What does the future of CX look like? As we enter a new decade, customer experience is firmly positioned as a competitive advantage and something most companies are prioritizing. 

It’s never been more important to deliver a consistent, seamless experience for customers and to look towards the future to find innovative ways to meet their needs. If you know how critical Customer Experience is to the happiness of your customers and your team, you’re probably already trying to anticipate the next big trends. Here are our top 3 trends for the coming year.

1. Customer Experience Still Reigns Supreme

More customers are expressing that customer experience is a big part of how they make purchasing decisions. This means more of us are demanding better treatment and are willing to pay for it.

When it comes to shopping, customers are looking for personalized experiences more than ever. Yes, people still want convenience, but whether this comes from a digital experience or physical experience matters less to customers. They’re more interested in simple, personal interactions that result in them getting the items they want, when they want them. According to a large study by PWC, 73% of people say the customer experience is an important factor. 68% of business-to-business marketers agree that delivering a consistent, high-quality customer experience is very important in today’s marketplace. We have already seen a coalition of famous companies vowing to start caring more about customer needs than shareholder value.

These preferences align with what we’re seeing with retailers shifting to focus more on delivering a customer experience that is exceptional via all channels – connecting physical and digital to ensure customers can find what they need above all else. It’s not a strategy of being everywhere; it’s a matter of being where shoppers feel compelled to make a purchase. By consistently investing in the customer’s needs – such as through ongoing customer experience research – you can propel ahead of the competition, and stay there.

2. Creating a Culture Internally and Externally

Achieving customer loyalty depends on a retailer’s ability to consistently provide an optimal customer experience. Your brand should be a symbol of quality, convenience, and reliability. How do you build this brand AND make it authentic to who you are as a company? The answer is by embedding these traits into your company’s DNA — by creating a customer experience culture.

Creating a seamless customer experience isn’t all about the customer however. It actually starts by focusing on employees and creating a cohesive culture there first. Companies are focusing even more on employee experience to achieve this. Many HR representatives now call themselves Employee Experience Officers. Companies are starting to realize, no matter how much they beat their customer experience drum, until they start with what’s happening within their walls, they’re not going to have the culture they need to achieve velocity.

Creating a strong culture isn’t easy, but the investment pays rewards with both customers and employees. Creating a customer experience culture requires a team effort from HR leaders and company executives. Together they must define which cultural traits will enable them to become customer-centric, inside and out.

3. Technological Innovations

It’s true that the robots are coming for (some) of our jobs. But the human touch is still needed.

Automation, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will drive real, lasting changes to the contact center structure and overall org charts of many brands. Already, chatbots and other tools are serving customers in big and small ways. The latest prediction is a 136% increase in the number of organizations that use AI chatbots from 2019 to 2020! Businesses are aiming to help drive delivery of the “digital first but not digital only,” multichannel experiences their (and your) customers are demanding.

Today, companies must go deeper, and with fast-advancing technology such as the Internet of Things (IoT), they are able to get a 360-degree view of customers and markets. Make sure you continuously seek out and explore the various technology trends that may positively impact your customers’ experiences. In 2020, businesses will have to leverage the latest immersive technologies such as virtual reality and augmented reality to develop a culture of design thinking. This will enable several capabilities including proactive and experience-driven solutions which will surely deliver the best customer experience.

Final Thoughts

It is highly important that every business organization is updated and keeps track of the latest trends when it comes to customer experience. This helps them to stay ahead of the competition, build a loyal customer base, and develop a strong brand identity.

2020 will bring customer experience into a new decade. The incredible growth in customer centricity we’ve seen in recent years will only continue to grow over the next decade, giving customers more power and companies more opportunities to grow than ever before.


BARE International: 30 Years of Experience Supporting Businesses Like Yours

 

BARE International was born from the need for mystery customer research at the national and global level. Today, we set the industry standard as the largest independent provider of customer experience research, data, and analytics for companies worldwide. Since 1987, we have built our reputation on innovation, ethics, and seamless client service management. BARE International is a family-owned business with global capabilities. BARE is headquartered in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Fairfax, Virginia with ten offices around the world. On any given day, BARE International is doing research for clients in more than 150 countries, completing more than 50,000 evaluations each month.

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Your business challenges are unique. Our proven success across industry categories stems from asking the right questions to help you address the challenges you face everyday. Each solution we offer is customized to meet your needs, providing actionable feedback to help you make critical business decisions. We treat you the way you want to treat your own customers, providing a dedicated project team to give you the attention you deserve and an infrastructure spanning the globe to provide the resources you need to understand your customers’ experiences.

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