“Customer is king.”
This statement made sense a decade ago and it makes sense even today, isn’t it? In a time when customers have ten alternatives for a single product or service, it has become necessary for businesses to focus on the experience they offer to their buyers.
Not so surprisingly, 76% of customers stop purchasing from a business after a bad service. According to Esteban Kolsky, if the customers are dissatisfied, 13% of them tell 15 or more people about their experience. But happy customers will share a positive experience with only 6 or more people.
Negative word-of-mouth is detrimental to the growth of any business which is why there is a need to focus on customer experience more than ever. Interestingly, Andy Yost, CMO at Gannett strongly believes ‘now’ is the time for businesses to service a customer’s needs before they even arise.
In fact, a 2016 multi-industry benchmark study supports this by stating the top objective of 75% of companies is to improve their customer’s experience. If experts are to be believed, leveraging data analytics for creating impactful experience strategies will rise to the top this year.
Now that customer experience is the new battlefield for businesses to compete for driving revenues. Keeping that in mind, let us explore five trends of CX that are going to rule 2018:
Today’s consumers use an average of six touchpoints when buying an item as compared to just two, 15 years ago. They also like the flexibility of picking up the same conversation with a business on multiple platforms. Unfortunately, only 39% of them are able to do that and this frustrates them.
Businesses that have a solid omni-channel customer engagement strategie are able to retain an average of 89% of their customers, as compared to those with weaker solutions. According to PWC, the demand for an omni-channel customer experience is likely to become huge by 2020.If a business wants to be successful in the industry, it can’t afford to ignore CX.
The CEO sets the tone for an organization. When it comes to how a business treats its customers, it all begins from the top. A 2017 Forrester study reported three CEO-driven activities – company culture (54%), work processes (41%) and organizational structures (45%) – pose a challenge for an effective CX strategy.
Amazon is the best case study when it comes to customer experience. CEO Jeff Bezos is perhaps the only business leader in today’s world who imbibed the philosophy of truly caring for the customer – and that was years ago! If the CEO focuses on CX, the business will not only ensure better customer services but also improve profitability and save costs.
People may be creatures of logic but when it comes to CX it is important to note that emotions matter more. And guess what? Most businesses tend to forget that. Unreasonable query solutions, robotic customer service officers and long hold times are just a few examples of a shoddy customer service.
People don’t want to deal with a business that doesn’t value their time. A CX strategy that is personalized as per each customer is bound to prove favorable to the business growth – and that’s exactly the need of the hour in 2018.
The blockchain technology is still in the stage of infancy and not a lot of people have a clear understanding of what it entails. But once this tech matures, it is anticipated to do the following:
- Enable banks to know their customers like the back of the hand
- Ensure real-time tracking of product delivery
- Support government during welfare activities
- Secure student records
- Make B2B payments easier
Experts have stated blockchain will empower businesses across industries to deliver a great customer support, and thereby give a new dimension to customer experience.
Gartner has predicted a customer will manage 85% of the relationship with a business without interacting with a human by 2020. This is already happening with the integration of chatbots. eBay’s ShopBot, for example, helps website visitors make a purchase on the basis of their preferences.
It toggles between suggested items filtered by price to find the most popular items on the eCommerce store – best suited for the visitor. Also, since 67% of people use messaging apps to communicate with a business, chatbots seem to be the right platform to integrate big data and AI for effective customer experience solutions.
2018 is an exciting time for businesses to rejig their CX strategy because this function is fast evolving for the better. However, the real question is – how prepared is your business? Not everyone thinks of hiring a CX expert because the resource is either too costly or not easily found.
The biggest advantage of sourcing this function to an experienced personnel is they know what’s best for your business and they will make all the right choices for you, while you have the liberty to drive other revenue streams – in sync with CX.
Looking for an expert for your CX activities can be time consuming, may include a lot of hit and trial and might end up draining your resources. This is why more than 50% of the companies outsource their CX tasks.