The Future of Customer Experience: 9 Trends Sticking Around
Want to secure your brand’s long-term success? Check out nine trends that will define the future of customer experience in all industries.
The notion of customer experience as a measurable, improvable strategy is talked about more than ever before — and for some pretty solid reasons! For many brands, what they make isn’t nearly as important as how customers feel about their experiences with products, people, and websites. First impressions, and all that.
To master your niche or industry and ensure long-term customer loyalty, you’ll want to double down on key customer experience trends. Let’s take a look at some major trends that will dominate the future of customer experience across the board.
How Has CX Changed in the Past Few Years?
Marketing and business, in general, have evolved rapidly in the recent past. New technologies, a focus on big data, and an enhanced emphasis on customer satisfaction have become prevalent in marketing, product creation and ideation, customer service, and much more.
It’s no surprise that many of these adaptations have come to define modern trends in customer experience as well. Current customer experiences heavily emphasize using technology to provide consumers with unparalleled value (and the positive emotions that arise from that).
Furthermore, customer experiences are supposed to be universal or consistent across multiple marketing and service channels. These days, customers want to feel tailored to and understood at every stage of a buyer’s journey, not just receive reliable customer service when they have a question or complaint about a product.
These broad developments are reflected in the most important CX trends. More crucially, they will likely continue to be relevant in the near future.
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9 CX Trends To Consider and Adopt
If you want to improve your customer experience processes (and ensure that your brand provides stellar CX to its customers for years to come), take note of these trends in customer experience. If you haven’t already, consider implementing them at the earliest opportunity.
1. Personalization in Everything
First — and possibly most important — is the recent trend of injecting personalization into every element of a customer’s journey. These days, the average customer wants to feel seen, heard, and tailored to from the get-go. They don’t want to feel like yet another nameless number on a business report sheet.
To that end, personalize customer experiences right from the moment they engage with your brand. Offer them personalized product recommendations based on past purchases or the advertisement that they clicked to reach your brand’s homepage.
When a customer signs up for an email newsletter, make sure that your newsletter platform engages in basic personalization measures, like referring to the customer by their name, providing them with special discounts, etc. Personalization does wonders for boosting customer engagement and satisfaction. In the long term, it could also significantly improve customer loyalty — every business’s dream.
2. Immersive Experiences
Immersive experiences through VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) technologies are becoming more popular, and not only for gaming sessions. For example, real estate companies now offer prospective homebuyers the chance to virtually tour a home before making an offer if it’s too far to visit personally.
Companies now also use AR technology to stick their logos on digital maps or provide built-in navigation assistance through VR interfaces, such as goggles and glasses. Immersive experiences like these do a lot to create notable, memorable experiences for customers who engage with brands that implement them.
Additionally, immersive experiences also include purchasing and using digital real estate in the Metaverse. Platforms like The Sandbox, Decentraland, and more offer unique opportunities to spread brand marketing into the digital world like never before.
3. Predictive Analytics
Predictive analytics is another major customer experience trend for many businesses. In a nutshell, predictive analytics leverages AI and machine learning technology to assess the data your business gathers from its customers or purchases from third-party data brokers.
In either case, predictive analytics is such a beneficial CX trend because it:
- Lets businesses better understand their customers in terms of their behavior, needs, and wants.
- Helps businesses predict the needs of their target audience members by using previous data regarding customer interactions, purchases, etc.
- Enables businesses to predict the most important events in a customer’s lifecycle, such as when they’ll make a purchase, when they will need to make new purchases in the future, etc.
Information is power in business (and everywhere else), so it’s no shock that predictive analytics is so crucial. If your brand doesn’t already, consider using protective analytics to get a leg up on the competition in terms of audience understanding.
4. AI Chatbots and Assistants
AI technology will further change customer experience processes in the future thanks to AI chatbots and other automated virtual assistants. The many benefits of AI technology in this sector are obvious.
For example, AI chatbots can provide website visitors with better customer service experiences by answering quick questions for them and not requiring them to stay “on hold” until a human agent becomes available. AI chatbots are also perfect for directing customers to self-service options or other solutions for quick fixes to minor concerns.
Other virtual assistants continually free up labor time and enable human workers at brands around the world to focus more on creative, big-picture efforts. All in all, AI technology is sure to continually and positively impact customer experience processes for some time to come.
5. Conscious Buying and Consumerism
In the modern era, many consumers don’t only want to buy the best products for themselves. They want to purchase consciously, particularly when it comes to the environment and fair labor practices.
Indeed, many Millennial and Gen-Z shoppers prioritize buying from green companies with eco-friendly shipping policies, manufacturing processes, and similar. Brands that highlight their eco-friendly processes are more likely to acquire new traffic from a variety of sources, plus provide their shoppers with better experiences.
In many cases, customers want to feel like they are doing their part for the environment or our shopping responsibly and ethically. Highlight these elements in your brand or give customers the option to purchase more consciously. Such practices might include donations to green initiatives, forgoing free shipping for an eco-conscious alternative, and more. It could do wonders to unite your target audience members with your brand.
This customer experience trend is even more important for brands with conscious shopping as one of the main elements of their mission statements. If your brand is known for doing the right thing and improving the world beyond making a profit, jump onto this trend.
6. Authentic Brand Interactions
Modern consumers are also disinterested in brands that feel fake, overly corporate, or focused on profit to the exclusion of everything else. More than anything, they want authentic interactions with their brands.
To that end, many customer experience strategies emphasize authenticity, such as:
- Assign big clients or accounts to dedicated salespeople who understand their unique wants and needs.
- Use influencer marketing, which is often seen as more authentic compared to traditional marketing channels.
- Avoid overly sales-y marketing lingo, calls to action, and dialogue and sales pitches. This helps to show customers that your brand is more authentic and genuine compared to other organizations in the same niche.
This customer experience trend is even more vital if you target younger customers, who see through common marketing tricks and tactics better than ever.
7. Omnichannel Customer Journeys
“Omnichannel” marketing involves using the same marketing materials, slogans, phrases, and other elements across every channel through which customers can interact with your brand. In terms of customer experience, omnichannel customer journeys are similar.
In short, a brand should focus on providing holistic, consistent customer experiences to its audience members through omnichannel focuses. When a customer interacts with your brand over social media, it should feel similar to when they interact with your brand over a chat box on your brand website.
By the same token, when someone buys something from your brick-and-mortar store, they should have the same positive experience as they do when shopping from your online store. By focusing on omnichannel, consistent customer journeys, your brand will feel like more of a major or stable player in its industry.
More importantly, customers will feel comforted and like your brand can be relied on as they shop within its niche.
8. Data Transparency, Privacy, and Consumer Control
Consumers are more aware of the dangers of data vulnerability than ever. Therefore, you should highlight the steps your brand takes in terms of data transparency, privacy, and consumer control of their data in your CX processes.
Customers need to know what you do to keep their personal data safe, especially if you expect them to provide you with financial data to make online transactions. Having an article or guide on all your security processes and procedures can do wonders for improving peace of mind among your target audience members.
At the same time, customers need to know their data is private, both for their own peace of mind and so your brand stays within the guidelines established by legislation like the CCPA and GDPR. Consumers need control over their data, so offering them the option to accept cookies or give you their data for analysis is vital.
While most customers will be happy to play along, by offering them the option and making data privacy policies clear, you'll improve customers' experiences by being transparent, honest, and trustworthy from the start of their journeys.
9. Voice Commerce
Lastly, voice commerce will likely become an even bigger customer experience trend over the next several years. Many households already use smart speaker devices. If you invest in customer engagement by making your products and shopping experiences available through voice chat technology, you’ll provide memorable and convenient experiences for your target audience members.
Voice commerce is easy to use, integrates easily with personalization efforts, and enables you to build more trust among consumers. Make sure your shop is optimized for voice commerce purchasing and customer questions as soon as you can.
Let Awesome CX Help Today
In the end, the above nine trends will play a heavy role in the future of customer experience. By keeping these trends in mind — and implementing them where possible — your brand will be well-positioned to acquire new customers, keep a loyal consumer base, and make the most of modern technological tools.
Of course, you don’t have to keep up with these trends all by yourself. At Awesome CX, our specialists can provide a wide range of assistance and CX improvements. Whether you need call center support services, back-end logistics support, or help in creating intuitive and navigable user interfaces, you can rely on Awesome CX. Reach out today to get started.