Customer experience has taken the world by storm! Come 2018, it's going to be a different ballgame if you want to make customer experience your primary competitve differentiator in the digital age. Let's take a look at the top customer experience trends of 2018, and why customer experience matters in 2018.
Customer experience is very important for businesses, with business leaders asking how to improve customer experience rather than whether to improve customer experience or not. It is probably the very reason you are reading this blog right now! Am I right? Most probably.
Regardless, enterprises are acknowleding the immediate need to improve customer experience to increase revenue growth. In fact, Gartner estimates that more than 50% of organizations will implement significant business model changes in their efforts to improve the level of customer experience by 2018.
Top Emerging CX Trends in 2018
Where does your company stand when it comes to customer experience? Are you taking action to raise the level of CX in your business? Here are the top customer experience trends you should know about that might impact your business in 2018:
The Rise of the Empowered Consumer
2018 brings along a drastic change in the business and consumer mindset, so to speak. With the boom in modern technology, an average consumer is more empowered than before. In short, he has a voice - and it matters to others online. This makes it inherently important to take initiatives to improve customer experience and gain the loyalty of an empowered consumer.
Personalization on an Emotional Level
People usually dislike dealing with customer service in any business. Why? Because we're human - and not robots. The reasons are almost always similar - long hold times, unreasonable compensations or query resolutions, or monotonous customer service agents. Improving customer service with even a little bit of personalization can significantly improve the level customer experience in the eyes of the customer.
89% of consumers stop doing business with a company after experiencing poor customer service, according to RightNow Customer Experience Impact Report.
A lot of companies don't work on providing a pleasant customer service experience, and in turn, lose business. A recent customer service statistic predicted the estimated cost of customers switching due to poor service to be an astonishing $1.6 Trillion in the US alone!
Are You Still Multichannel? 2018 Demands Omnichannel!
Often when starting out, companies usually choose multi-channel over omnichannel because it is quickly setup and easier to manage. However, with the widespread adoption of modern technology by the average consumer, the demand for omnichannel customer experience is greater than ever in 2018.
Did you know? According to Marketing Week, 15 years ago the average consumer typically used two touch-points when buying an item and only 7% regularly used more than four. Today consumers use an average of almost six touch points, with 50% regularly using more than four.”
You probably think having a multi-channel contact center is good enough as you're service all channels - but what about disconnected systems that don't share data with one another? And what about the large amounts of unstructured data accumulated in your systems that take up space and doesn't help your business or customer intelligence initiatives? What about interactional silos between departments that exist as a result of these systems - not allowing your teams to functional properly?
According to Forbes Insights and Sitecore, organizations use 35 different data gathering systems with little to no integration.
With omnichannel customer experience platforms, you can say goodbye to reduntant systems that simply take too much time. What we're trying to say is - your customers are soon going to demand a near-perfect omnichannel experience. Is your business up to the omnichannel challenge?
According to PWC, the demand for an omnichannel customer experience will be amplified by the need for nearly perfect execution by 2020.
The Age of Intelligent Machines: IoT Customer Experience and Improving CX with AI
The age of intelligent machines has dawned upon us with the introduction of intelligent computing such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. Data today is not just numbers - if you know your CX analytics well enough, you know Big Data can easily be analyzed with artificial intellgence to improve customer experience.
Customers will manage 85 percent of their relationship with the enterprise without interacting with a human by 2020, according to a recent Gartner research.
Not to mention - Chatbots, or intelligent virtual assistants, are increasingly being used to provide intelligent & personalized conversational experiences while instantly solving the customer's query.
CX Blockchain: The Idea of Improving Customer Experience with Blockchain
Although Blockchain technology is still in its infancy, the impact of Blockchain could be huge for those who know how to use it right. We all know Bitcoin and how it has recently broken the internet due to its surging stock price, showing the tremendous potential of blockchain for easy collaboration, scalability and reduced infrastructure costs.
2018 will most-likely witness the acceptance of blockchain technology and its impact on the lives of everyday consumers. Until early-adopters and potential investors are able to fully envision a market where blockchain thrives, the technology still remains a sleeping giant.
According to a research by Accenture, blockchain technology can result in an annual cost savings of $8-12 billion (£6.5-9.7 billion) for large investment banks and improve banking experience.
Conclusion: 2018 CX Trends
Take a look at the CX Trends outlined above. What's the first thing that comes to mind? Well, it doesn't take rocket science to recognize the need to improve customer experience and create more loyal, happier customers in today's digital age. Are you fully leveraging the potential of customer experience to improve your business?