Customer Experience (CX) has been changing and adapting year after year, but the early 2020 up to today changed the landscape of how customers interact with companies. The pandemic changed the way experts look at CX and they had to do it abruptly to keep their business afloat and to continue giving the same quality service to their customers.
By Kimpee Olivar
If leaders could pivot and adapt to the changes in a short period, why can’t they sustain them in the future? With this thought, customer expectations and demands increased, which will affect how they interact with brands.
While the world is slowly beating the pandemic, its impact is still echoing, shaping the Customer Experience Industry. As Judy Weader, Senior Analyst from Forrester said, “continued supply chain disruption, the “Great Resignation,” and increasing customer expectations will push brands to reevaluate their approach to CX in the new year.”
So, what will happen in CX in the coming years? Here are some thoughts that you might consider:
Cancel Culture Amplified by Social Media
The era of instant gratification is now over. Customers do not rely on a plethora of products, selling points and discounts. They now value companies that are socially aware- be it sustainable packaging, employee wellbeing and gender inclusivity, and more.
Nielsen reported that 60 percent of consumers researching products through multiple online sources learned about a specific brand or retailer through social networking sites. And during the pandemic, this tool has been more important than ever. But this comes as a double-edged sword. More and more people are getting socially aware and “cancel culture” has been increasing.
According to Edelman, 64% of consumers around the globe will buy or boycott a brand based on their position on a social or political issue.
Just like the Swedish vegan milk brand Oatly, which after a series of tweets got “canceled” after it sold $200 million in shares to a consortium to investors contributing to the deforestation of the Amazon forest.
Understanding your customers and your core value is very important in an era where “cancel culture” prevails. By genuinely connecting with your people, you get to learn how to effectively interact with them.
Live Videos and Interaction
According to BBC, Zoom, a business conferencing company expects sales to rise over 40% reaching more than $3.7bn after the unprecedented 2020. It’s not surprising given that people were on a lockdown and employees turned to work at home set up and students started online classes. This growth shows that visual interactions through video calls help people connect.
In Australia, Camera brand, CameraPro offered free expert advice through video calls so customers do not have to visit the store. They can check new cameras and lenses through video conferencing and even interact with customers for tips on photography.
Video calls show a more interactive and deeper connection with customers, which the common chat and voice support could not provide.
Balance Between Human and Robots
The pandemic made people realize the importance of human interaction. And in the coming years, more and more of them will prefer human support over Artificial Intelligence and chatbots. But the cost could not be sustainable to most businesses, so a balance of both is something they should look into.
For example, Zendesk Live Chat can be implemented along with human customer representatives to improve CX in the long run. FAQ can also be redirected to voice support if customers are having difficulty finding what they are looking for.
Design for Privacy
As more people interact with companies online, they are becoming more aware of their security risks. Even governments are looking into regulating data collection.
Judy Weader and Sam Karpinski of Forrester predict that “US and European firms will expand CX leaders’ view to include designing for journeys that center on privacy and consent.” This is a challenge among CX leaders to increase their influence while allowing businesses to continue to offer personalized experiences without relying on third-party data.
The pandemic might be over in many countries, but the challenges remain. Only brands that could adapt to the needs of their customers are likely to survive in this era where people are more aware and more demanding than ever.
This article originally appeared in CustomerThink.