoming more accessible with the introduction of multiple IoT devices in companies. Through analysis, companies have the opportunity to get a deeper idea of their customers.
The accumulated rich information base allows revealing the habits, preferences, desires, and the way of shopping for each customer. In turn, this helps companies provide highly personalized services, including sending emails and newsletters with a personal touch, recommending products based on previous purchases, providing offers and messages at the right time.
2. Focus on multichannel marketing
Undoubtedly, the consumer experience in the 21st century must be digital, as 90% of all shopping decisions start online. However, being on the Internet has not been enough for a long time. One of the latest and definite trends is the need for multi-channel marketing.
Nowadays, consumers have all the control over how to contact a company or brand - it depends on them when and which channel they will choose for this purpose. That is why companies are expected not only to be present in every possible channel but also to provide a complete and seamless experience in each of them. For example, if the customer starts communicating on a social network, then he should be able to continue the conversation through the mobile application or website. This will help build loyalty and implement a common company strategy regardless of the platform used.
3. Transparency concerning data
In the digital age, data is gaining new meaning for both companies and consumers. However, collecting them not only brings benefits but also comes with great responsibility for their proper storage and use. By ensuring transparency regarding advertising policies, pricing, and business practices, companies gain the trust of their customers. Following the entry into force of the European Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), this is no longer just a matter of choice but also of a legal obligation, and trademarks that err in this direction are threatened with severe sanctions.
The solution, in this case, is relatively simple - organizations must regularly seek the consent of users, provide information on how and why their data is used. For example, if they come together to improve personalization, there is no reason to hide it. Ultimately, the goal is to improve customer service, and a problem would only arise with unclear and non-transparent communication.
4. Improved security measures
For proper data management, transparency is only one side of the coin, the other is related to the introduction of high measures to ensure their security. An incident with a leak of personal consumer information will not only destroy the digital experience but can also lead to irreversible consequences for the business. More than half of customers would have a negative attitude towards a brand a year after such an incident.
To prevent such unpleasant situations, companies must devote the necessary efforts and resources to continuously improve their security protocols. As more than 70% of breaches are caused by fraudulent email campaigns, experts advise introducing measures such as mandatory two-factor authentication for employees, better management of access to sensitive information, conducting more training campaigns, applying high standards for encryption. the data. Also, the transition to cloud solutions and biometric technologies such as face, finger, and voice recognition will help better protect valuable personal information.
5. The rise of bots
According to Gartner, this year 85% of customer contacts will take place without human intervention, using only digital self-service interfaces, chatbots, and virtual assistants. This trend is intensified due to the entry of the millennial generation into the workforce, 70% of whom admit that they are completely satisfied with this type of communication.
Nowadays, many websites and social networks offer integrated chats. Among the main advantages of such support are fast real-time responses in seconds, fewer errors, as well as the ability of bots to self-learn and deliver a personalized experience.
Thanks to advanced AI technology, digital assistants are no longer robotic avatars but can have conversations and solve problems, freeing up time for employees to focus on more complex issues.
6. Voice technology
Voice assistant technology is already widely used, and many companies sell their entire products or services through voice marketing. This trend is expected to intensify in the near future, with OC&C sales reaching $ 5 billion in the United Kingdom and $ 40 billion dollars in the United States in 2022. For comparison - in 2017 these values were respectively 0.2 billion in the United Kingdom and 1.8 billion dollars in the United States.
To keep up with new technologies, companies need to seriously invest in such solutions, including functionality to find products on sites through voice search and facilitate the entire purchase process through voice control of the individual steps. Voxpow offer you with all tools, making that possible.
7. Balance between man and automation
Automation is a great way for companies to reduce their customer service costs as well as reduce response time to standard inquiries. However, according to research, consumers also seek personal contact when communicating with a brand. It turns out that in 2020 people continue to distrust chatbots, with only 63% satisfied with this type of service and would like to be paid attention by a person if necessary.
The use of artificial intelligence and chatbots will certainly not decrease in the future, on the contrary - this type of technology will enter more and more into everyday life. In this case, however, the right balance must be found between human participation and the use of such solutions. It is likely that for the time being, artificial intelligence will continue to be responsible for the technical and mechanical aspects of the service, while human support will remain for the more delicate and special issues.
8. Mobile experience in the first place
The mobile experience cannot be ignored, according to data from the Pew Research study, according to which 83% of Europeans and 81% of Americans own their smartphone. This trend has been visible for several years, but it will continue to dictate business strategies after the end of 2020. As early as 2018, Google announced that it will prioritize the mobile experience as a key factor in the classification of websites. The reason for this is quite logical - most searches happen on mobile devices, not on the desktop.
In this sense, to retain customers, it must not only be invested in providing a mobile experience, but it must also be prioritized. This means that website design, product and service design, and customer service must be adapted to the specifics of portable devices.
Successful management of the digital consumer experience is key for all modern companies and will undoubtedly be at the center of the new decade. The use of artificial intelligence and 5G will provide new opportunities to ensure better service and connection with customers. Organizations that want to remain competitive in this dynamic environment must continue to innovate and listen to the voice of their customers.
Tips for improving the user experience:
- Gaps analysis - competition is the greatest source of knowledge and this fully applies to the consumer experience. Start by simply visiting their website, contacting their customer support, tracking their campaigns, and offers online.
- Hire a consumer experience manager - these leaders become the bridge between the customer and the brand they work for. They support the adoption of common strategies and policies for customer service, ensure the creation of an optimized end-to-end experience, monitor changes in customer preferences and attitudes.
- Create a customer-focused culture - whether it's a customer for the B2B or B2C company when it comes to the user experience, every functionality, every employee, and representative in every platform has an essential role. In this sense, everyone in the organization must contribute to customer satisfaction, which cannot happen without the introduction of a culture focused on users.
- Collecting real-time feedback - Getting feedback from users is important, but even more crucial is happening in real-time. Use chat chats, follow-up emails, or other similar tools to get timely information about the user experience. Accordingly, in case of a problem you will be able to react very quickly and "revenge" the client.
- Loyalty through gamification - the idea of gamification is to make working with a simple business website or application more fun. For example, customers may be encouraged to participate in small tasks that give them a sense of accomplishment (which happens during games). This makes them feel satisfied and motivated to continue visiting your site or brand.