Predicting the Customer Experience Trends for 2019
It’s hard to believe there was a time when it seemed like the only person talking about customer experience was Founder and CEO of Zappos, Tony Hsieh. Now it’s commonly known that the customer experience is one of, if not the, defining factor in a company’s success. In fact, research shows 81% of surveyed marketing leaders believe they will compete on a customer experience basis by 2019. Meanwhile, 73% of customers cite the experience they receive as a crucial influence in their purchasing decisions and potential loyalty to a business.
But customer experience goes well beyond basic customer service. Customer experience is the way a business makes a customer feel, and it encompasses every touchpoint on the customer journey. Today’s customers want their experience to be personalized and frictionless, with fast web pages, knowledgeable employees, and streamlined processes. As we enter into the new year, here are some customer experience trends for 2019 to help businesses provide the best experience possible for their customers.
Listening to (and Acting on) Customer Feedback
Far too many companies rely on marketing trends to give customers what they “want.” But leaders in customer experience know the best way to provide a personalized experience is to have true interactions with their customers. This means listening to what they’re actually saying through customer feedback. One of the best means of achieving this goal is through the utilization of insightful customer data, particularly via phone conversations.
A call recording and monitoring solution makes it easy for companies to detect speech patterns that reveal customers’ true expectations. Armed with this information, businesses can then make informed decisions that give customers what they genuinely want. This helps customers feel heard and appreciated.
Ensuring Contact Center Agents Are Informed and Empowered
When customers call into a contact center, the faster their issues can be resolved, the better. First call resolution in the contact center will become extremely important in 2019. What does that imply? Contact center agents need to be at the top of their game. While some businesses use gamification and a reward-based strategy to get their agents’ best performances, the most effective means is through proper agent training.
After all, competition is pointless if the agents don’t really know how to play the game. But using tools like speech analytics can help agents better understand where their strengths and weaknesses lie with specific examples of how to best handle any situation. Agents that are knowledgeable and empowered are more engaged with customers, leading to less agent attrition and a better customer experience.
Breaking Down Silos
As previously stated, the customer experience incorporates every touchpoint of the customer journey, which means everyone in the company needs to be able to see and understand that journey. Unfortunately, 75% of B2B and 40% of B2C businesses work in isolated areas or “silos” regarding department, location, product, etc., and only focus on their own goals. This results in a lack of cohesive understanding of the customer journey and how best to approach it.
Businesses can’t just have one person or team focused on the customer. Every employee needs to understand their customers, regardless of whether or not they have direct customer interactions. Fortunately, these silos can be eliminated by sharing customer data through all aspects of a company. This provides each employee critical business insights on what role they play in offering customers an exceptional experience.
Successful companies focus more on how to make their current customers happy than how to obtain new ones, because they know a better customer experience means a beter bottom line. Improving customer experience can boost customer retention rates by 5%, and profits from 25 to 95%. Even a modest improvement in customer experience can affect a typical $1 billion company by an average of $775 million over three years, and customer experience leaders outperform other businesses by nearly 80%.
Customer experience is clearly the wave of the future. Watch out for these customer experience trends for 2019, and use these tips to make sure the experience you provide stands out from the competition.