They say the customer is always right—but it sure doesn’t always feel that way, does it? That’s why today, many companies are doubling down on this old adage and investing in customer experience (CX) initiatives. In fact, Gartner reports that nearly 75% of organizations surveyed are spending more money on technologies that could help improve their customer experience. In addition, key findings reveal that organizations investing in CX initiatives are now able to show that customer satisfaction leads to revenue growth through increased customer retention or lifetime value.
So, what are these companies doing to improve their CX? And how are they measuring their CX?
Top Customer Experience Marketing Trends
We looked at some of the customer experience trends happening today—those inventions and innovations that are changing the way companies and customers do business. Here’s our top seven—plus how it’s all being measured.
1. Centralizing Customer Data with CX Software
Many companies have a wealth of customer data, but until recently, they weren’t making the best use of it. Now, many are shifting from siloed customer data spread across departments, channels, and platforms to a centralized hub where all of it can be accessed by key players within the organization.
Once data is centralized, the latest CX software like that offered through SoGoCX puts it into a customized dashboard where key players can learn more about their customers. Team members can also share valuable, actionable data with others in the organization.
A major benefit of this CX software is its artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. AI can work, read, organize, and utilize data far beyond the capacity of humans, often segmenting customer data down to the individual level. And this leads us to…
2. Providing Hyper-Personalization
Today’s customer expects more than traditional personalization, like emails that include their name in the subject line. According to Salesforce, 62% of consumers expect companies to adapt based on their actions or behaviors. The same study also reveals that only 47% of consumers feel they are receiving this type of personalization.
To meet this new expectation of personalization, called hyper-personalization, companies need to segment their audience down to an individual level—a “segment of one.” Smart CX software is able to do this because it is “always on,” mapping each customer’s journey around the clock to determine their patterns of choices and preferences. In doing so, companies can take action to increase customer engagement, leading to new opportunities and more revenue.
Consider healthcare, an industry that can really benefit through hyper-personalization once all the right data is aggregated into one place. Then, those AI technologies mentioned earlier can go to work, analyzing patient data and making recommendations while taking into account health history, allergies, health risks, and more, delivering a hyper-personalized CX.
3. Increasing Security
Increasing security goes hand-in-hand with hyper-personalization. In order for companies to offer this extreme level of personalization, customers need to feel comfortable handing over information about themselves. If they don’t feel the right security measures are in place, they won’t feel comfortable doing so, making it harder for companies to deliver a superior CX. In addition, numerous compliance requirements regulate information collection, such as HIPAA for healthcare, CJIS for government, and PCI for companies collecting credit card information.
“Most security professionals don’t talk much about CX, but it is taking hold in the security industry and it isn’t just a nice to have,’” says Ashley Arbuckle in SecurityWeek. “There is a symbiosis between them. Improved security leads to improved customer experience – and improved customer experience leads to improved security.”
To increase security levels, companies across all industries are bringing in security experts, moving to a cloud-based infrastructure that provides safe and secure data management and compliance, and adopting biometric technologies, such as voice or facial recognition, fingerprint ID, and more.
4. Employing Voice Commerce
Voice assistant technology is getting smarter and growing rapidly in popularity. Today, 72% of people who own a voice-activated speaker say that their device is used every day. In light of this, a number of eCommerce brands are beginning to sell their products or services through voice commerce.
One company that recently began taking advantage of voice commerce is Capital One. The financial giant introduced an Alexa Skill that allows customers to access their bank accounts through voice commands to save them time. This shows their banking customers that Capital One respects their busy lives and is working to accommodate their needs.
5. Using Customer Service AI
We all know the pain of going down a phone-automated rabbit hole when trying to reach a customer service representative. That’s why more and more people are using the internet to get their answers—and frequently, these answers are coming from AI-powered self-service digital interfaces, chatbots, and virtual assistants.
This AI technology now has the ability to provide real-time responses within seconds, handling complex questions with ease (and they can work around the clock). Chatbots won’t replace humans, of course; when escalations occur, a good CX means that customers can be connected with a live agent for further assistance.
6. Adopting a Mobile-first Approach
The shift to mobile-first indexing for all web pages by search engines such as Google has meant businesses need to make sure their websites deliver a superior CX on mobile devices. This means not just being mobile friendly, but being mobile-first: meaning, a website prioritizes mobile-based customer delivery for every aspect of the business, including website design, outreach programs, product design and services, and customer support. That’s one reason, for example, that many healthcare companies are getting into telemedicine care.
So why should this strategy be a priority for all businesses? Because Google holds a 92% search engine market share, and almost two-thirds of their search traffic comes from mobile devices. Simply put, if businesses don’t play by their rules, they’re less likely to rank or even turn up in a customer search.
7. Improving the Employee Experience (EX)
What’s this doing in a blog about CX? There’s a very strong correlation between employee experience and customer experience, and companies that recognize the connection are far more likely to be financial outperformers. So what is EX? Employee experience is defined as “the sum of the various perceptions employees have about their interactions with the organization in which they work.”
“Companies must understand that the employee experience is connected to the customer experience,” says design and innovation consultant Anthony Grasso. “When we work with clients to improve CX or create innovative products and services, we now focus equal attention on our client’s employees… because an empowered staff positively impacts the perception of your brand in your customers’ eyes.”
The employee experience is broad in scope, but expect companies that are concerned with CX to also look at EX, designating a leader to elevate EX, developing customer portals and communication tools, revamping the onboarding experience, and much more.
Measure Your Customer Experience with SoGoCX Software
Today, 90% of executives believe that data analytics improves their ability to deliver a better CX. Our customer experience solutions can measure CX and EX, analyzing key performance indicators such as Net Promoter Score (NPS). Our clients are able to connect with customers at every stage of their journey, collecting in-depth insights and actionable customer experience metrics with SoGoCX.
SoGoCX software doesn’t just tell you how you’re doing. Its predictive power can tell you where your customers – and your company – are headed so that you can nip churn in the bud. Too often, companies are reactive when it comes to CX, but with our unique software, you can take a proactive approach, giving customers what they need before they even know they need it!
Ready to see SoGoCX in action? Request a demo today!