The customer experience has been transformed by the COVID-19 pandemic. A lot more emphasis will be placed on enhancing consumer confidence moving forward. In addition to this, we are also seeing an increasing need for brand differentiation, and a new focus on creative work that leverages data insights.
According to Forrester, consumers in 2022 will likely choose brands which are able to bring them the greatest amount of happiness and comfort. We know for a fact that experiences are just as important as the goods and services that companies offer consumers. We also know that the last two years have taken a toll on their stress levels and and fears due to the pandemic. Brands have an opportunity now to evaluate how they can reduce their customers’ stress by creating experiences that inspire confidence.
This can go beyond messaging to utilizing technologies like augmented reality to empower consumers. Such advanced technologies can allow customers to get a near-first-hand look at things and is especially engaging for consumers shopping in the furniture or housing market. Some clothing brands are also leveraging new data and technology solutions that will allow customers to show them what they would look like through the use of virtual clothing. Using technology to de-risk a purchasing decision can reduce a customer’s uncertainty or stress over their purchase decisions and help them to feel more comfortable about placing their order.
Differentiation Emotional Experiences
Businesses can offer an empowering customer experience in order to leave a lasting impression. The effect is multiplied if said experience is something unique and can’t be experienced anywhere else. A May 2021 Gartner report found that 46 percent of consumers can’t tell one brand’s digital experience from another. This is why customer loyalty or engagement may not increase with further investment into a company’s digital experience. After all, a fast and efficient digital experience is the norm now. Organizations will need to develop a digital experience which can evoke happiness and satisfaction in order to secure the confidence of their customers.
Brands will need to pay close attention to the quality of their customer service and other services moving forward. After all, nobody likes bad customer service. Why is it so important though? It is because the pandemic has wreaked havoc on the global supply chain. Every country and business is currently facing issues with regards to material shortages and logistics. As such, many customers are experience long delays with regards to their purchased items. This results in more consumers contacting customer services. There are now more touchpoints than ever to navigate and more problems to resolve.
Evolving and Adapting Teams
There is a growing trend of data unification among organizations. Based on this, we can expect to see CX teams work more closely together with departments across their organizations in order to achieve a singular view on their customers. As that happens, more divisions of the organization will be measured against the same metrics. In order to support these changes, businesses will need to focus on organizational change management. As more CX data and functions converge, legacy services, silos, and operational constraints will eventually have to give way to new and improve solutions in order to elevate the customer experience.
CX teams will also have to remain or become hyper-agile in 2022 to keep up with the pace of change. This means implementing systematic voice of the customer programs to infuse insights into ongoing decision making.