Every company understands that the customer experience is an important one. Developing a seamless experience from the initial encounter, through the sale and beyond helps you create loyal customers that continue with your business into the future.
Consider the following 10 customer experience trends in 2020 and keep your company thriving in an ever-changing market. Integrating these tips into your business plan helps you build a strong reputation and impacts the overall impression of your company.
Understanding the Customer Experience
Before diving into the top 10 consumer trends, it’s important to understand what the customer experience actually is. Through a combination of both your products and your staff, your business creates the customer experience. The overall quality and benefits of a product help sway potential clients towards a purchase. Individual staff members and their customer service interactions add to the decision. If every employee strives to provide friendly service that meets the customers’ needs and shows that they are important as individuals, they further increase the chances of making a sale.
Through these positive customer experiences, your business creates repeat buyers, promotes brand advocacy and improves business growth. The key is understanding that customers have a variety of purchasing options, and how you go about improving their experience every step of the way plays a key role in them choosing to do business with your company over a rival. By being aware of the following customer experience trends in 2020, you set your business up for growth and improved revenue.
1. Mobile Platforms Are the Priority
Consumers today rely on mobile devices for their researching and buying decisions, and that is only expected to become more of a factor in 2020. Mobile platform usage is one of the most important digital customer experience trends, and that means your business must be prepared to meet those needs. Having a responsive website that works well on mobile devices is a necessity. In fact, research shows that 50% of consumers may even stop doing business with a company if their mobile site doesn’t work well, even if they actually like the organization. Add in that 57% won’t even recommend a business if the site isn’t mobile friendly, and it becomes even more important. Take the time to create an online presence that loads quickly, employs intuitive site searches and offers simple navigation on mobile devices and help ensure your business is in line with customer experience trends in 2020.
2. Services Are More Important Than Products
A surprising customer experience trend for many businesses is that consumers are more interested in the services that your business provides than they are the products. Rather than focusing on new products for consumers, businesses need to think about the services they provide that help customers with their needs. According to research, this shift to experiences means that companies need to focus on personalized service offerings and teaching consumers rather than only providing products.
3. Artificial Intelligence and Robotics
Consumers today have more trust in artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics-based products that make different aspects of their lives easier. Part of your company’s focus on digital customer experience trends should include the potential for products that assist with organization, simplifying household chores and providing a better experience. Virtual assistants are becoming more popular because they meet the demands of fast-moving customers. Smart home appliances add efficiency and help make daily interactions simpler for consumers, and these trends are only expected to grow.
4. AI Technologies Help Individualize the Customer Experience
Buyers today focus on their overall experiences with your business throughout the buying process. AI technologies give businesses the ability to access and utilize a variety of information from each consumers’ interactions, and harnessing that knowledge is easier than ever. Using natural-language processing and machine learning AI, businesses can create personalized experiences that align with the top 10 consumer trends. By harnessing information and mapping customer data, businesses can develop personalized interactions that focus on the preferences and choices of their customers.
5. Self-Service is Paramount
Research shows that customers are turning more towards helping themselves than relying on company support agents. When it comes to interacting with your business, 91% of shoppers prefer using a knowledge base, rather than reaching out to customer support. Consumers prefer finding their own answers quickly, which means that websites need to be searchable and provide clear navigation and FAQs that help customers find the information they want.
6. Hyper-Personalized Customer Experiences
Another important customer experience trend in 2020 is the expectation of hyper-personalized service. Research from Accenture shows that 75% of today’s buyers appreciate businesses that know their names and focus on recommending products that are related to previous purchases. Tailoring website navigation and the buying experience to a client’s previous and current interactions helps boost their confidence in your company and increase revenue over a one-size-fits-all approach to customer service.
7. A Strong Business Culture Matters
Customers today care about the internal culture of the companies with which they do business. A growing customer experience trend in 2020 is a focus on companies addressing the uncomfortable topics in society rather than ignoring them. Consumers appreciate the businesses that focus on their employees and internal practices and create a cohesive culture throughout the organization. Companies that provide training and resources that improve employee empowerment are already taking advantage of some of the top 10 consumer trends.
8. Positive Customer Experiences Are Vital
Providing positive customer experiences continues to be an important component in business growth. Customers who have positive experiences share them with more than six others. Countering that, those that have negative experiences share with 15 or more. This means that focusing on every aspect of customer service and keeping all interactions positive will help your brand gain recognition. Generally, unhappy customers don’t provide feedback — they just leave. One way to counteract the negativity is to institute follow-up practices. Reaching out to buyers and making sure they are happy after the purchase could help your business find areas that are lacking and improve them for more positive experiences.
9. Omnichannel Contact
One of the most important customer experience trends in 2020 is meeting the demands of consumers through omnichannel contact. Customers want to decide how they contact and interact with your business on their terms. Providing seamless interactions across devices, platforms and channels improves the customer experience and helps increase the chances of a consumer using your products and services. Research and product searches happen across multiple platforms, including social media, websites, telephone conversations and in-store interactions. Streamlining these channels and mapping customer interactions keeps buyers happy and helps build cohesive interactions.
10. Data Transparency
Data collection and use is a fundamental business practice that accelerates growth. However, today’s customers want to know exactly how your business uses their personal data. Providing transparency in how you collect their data, how you use it and what you share impacts the customer experience. Consumers expect ethical practices, and knowing how you use their information without them having to ask increases trust in your brand.
Each of these customer experience trends in 2020 gives your business a unique opportunity to meet the demands of your clients. As services become more important to customers than your products, making sure you provide a tailored experience improves the chances of growth and increased revenue.