2022 Customer excellence trends

2022 Customer excellence trends

News ·

At a first glance, customer excellence might seem as simple as giving customers what they want. However, you will soon realize that serving customers is way more complex and things are not so straightforward.

It can be hard to discover what customers really want, and even when you do, what they want could quickly change over time. For this reason, it is very important to keep acquiring new information about your customers and find a way to meet their requests.

Up to 77% of customers say they’d be loyal to a business that offers top-notch service, while 88% of customers say they wouldn’t return to a website after a bad experience. With that in mind, let’s explore the various trends businesses are adopting in their quest for customer excellence in 2022:

Improving the Customer Experience

Historically, businesses offering post-sales support have been way more focused on how easily the customer can send requests or complaints. Nevertheless, a smooth back-end is a crucial part of offering effective customer support.

Going forward, there will be a greater need for tools that answer a number of vital questions about the agent experience such as:

How can the agent quickly find what the customer is looking for and relay it?

How can the agent quickly get the customer’s history and adjust their help accordingly?

How can customers easily forward the complaint to the more appropriate support agent or get others to collaborate?

In that sense, there will be more products offering the possibility to track customers and collect data about their experience. Companies will be able to track the pages they read, the agents they had a conversation with, the product features they used, reviews posted and surveys they participated in, and a lot more.

These capabilities are properly captured in the timeline feature of a product like Layerise, which enables you to view a chronological list of actions taken by a customer. These even extend to actions on the product itself such as checking tire pressures and changing certain settings.

Streamlined omnichannel communication

Contrary to what you might think, an omnichannel approach is not just about using different channels like email and social media to communicate with your customer. It is learning how every channel can contribute to enhancing your interactions with customers, therefore use them in a strategic way. With the development of 2022, all of these channels will continue to innovate, offering features that differentiate them from other channels.

For example, email newsletters usually come with a straightforward option to unsubscribe, and some social media platforms or Google ads also have some simple opt-out steps. This may not be the same for SMS, calls and WhatsApp.

Another example is the Facebook Messenger bots and automated flows that can be used to administer loyalty programs and also assist in retargeting. In that respect, omnichannel communication will have new approaches that consider the unique capabilities available with each channel and how best to utilize a variety of them when assisting a customer.

For example, awareness efforts might flow better with the live video and spaces features of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, while sales efforts will work better with functions like Pinterest product pins and Instagram shoppable posts.

Remember, up to 63% of customers expect businesses to be able to offer support on social media, but you can do so much more than just offering support, especially if you want to stand out. Also, don’t forget, omnichannel communication doesn’t mean much if there’s no cohesion with other day-to-day business processes.

This is where Conversational Robotic Process Automation (RPA) will shine. Conversation RPA can be simply defined as Conversational Artificial Intelligence (AI) stacked on top of RPA. Basically, customers will be able to have an actual conversation with a virtual assistant that uses Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to receive support easily, at any time.

These bots will then take commands in text, speech, and other forms and send them to the back-end architecture, triggering automated workflows to perform various actions such as package-tracking, checking account permissions and eligibility status, and more.

Heightened personalization

Personalization is not necessarily new, especially in eCommerce. But for a long time, it has been quite simplistic, focusing on purchase history, product searches, pages viewed, and a few other attributes such as location and type of device.

In 2022, we are going to see a stronger evolution in the use of personalization to offer more relevant product recommendations, and applying personalization in much more facets of the customer experience:

·Tailoring the messages to the customer’s sentiment towards the product/service based on survey participation and reviews/ratings given by the customer.

·Sending reminders to customers to take actions such as maintenance based on the way they’ve been using a product.

·Taking note of log-in locations to deduce behavior such as frequent traveling, recommend weather-appropriate products, suggest new payment methods, adjust pricing to include region-specific taxes and tariffs, show nearest repair centers, and much more.

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Self-service powered by smart technologies

Self-service not only shortens the support process but also helps save money spent on human agents. Additionally, self-service can be used for branding purposes and also to build the internal team spirit, particularly when it comes to helping customers find information.

However, businesses need to improve their self-service centers in terms of multimedia delivery, intelligent output, and accessibility. Businesses will be working on:

·Conducting searches that go beyond article titles, authors, and content matches to detect intent in long-tail phrases and questions, and present the most relevant and up-to-date results.

·Communicating their requests using text, speech, screenshots, and scans.

·Transcending basic analytics and usage reports, offering instant notifications to content creators when customer requests are fulfilled.

With Layerise, you can rely on a robust editor to incorporate GIFs, videos, and other media into your help-related content. You will also be able to deliver assembling guides, dynamic user manuals, and other educational/informative documents in a smarter manner, continuously reducing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and making content more searchable.

Businesses using this solution will also have an easier time importing content, localizing it to reach also customers speaking different languages, and collaborating as a team to keep the content comprehensible and up-to-date.

Comprehensive mobile-first approaches

Almost all your customers possess a smartphone nowadays and carry it with them everywhere they go. For this reason, the possibility to solve problems through their devices represents a real added value for your customers. It's convenient and accessible every time, everywhere.

In 2022, we are going to see more businesses enrich the feature sets on their mobile apps. Previously, many were simply focused on making lightweight apps that can work on devices with low memory and poor connectivity.

As companies design their products, they have to facilitate the use of mobile functionalities. This could include offering QR codes on packaging to make it easier to direct customers to your website, along with Near-Field communication.

Therefore, a mobile-first approach will no longer be just about making a mobile app that is more comprehensive than your desktop app. It will also be about your ability to leverage mobile device functionalities to better connect customers with your ecosystem.

Luckily, Layerise solution allows your company to direct customers to a product assistant using QR and NFC tags. This is just one of a number of features that contribute to helping customers when facing challenges with the product they purchased.

Increased focus on Social Responsibility

Many consumers are showing a greater affinity for businesses that are committed to creating a good impact on society. These include businesses that dedicate a portion of their profits to charity, those that use sustainably-sourced raw materials and production methods that are environment-friendly.

63% of customers want to buy from socially-responsible companies, while 54% want to buy from those with diverse and inclusive workforces. In the future, businesses will need to communicate and inform customers how they are involved in social good. This partly means remodeling the user experience to show:

·What charitable projects you’re involved in;

·Your carbon footprint and how much you’re reducing it by adopting cleaner methods;

·Certifications proving that your products don’t contain unhealthy/banned substances;

·A bit about your employees’ working conditions;

Keep in mind that it is not just about showing. There is a lot of green-washing going on and customers now have different sources of information to realize it. That’s why it will be important to involve customers in the whole process. Such efforts can take the simple form of soliciting suggestions on how to be cleaner, or they could extend to finding volunteers and partners from your customer base.

There are plenty of solid ideas and initiatives that some customers would love to be a part of but can’t pull them off on their own without institutional support in areas such as funding, compliance and more. From sign-up pop-ups to banners, stickers and points systems, there are numerous techniques you can use to harmonize your Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts into the customer journey.

Always make sure that you cover these three areas:

·Ideation (surveys, polls, and other information-gathering methods);

·Awareness (links leading to pages detailing your CSR programs, the research and motivation behind them, targets, and how people can participate);

·Accountability (showing progress so far in form of statistics, photos, videos, and quotes from benefactors and beneficiaries too);

Predictive analytics and other data-driven techniques

Data-driven decision-making isn’t really a new phenomenon, especially for online businesses. But in recent years, there’s been an influx in the number of data points that businesses need to pay attention to. More importantly, businesses need to be able to act on this data in a much shorter time.

In some cases, they have to act as they receive it (in real-time). Firstly, this creates new challenges on the customer-facing/external end. Leaders will have to be more abreast with in-depth statistics on the marketing and sales end such as:

·The variation in drop-offs for each demographic at different stages of the funnel (does every customer group behave the same way once they meet an obstacle?)

·Sales fluctuation relative to ongoing discounts and promotions by competitors (what percentage of your customers buy less or delay their subscriptions when the competitor has a better offer?)

·The actual correlation between our advertising intensity and our revenue.

Subsequently, if you’re heading into the festive season or some other major holiday, you might have a multitude of data to keep tabs on. From the workload that your support staff has and the rate at which they are getting it done to the changes in supply chains and product availability, there’s a lot to compare.

What this means is you’re going to need tools that not only gather and process lots of data quickly but also integrate smoothly with other tools handling different data sets. You’ll need to be able to log into a single dashboard, and easily take a peek at what’s going on with inventory, social media, email newsletter subscriptions, customer complaints, and a lot more.

So in 2022, there will definitely be a higher demand for tools that blend well into a larger ecosystem and empower businesses to draw actionable insights from a mountain of data at breakneck speeds.

Customer-oriented remote and hybrid work techniques

Since the start of the pandemic, remote work has been steadily gaining traction all over the world and has even undergone some modifications to produce hybrid work. And contrary to what you might think, remote and hybrid work aren’t just about the internal workforces serving customers.

Starting from 2022, this form of working is going to have far-reaching implications that concern customers too. For example, bank account opening will be easily done on the phone.

Additionally, both banks and fin-tech companies with card products will be emphasizing cashless and contactless payments and deliveries, and so will other ecommerce entities. Consequently, businesses have to remodel their infrastructure to accommodate further actions along the digital customer journey:

·For example, agents will need to access dashboards, phone lines and other support-related portals and touch-points from anywhere. This means that some solutions that were strictly on-premises may be rendered obsolete as mobile and cloud-based solutions take over.

·For many eCommerce marketplaces, physical signing when delivery agents drop off packages has been replaced by OTP codes. This means that businesses will need systems that enable support staff, logistics teams, inventory, and all other concerned parties to be notified once such codes are entered, or if the product has to be returned.

·Many businesses will also seek to enable support staff to perform certain tasks on behalf of customers remotely. These could include order placement, subscription renewals, form-filling for account changes, and a lot more.

So in a bid to make remote work a concept that isn’t just about convenience for workers, businesses will have to adopt technologies that make service smoother for customers, wherever they are.

Conclusion

All-in-all, customer excellence will no longer be just about assisting customers to find what they are looking for or offering a product manual equivalent. Businesses will have to consider how these technologies can be used to improve the customer experience and adopt the ones that can best fit the customer's needs.

Companies will have to make customers feel like the business not only serves them but continuously learns and responds to the changes in how the customer would like to be served. To learn more about how the right tool can help you achieve this goal, book a demo with Layerise for more information on how their solution addresses 2022 customer excellence trends.

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