According to Microsoft research, 96% of customers worldwide admit that good customer service is an essential factor in their loyalty to brands. While having a good customer service strategy is important, it can be a challenge to keep up with the latest trends in customer experience. To provide a satisfying customer experience, companies need to think of ways of prioritizing their customers’ needs to make sure they do not leave for competitors. It is estimated that a 5% increase in customer retention can generate 25% more profit. Having this in mind, it is thus crucial to build a strong relationship with existing customers. Here are 5 trends that will shape customer experience in 2022 and determine customer retention:
1. Subscription. Due to the increasing cognification of products and services, there has been an increase in subscription-based products and services. As a result, companies have been moving from the traditional on-demand business model to the subscription-based model, where customers sign up for products or services on a regular basis. Customers benefit from the convenience of auto-renewals as well as establish a deeper connection with brands. The subscription-based business model is also beneficial to companies as they get stable revenue as long as they provide value to their customers.
2. Better customer experience on mobile devices. Most Internet traffic today comes from mobile devices. In 2019, mobile devices generated 65% of all e-commerce traffic. That means that companies need to focus on developing mobile-friendly versions of their websites. E-commerce customer experience strategies should focus on increasing usability on mobile to increase profit. It is estimated that 50% of customers will not visit a badly functioning website. About 57% of customers are concerned about how a website looks on mobile devices, and would not recommend a company whose website is poorly designed.
3. Self-service. Online self-service has been one of the top customer preferences. Most business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) customers are likely to look for answers in a knowledge base or help centre before contacting a company. 73% of shoppers prefer self-service technologies such as self-checkout over asking store assistants for help. Chatbots are also popular as they provide 24/7 self-service where customers can get answers for routine questions at any time.
4. Personalization. If a customer experience is personalized, people are more likely to buy. Using customer data, make specific customer personas and use them to direct the right content. Also use marketing automation technologies to send trigger e-mails and other notifications. Customers so much expect personalization that it is no longer an option worth considering but a must-have that has proven to increase profit. It is estimated that up to 15% of companies have increased their revenue thanks to personalization.
5. Redefined loyalty. Consumers will be increasingly loyal to brand experiences. Loyalty to one brand will wane and, eventually, will be taken over by loyalty to multiple brand experiences. Brands thus need to put effort into creating better end-to-end experiences. If consumers have a bad experience, they will simply shift to another brand.
References: Microsoft, 2017 State of Global Customer Service Report | Kristina Rove, certainly.io | Bernard Marr, forbes.com | Hassan Mansoor, customerthink.com | Nikoletta Bika, acquire.io | Dan O’Shea, retaildive.com | Majji Vikram Raj Kumar, tikyweb.com | Musa Hanhan, genesys.com