What defines great customer experience in the modern age is constantly changing due to the shifting demands of audiences and the use of new technology. But while CX may change over the years, its importance to prospective customers and the success of businesses is only growing.
According to a study by Spigit, 75% of companies surveyed in 2016 put improving customer experiences as their top objective. However, the path to great customer experience is a continuous one. The following six trends in customer experience in 2018 will help you and your business create effective CX strategies in order to stay ahead of audience demands and find success throughout the coming year.
1. Companies Face Their Biggest Internal Challenges in CX
According to Forrester research, the three biggest challenges for companies implementing their customer experience strategies are organization culture (54%), organizational structures (45%) and internal processes (41%). All three of these hurdles are most often associated with the CEO of a business. As such, 2018 may be a big year for companies, and CEOs in particular, making decisions that could enable their teams to make big gains regarding their CX efforts. CEOs and departments should focus on collaborating and communicating effectively in order to make substantial forward progress.
2. The Prevalence of Frictionless Experiences
Services like Amazon Go are leading the charge in creating frictionless customer experiences by allowing users to skip grocery stores and even removing the checkout process through instant charging upon leaving. As shown by Customer Think, audiences expect customer experiences to consistently move forward and a major player like Amazon often sets the bar for other businesses. In this instance, it comes in the form of frictionless shopping that makes purchases smoother and faster than ever.
3. Improving Location-Based Experiences
Beacon technology has been in use for many years now, but companies are now using it to make customer experiences faster and more seamless than ever. According to Dimension Data, businesses are working to make physical touchpoints as simple and efficient as online experiences. With hotels using beacons to replace room keys and companies providing employees with access to secure locations and sensitive information based on location through beacons, the gap between in-person interactions and online experiences is growing smaller so that customers can integrate all aspects of their lives and histories with companies with everyday activities.
4. Increasing and Improving A.I. in Business Operations
Artificial Intelligence will play a role in many aspects of CX, but ensuring that these helpers can properly perform their duties depends on recognizing customer speech. Customer Think detailed how speech recognition systems can help voice assistants quickly learn how individual users speak, including their unique patterns, dialects and accents, in order to avoid frustration and make their roles within businesses and home essential in the future. Gartner predicts that 85% of customer interactions will be managed without a human employee by the year 2020, meaning that automated systems and artificial intelligence will manage the vast majority of processes. With an ever-escalating usage of artificial intelligence in company operations through chatbots, data aggregation and analysis tools and many more programs, expect 2018 to find many more businesses using A.I. in an even greater variety of ways.
5. Leveraging Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM)
Data will only continue to play an increasingly important role in the way companies interact with customers. In turn, companies are embracing customer identity and access management (CIAM) solutions, which use features including customer registration, multi-factor authentication, self-service account management, data access governance and more to scale and customize channels to individual users and their personal goals, As discussed by Janrain, CIAM creates personalized interactions by creating engagement strategies based on data insights and eliminating obstacles that may be complicating customer experiences. Companies will be in search of CIAM solutions that are both robust in the ways they can manage data and highly secure in the ways such data is safeguarded.
6. Time Becomes a Commodity
While overall enjoyable experiences will remain a priority, The Economic Times highlights that a customer’s time is a factor that will become increasingly important in CX. From making the checkout process as fast as possible to removing complications in finding a needed item online to getting answers quickly through chatbots, companies should strive toward lessening the amount of time needed from customers in receiving the products or services they want. This should help prevent audience frustration and keep potential customers from abandoning their journey before completion.
Digital Business Changes Coming in 2018
The way companies do business and how they are impacted by changes in digital marketing will once again shift in 2018. Read more about these changes in digital business.