Business leaders recognize the critical role of customer experience; in fact, 96% concur, according to research, that outstanding experiences improve brand loyalty.
However, they also know that CX is still a customer concern, so CX technology spending is rising. With so many resources poured into CX, business leaders must know which offline and digital customer experience trends matter the most. Here is our roundup for 2024:
Trend 1: Hyper-Personalization in Customer Service
The most refined strategy for brands to tailor their marketing campaigns in line with customer specificity is unquestionably hyper-personalization. The key drivers of this technique are automation, data, analytics, and artificial intelligence – all of which help create customized and targeted experiences.
Cadbury, for instance, used consumer data and pictures for a hyper-personalized video ad. Using customer data obtained with consent, such as location, age, or preferences, through customers’ Facebook page in this campaign led to a 65% surge in click-through rates and a 33.6% jump in conversion rates.
With hyper-personalization, you can deliver strongly tailored messaging to specific consumers at the right moment, place, and channel.
Trend 2: Omnichannel Customer Engagement
Omnichannel marketing brings together the experiences of customers across multiple channels. Social media, mobile websites, text notifications, and other forms of communication can be included. Similarly, marketing, service delivery, and sales platforms are also interconnected.
Starbucks, for instance, implements an exceptionally effective omnichannel strategy. A newsletter and an application for ordering and accessing data serve as touchpoints for engagement. A loyalty program is in place to earn additional discounts and facilitate purchasing. As consumer engagement increases, a more comprehensive range of incentives and rewards become available across various channels.
This digital customer experience trend has become even more critical after the pandemic, and with the rise of new-age touchpoints like augmented reality ads, engaging customers in connected omnichannel experiences is more important than ever.
Trend 3: The Rise of AI and Automation
From 2019 to 2020, the introduction of AI and automation in the client experience sub-vertical increased by 28%, signaling a lasting change in how customer experiences are delivered, in no small part influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today, organizations are rapidly shifting their focus toward client experiences driven by AI (especially generative AI) and automated interactions. As a consequence of this, these technologies will help you:
- Address problems that arise from manual processes
- Use data that are automatically retrieved to offer context for customer interactions.
- Cost-effectively automate repetitive duties (like routing and callbacks).
Businesses are progressively adopting state-of-the-art technologies like machine learning to analyze enormous quantities of data efficiently and precisely. The capacity of these algorithms to unveil latent elements that affect consumer behavior is commonly known as “intent.” Also, they can translate these insights into actions with the help of tools like automation and prescriptive guidance.
Trend 4: Mobile-First Customer Experiences
Mobile e-commerce is anticipated to make up 44% of the total e-commerce sales in the United States by 2025, putting brands under pressure to deliver consistent experiences across devices.
To achieve a mobile-first customer experience (CX), physical store brands must link and synchronize mobile purchasing with in-store experiences using QR codes, geo-fenced SMS vouchers, and mobile-enabled in-store checkouts.
Further, voice can be an effective medium because of its highly noticeable placement throughout the consumer journey. For example, customers can monitor deliveries, repurchase products, and leave reviews and ratings using voice recognition on their smartphones or tablets.
Organizations must develop a high-performing app focusing on user experience in the mobile-first environment to stay competitive.
Trend 5: Increased Focus on Customer Privacy and Security
Customer anxiety centered around the risk of their electronic equipment being “hacked and tracked” is steadily rising. In a recent survey, nearly half of the respondents expressed concern that their devices were vulnerable to security intrusions. They are also apprehensive that people or organizations can spy on them using their devices, a worrying digital customer experience trend for brands looking to harness data for personalization.
Brands should prioritize robust information safety protocols, such as encryption, data retirement rules, and access controls. Their data management practices must also be shared more effectively. Obtaining consumers’ awareness of the data collected and its intended usage while facilitating control over that practice will help you gain a competitive edge in 2024.
Trend 6: Sustainable and Ethical Business Practices
Concerns related to ethics and sustainability are significantly influencing consumer decision-making and behavior in present-day markets. Business leaders must factor in this crucial customer experience trend when planning their strategies in 2024 and aim for the triple-bottom-line approach.
For example, a recent survey revealed that 55% of consumers were interested in sustainable clothing. One-third or more respondents stated, “If there were an outlet selling sustainable clothing, I would purchase everything there.”
It’s necessary to adopt a reflective and adaptable business model, evaluate end-to-end value chains, and take a step back to integrate sustainability into the CX. This will let you spot immediate and sustainable opportunities that have a positive and lasting influence while functioning within the inherent boundaries of the supply chain. Moreover, companies must work towards becoming agents of change – like investing in research & development or circular experience design.
However, the customer trade-off between convenience and cost and the internal trade-off between profitability and viability must also be considered.
Customer intelligence and 360-degree business analytics can help organizational leaders forecast the most effective and feasible ways to keep up with this customer experience trend.
Trend 7: Evolving Role of Customer Feedback
Feedback is a crucial factor setting customer experience leaders apart from leaders. CX leaders always look for more feedback and devote time and resources to studying and understanding it thoroughly. They realize that positive feedback isn’t just appreciation – but a chance to do more.
Negative feedback presents an opportunity to rectify and improve the experience, avoiding customer attrition. Conversely, laggards view feedback programs as part of routine compliance and quality assurance, according to research.
Organizations must act on consumer feedback to deal with this trend; this can be achieved by close cooperation between the specific departments that contribute to CX and cross-functional data sharing.
To improve the various elements/components of the customer journey in line with the feedback received, CX professionals have to work with their peers and understand how each touchpoint adds to the overall experience. Furthermore, once the issues have been resolved, you must reconnect with customers to complete the feedback cycle.
In 2024, technology will significantly influence the gathering, evaluation, and use or application of consumer feedback, especially customer experience management platforms. You’ll be capable of integrating input from various channels and configurations, quickly identifying critical issues, resolving customer concerns, and linking outcomes to the bottom line with the help of these tools.
How to Stay Agile in the Face of Emerging Customer Experience Trends
While customer experience was always a priority for leading brands, it is now table stakes for businesses of all sizes across industries. The COVID-19 pandemic, cost pressures due to inflation, and supply chain constraints have changed how you do business with customers.
In addition to these seven customer experience trends, transformations like AI-human augmentation and contact centers on the cloud will completely reshape operations in 2024. Investing in the right technologies and competencies can help organizations maintain their competitive edge amid frequent and accelerating changes and adapt fast while minimizing risk.