Prashant Deorah, CEO & MD, Puretech Digital speaks about Customer Experience Trends in the day and age where customers expect something different.
Customer experience, or CX, is a hot trend right now. Maybe it always should have been, but in an age where “the shop around the corner” has turned into Alibaba, where literally anything is available, people expect more. They expect different. They expect experience. At least if they are to return.
Often, it’s the CMO who is in charge of the customer journey experience. And right now, that journey is going digital in a big way. While that is no big news to those in the know, the trend is becoming more prominent. So, let’s have a look at what customer experience trends are right now!
It’s Becoming Even More About Experience
Product and price are great, but as mentioned: Alibaba is around the corner. So is Amazon. So, it is just about any other shop on the planet. Unless you’re selling spaceship rides to the moon, how unique is your product?
According to CMX: “Eightypercent of consumers would voluntarily reveal personal information in exchange for [personalized] interactions.”
Social media has opened doors for companies to truly connect with their customers. What’s more, people today expect it. They expect blogs. Content. Communication. The interaction with a business is sometimes as important as the product itself. Big data, on the other hand, has allowed companies to make the sales journey unique for each individual. Today sales are less about a price tag and more about a personalized experience.
Predictive Analytics + AI
Predictive analytics combined with AI…it’s a thing. There will be machines able to predict customerbehavior to a point where people will start to expect a personalized treatment. That’s to say: depending on how much information people are willing to give away.
AI enables businesses to collect and process a lot of data that humans, by themselves, cannot. It takes data analytics to a whole other level.
And what’s the proof that it works?
According to Forbes: “Amazon uses big data to create personalized product recommendations for its customers. The data works—35% of Amazon purchases come from those recommendations.”
And: “Sprint used predictive analytics to predict which customers were most at risk for leaving the company. Sprint could then proactively target those customers with personalized retention offers.”
Data ethics is what makes people oh and ah about how Apple tried to prevent the FBI from hacking a phone because they wanted to protect the rest of the population from spying eyes. It’s also what made people boo when Facebook sold their data.
How is that relevant to customer experience? Because people may want personalized treatment, even online; but that does not mean they want that information coming from third parties. It’s one thing that Amazon collects information while you shop, it’s another if they are getting information from Google, or Facebook, without your explicit approval.
It’s also important where security is concerned. An odd 100 years ago, the local priest, or doctor, probably knew the most about the people in their town. The grocer may have some ideas too, at least as to their shopping preferences. That was three individuals — three individuals that could gossip about you to the rest of the world. Today, businesses — both large and small — collect personal information. If someone hacks their systems, people freak out. It’s their personal data,and they expect it to stay safe. We all know the horrors some companies have suffered around security leaks.
With data collection comes the responsibility to keep it safe.
Surveys Are Going, but They Are Not Gone
While it’s no secret that customers are tired of surveys, they are still one of the best ways for a company to find out relevant data. Surveys need to be short and concise and used as little as possible, but even tired clients realize that filling them out can help a company become better. Once the AI and data collection mastery have taken over, they will become less and less needed.
AR and VR
Ever tried decorating your home using virtual reality? If not, what does it mean? It means you can check out what your new furniture will look like in your home before you buy it. Ikea now allows you to do that.
If you’ve ever tried ordering clothing online, or through a mail-order catalogue, you know how a hit or miss it can be. Virtual and augmented reality can take a lot of the guesswork out of the equation — without you having to visit the physical store. And with things like furniture, it eliminates you having to try to imagine what it will look like. You can’t exactly try on furniture in the shop like you can with clothes.
Similarly, apps can allow customers to customize a car, and know what the finished product will look like.
While this is a new trend, it’s certainly something that can be used to improve customer experience. Even the marketing experience.
This is a trend that’s been noticed mainly in healthcare; the integration of different departments into a system that allows them to work together. Gone are the days when medical files need to be faxed over from one wing of the hospital to another.All that’s needed is an app (or system, if you so like) where data is updated in real-time. Today a patient can receive personalized care easily, thanks to this.
Systemness may have been the most prevalent within healthcare and education, but the same kind of thinking can be applied to many other businesses.
The customer experience journey is constantly changing, thanks to new technologies and, with them, the ways of thinking. Customers today, expect as personal an experience as they would have received if they went into the local store in their home village a hundred years ago. Thanks to social media and big data — now with the advantages of AI you can process it all.