Customer experience (often denoted as CX) is a term referring to a customer’s entire journey of interactions with a brand or business. CX has evolved in dynamic ways over the past decade and this is incredibly important to track as these past developments will likely inform future potential. So how has CX evolved over the past decade and where are we headed?
1. Human meets technology
A major shift in CX is that over the past decade we have seen a noticeable blend of human and technology-driven customer interactions. Back in the day, automation was all the rage. But while this is important, artificial intelligence has actually caused people to crave human interaction. This is because while customers enjoy instant satisfaction, they despise generic responses. Particularly when it comes to complex issues. While tech can give you a quick fix for simple scenarios, true empathy and support is a human function. Going forward businesses need to balance this tricky relationship where humans and tech work in tandem and provide the customer with the very best experience possible.
2. Getting to really under the customer’s perspective
While certain in-house decisions are budget related, they always need to be in line with the customer's needs and perspectives. Say, for example, your customers really love engaging with people. In cases like these, bringing in chatbots would be a poor strategy. Therefore whenever a company considers bold moves forward, always make sure it is directly in line with the customer’s point of view and needs.
3. Bring the whole company together with CX in mind
Over the past decade, it has become increasingly clear that CX is not just a single department’s job. Rather, the entire company needs to understand how they are serving the needs of their customer and this should filter right across the customer’s journey. Similarly, each department needs to think about how they want to tweak their engagement to better improve the overall CX.
4. Working with many forms of communication
Many years ago, businesses only ever had to maintain in-person interactions, during standard business hours. Of course, this has shifted dramatically over the past ten years. In 2010, chatbots and robots on websites became standard features and the support here was automated. Today, customers want a wide variety of ways in which to contact the business. From in-person to phone calls, email, social media and live chats. The more accessible you feel to your customer, the better the CX.
5. Define company values
The best deals and catchiest campaigns are no longer the lifeblood of a strong business. Rather customers choose to support a business that has strong values which align with the company. This might be linked to community outreach, sustainability initiatives, charity links, artisanal support or recycling drives. These values will differ from company to company and across the board, it is very clear that customers want to engage with businesses which care about more than their ROI.
The bottom line
Over the past decade, we have seen dramatic shifts in customer experience. The pandemic also made people reevaluate their needs and this accelerated change. The key is to always stay plugged into what your customer’s need and ensure these align with your strategies and goals. If these factors stay close to each other you are giving your business the best chance of success in the decade to come.