The pandemic followed by lockdowns in many countries throughout the world affected various stages of customer journeys. Client onboarding, marketing, and sales processes, product delivery, customer service, repurchase, complaint management and many other aspects of customer experience have been disrupted.
In 2021, it is predicted that the disruption in the customer journey will continue. While some of the newly acquired consumer behaviors will be there to stay, customer experience pathways will be in flux in the upcoming months as businesses will keep testing out new touchpoints and approaches to customer interactions.
2020 disrupted many CX strategies and accelerated emerging trends that will keep reshaping the customer experience landscape in the coming years. In 2021, CX business and digital leaders were given the space to experiment, the opportunity to further embrace the uncertainty, and the chance to reinvent consumer-brand relationships with the latest innovations in customer experience.
By keeping this in mind while designing the CX strategy, companies will be able to prepare themselves for the challenges of 2021-22. It’s still about D-A-T-I-N-G Your Customer.
Undoubtedly, along with a comprehensive strategy, technology will play the predominant role in driving a successful customer experience. Forrester predicts that 2021-22 will be defined by a sharp increase in CX technology adoption, with every company doubling down on IT investments to enhance customer experience and optimize customer-facing operations.
Therefore, identifying the right technology investments for 2021-22 will be the top priority for businesses. While agility and technology-driving innovations will undoubtedly be vital in customer experience success, CX leaders should remember putting their customers at the heart of everything they do. CX will be about maintaining rapport with customers above all else.
Therefore, the companies that will be able to connect through the right experience will win customer loyalty and reap the benefits of returning customers.
As leaders have already started reimagining the post-pandemic world, many of them believe that the future of customer experience is predominantly digital. Forrester predicts that digital customer service interactions will increase by 40% in 2021-22, and that businesses are seemingly catching up to this trend. These days, many companies focus their efforts on extending their online presence and digitalizing customer experience with the help of various tools such as messaging platforms, apps or automated chatbots.
The events of the past year forced many businesses to make drastic changes to their agendas. Be it a retailer, a telecommunication company, a financial service provider, reinventing customer experience was one of the cornerstones of business success for companies across most industries. The new reality changed the way people work, rest, shop, and interact with each other, and brands had to either react respectively or are left behind.
According to Corinium Intelligence research, up to 90% of businesses have taken urgent measures to adapt their CX strategy to the new normal and one in four of them claims they completely revamped their approach to customer experience.
CX is gaining an increasing amount of attention and will continue to do so in the nearest future. It means an even more accelerated business transformation, higher customer experience expectations, and the adoption of new well-suited technology to support improvements in customer-facing and operational processes. The latest disruptions made businesses consider revising their approaches to customer experience.
I believe that the customer experience will be the competitive differentiation as we emerge from the pandemic. It’s the new currency.
WHAT BUSINESSES CAN DO TO STAY AHEAD OF DIGITAL DISRUPTION IN 2021:
• Make sure customers are given the option to choose their preferred communication channel.
• Enrich omnichannel customer experience strategy by leveraging additional digital touchpoints.
• Prioritize designing customer experience pathways so that brand-consumer communication does not fully exclude human interaction.
• Take time to identify and anticipate the most common customer queries.
• Think of a strategy to boost customer engagement with your brand through self-service.
• Consider creating or rethinking a roadmap for scaling customer self-service in the future.