Anyone working with customers can attest to the large number of changes in consumer behavior over the last century. The acceleration of these changes over the last few years point to a large-scale shift in the consumer mindset. Since 2020 alone, many of us have been a part of major developments and challenges that have had an enormous impact on how we view the products, services, and companies we interact with on a regular basis.
Because the world has been changing so rapidly, customers are also changing their expectations. Businesses must change along with them, or risk being left in the proverbial dust. Let’s look at three trends to watch that are influencing the direction of CX.
CX Trend 1: Omnipresence
Individuals are flooded daily with messages, data, and information enticing them to consider this product or that service. Now more than ever, we have the freedom to pick and choose those products and services that are the best fit for our lives, which is how we know customers desire individualized experiences with the companies they patronize.
Businesses can no longer afford to do business solely using traditional methods because customers want access across multiple platforms. We know customer needs vary wildly, and companies must meet them where they are if they are to be successful.
Does this mean you need to set up an online shop in addition to your brick-and-mortar store while making yourself available by phone and on every social media platform available? Not necessarily, but you will need to know the makeup of your customers and what their preferences are so you can offer them that individualized service they need and want.
While “boutique” services can be ideal for meeting a particular set of customer needs, lack of adaptability will leave your customers wanting more. There has been a marked increase in the acquisition of “point providers” to fill in the gaps for larger companies who may not have offered those smaller services in the past. Customers are more likely to consider those companies that can remain flexible and accommodating to their requirements, e.g. those companies that have the ability to build the services they need as a single provider.
Amazon is a great example of this type of customer experience strategy. Starting out as a book seller, Amazon began including other products in its lineup and soon expanded to a number of different services in the retail, digital, and even communications markets. It has become a one-stop-shop for individuals, families, and businesses across the globe.
CX Trend 3: Shift from “Meet My Needs” to “Anticipate My Needs”
When we talk about meeting the customers where they are, it also applies to meeting them when they get to where they’re going. Customers have moved from a “resolve my issue” mindset to an “anticipate my issue before I know it’s there” approach. Businesses must be able to anticipate and fully understand potential risks and problems before they arise, and then resolve those issues in real-time.
One solution that companies are using more frequently is AI customer service software intended to resolve customer issues on the fly. Rather than wading through a lengthy phone tree and waiting on hold to talk to a customer service person (especially for simple issues), this solution offers customers the ability to work through a problem quickly.
When looking to the future of CX trends, the fast pace and constant flux of our world tells us everything we need to know. Customers have more access to data, more variety to choose from, and are savvier than ever. Those businesses that can offer up a variety of solutions, products, and services to their customers will certainly see growth.
If an organization can do this while individualizing the experience and anticipating not only customer needs but resolving problems they didn’t even know they had, they will be creating brand loyalty for years to come. Whether your organization wants to learn more about CX trends, is looking to get started on this journey, or take your capabilities to the next frontier, click here to explore our Customer Experience offerings.
Olivia Arver is a senior consultant with an extensive background in process improvement, product development, and customer experience. She is passionate about bringing these together to strategize solutions for businesses.
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