‘The global pandemic that the world is dealing with right now has further shone a spotlight on CX, particularly on the importance of a quality digital experience. It should come as no surprise that in CX Networks’ survey, digital transformation and digital customer experience ranked high in responses from CX practitioners, solution providers and industry commenters when asked about top trends.’ Here, BARE shares the latest need-to-know stats on consumer behaviors and customer expectations.

Changes in CX Trends in 2020: At-a-Glance

According to CX Network’s The Global State of Customer Experience 2020 

  • 68% strongly believe that expectations from customers are rising
  • 52% believe customers are more willing than ever to switch brands if unsatisfied
  • 49% believe there are clear trends in customer segments that prefer certain contact channels
  • 47% believe it is getting harder to please customers
  • 43% believe that customers are more impatient than ever before

According to Ipsos’s research

  • 88% of CX professionals say digitalis the biggest change in behaviour
  • 79% think changing behaviour will stick
  • 88% say their digital channels will have investment priority

The importance of UI

Organizations that already had a focus on their digital CX prior to the start of 2020 had an advantage as they adapted to COVID-19 related restrictions and changes. For example, those with existing virtual agents or chatbots were able to relieve pressure from their contact centre by proactively encouraging customers to self-serve. Branded virtual agents around the world saw a massive spike in usage during the first half of the year, further proof of the importance of digital customer care.

A Digital Experience Strategy is Absolutely Vital

“In a world where no one is able to leave their house, it’s obvious that a digital strategy is necessary for brands to reach their customers. But, if we’re being honest with ourselves, it’s clear that even if there was no pandemic, people are leaving their house to shop less and less.

A digital experience strategy is not just important during COVID times, then, but it’s simply important for your business year round.

Customers are interacting with your brand digitally more than ever before. Whether they are looking for a new car, comparing insurance policies, or ordering groceries, they are still going to expect the same quality of experience as if they were in store. For you to make sure your digital experience is up to par, you need to collect feedback at strategic touchpoints in the digital journey.”

Meet your customers where they are today

Customers’ normal patterns of life have come to a halt. Simple activities like a trip to the grocery store or dining out with friends are now difficult, risky, or even prohibited. Overnight, demand patterns have shifted. Overall online usage in China increased by 15–20%. In Italy, e-commerce sales for consumer products rose by 81% in a single week, creating significant supply-chain bottlenecks.

Customers need digital, at-home, and low-touch options. Digital-led experiences will continue to grow in popularity once the coronavirus is quelled, and companies that act quickly and innovate in their delivery model to help consumers navigate the pandemic safely and effectively will establish a strong advantage.

The way organizations deal with their customers, their employees, and the broader community in a crisis is likely to leave lasting memories in customers’ minds.

Bring your business to customers’ homes

Similarly, home delivery has gone from a convenience to a necessity: during this crisis, Italy has seen online grocery home-delivery users double between February and March.5 In China, Meituan, China’s premier food delivery service, reported quadrupled delivery orders in early 2020. Quick-service restaurants and aggregator apps are offering free delivery to capture share in this demand shift. Some fresh meal delivery start-ups have experienced a month-on-month demand boost of 25 percent and are experimenting with bulk versions of their offering. In the United States, home delivery options have expanded beyond food, as pharmacies offer extended free trials on their prescription delivery service, and car dealerships offer to pick up and drop off vehicles for repair and maintenance.

Make physical operations touch-free.

If part of the customer journey must exist in a physical channel, consider converting to contactless operations. The United States has seen a 20% increase in preference for contactless operations, with numerous industries adapting to this change.

Meituan, which started as a food- and product-delivery service but evolved into a digital ecosystem player, was the first Chinese company to introduce contactless delivery in Wuhan. The service quickly became popular among all audiences, enabling Meituan to reach beyond its core millennial customer base—more than two thirds of new users are in their 40s and 50s.

In the United States, Walgreens has rolled out a drive-through shopping experience. Customers order from a menu of available items such as household goods, medical supplies, and groceries. Store associates assemble and check out the order—all from the convenience of the drive-through window.

Grocery chains have kept their physical stores open to shoppers but are adding touchless measures, including new installations of plexiglass “sneeze guards” at every cash register to protect customers and employees.

Authors: Rachel Diebner, Kelly Ungerman, Elizabeth Silliman, Maxence Vancauwenberghe


How are you preparing for this holiday season? Enter for a chance to win a month of FREE live CX insights!

Disclaimer of endorsement: Any reference obtained from this article to a specific business, product, process, or service does not constitute or imply an endorsement by BARE International of the business, product, process, or service, or its producer or provider.