As customer expectations evolve, so do the trends on customer experience and the customer care offered by companies. We explore the 6 most important customer service and customer experience trends of 2022.
Meeting customer expectations is one of the greatest obsessions of companies at the moment. The customer-centric perspective is increasingly being implemented in the business world and companies are striving to devise new ways of getting to know the customer and to innovate in terms of customer strategies to increase satisfaction rates.
In general, the new trends when it comes to customer relations are leaning towards a pronounced emphasis on the customer experience as opposed to the product or service offered. The customer experience is becoming a differentiation tool for many brands, positioning the product and its price in second term. According to Forbes, more than 95% of customers say that customer experience is the most decisive factor when choosing one company over another. According to PWC, 86% of consumers would be willing to pay more for a better customer experience.
On the other hand, the penetration of artificial intelligence (AI) in customer strategies is intensifying, especially in predictive analysis models, marketing automation and in the field of customer experience and customer service.
In terms of customer service, there has been an increase in the number of customers going for "self-service". In other words, more and more people are consulting sources of information that are not related to the company —video tutorials, chats, forums, social networks, etc.— to resolve their doubts about a product or service, instead of contacting customer service.
We must mention a trend that has been at the peak of customer strategies for some time now and it does not seem like it's going away anytime soon: the personalization of the customer experience.
Below we explore in depth this year's most important customer experience trends.
The 6 most important customer service and customer experience trends of 2022
1. Proactive Customer Service
Organizations are starting to develop proactive customer services. In the past, customer service was understood as a reactive service. That is, customer service purpose was to provide answers to customers' questions and it was always the client who had to contact the company.
Now, organizations are trying to anticipate customer needs, identifying potential problems or pain points in advance and resolving them before the customer has to contact the company.
A study by McKinsey points out that more than 50% of customers switch brands when a company does not anticipate their needs. Therefore, in order to consolidate a proactive customer service, it is essential that organizations have the ability to predict their customers' needs and to resolve them before they become complaints. In addition, it is advisable to talk to the customer and communicate the improvements that are being made so that the client feels cared for. This way we are also building customer trust.
In terms of predicting consumer needs and pain points, artificial intelligence is key.
2. Digitalization and automation of the customer experience (CX)
Customer experience is another area where artificial intelligence is becoming more and more relevant. The global pandemic caused by Covid-19 came with the rise of e-commerce and forced companies to digitize experiences and services.
Digital and automated customer experiences and customer services are here to stay. The use of chatbots and the automation of email marketing campaigns, for example, are now the usual. According to NewVantage Partners, 90% of companies are considering investing in AI in 2022. In addition, approximately 40% of all interactions with consumers are already automated.
The good news is that new generations of clients prefer this type of attention. Zendesk reports that 60% of millennials and members of generation Z prefer to be served by a virtual assistant rather than speaking to customer service team over the phone.
In relation to the previous point, one of the most relevant future trends will be robotization. That is using robots and agents programmed through artificial intelligence and robotic technology that will do tasks that are now being done by humans.
Robotization will minimize the problem of personnel shortages present in many sectors, in addition to encouraging employees to prioritize strategic tasks that require critical thinking, creativity and other types of intelligence that machines do not have.
4. Instant gratification
The need for immediacy is a global phenomenon. Organizations want to automate their tasks and customers want their interactions to be automatic.
Today's customers do not only want the right answers, they also want them now. Customers value speed and convenience more than ever, and brands that deliver instant gratification have a significant competitive advantage.
In customer service, for example, "instant gratification micro-moments" are used to immediately respond to customer questions and to provide the fastest possible service without sacrificing quality.
According to Forrester, customers expect brands to provide answers in less than 5 minutes.
5. From omnichannel experience to omni-experience
Another trend in customer experience is the building holistic experiences, also called omniexperiences. While the focus used to be on creating customer experiences in multiple channels, —omni-channel experiences—, now companies are going a step further with multilingual and multi-market experiences.
The vision for the future of CX is to transform omnichannel experiences into omni-experiences, integrating all customer-centric processes, as well as fostering communication and collaboration between departments to nurture the customer journey.
6. Better data protection policies
Personalization strategies are at odds with growing concerns about consumer privacy and data protection. Data protection laws are getting stricter and companies are looking for new ways to get to know customers while respecting their privacy. In this regard, customer transparency and data security measures are essential.
Customers must be informed about how companies use their personal data and be sure that their data will not be shared with external sources and that they will not be victims of a cyberattack.
One of the most important challenges of the coming years will be the development of personalization strategies without compromising user privacy. In this regard, cutting-edge technologies such as the Customer Data Platform are being perceived as alternatives to traditional customer relationship management platforms.
Customer experience is one of the most important business strategies in 2022. Innovation in CX comes from customers' new demands and expectations. Clients are asking for speed, digitalization, transparency, personalized service and a deeper commitment.