2020 saw conditions that forced brands to connect with customers online. Digital customer service models were transformed overnight. Between the rush to satisfy customers online and the pressure to become more efficient, digital customer service has never been more important. Customer loyalty, satisfaction, and retention are some of the key metrics for brands going into 2021.
Customers today expect excellent, frictionless, and convenient digital customer experiences. As more companies fight to meet these expectations, the customers also become more demanding, making the market even more competitive.
When the world changed dramatically, brands and businesses had to figure out ways to shift to new models overnight. Customers have real needs in real-time, and businesses need to be agile enough to deliver for them. Clearly, it is no longer enough to have a multi-year strategy.
Anant Arora, Senior Director – Product Management for Merchandising at Lowe’s India, says, “Due to accelerated pace in the retail and e-commerce space, the strategies will continue to focus on safety, convenience-contactless delivery, order scheduling, quick returns, home services. We must also focus on usability, localization, and personalization on-demand to serve the ever-changing consumer expectations”.
Staying ahead of rising digital customer experience trends is crucial for an effective digital strategy. Let’s look at some of the top digital customer experience trends to watch out for in 2021.
Companies have paid great attention to personalization in the last few years. Customers expect personalization today, and brands need to find ways to satisfy that expectation.
Personalization is suitable for both businesses and their customers. Customers get offers and promotions relevant to them, making them more likely to buy those products – it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Brands are increasingly trying to capitalize on this personalization to create meaningful experiences for customers.
Research from Nuxeo earlier in 2020 revealed that if the digital customer experience doesn’t measure up, more than half of UK shoppers (54%) would switch to a competitor. About two-thirds (63%) of shoppers would be more loyal to retailers that offer an exceptional customer experience.
Chris McLaughlin, CMO, Nuxeo, says, “Business was competitive and challenging before the pandemic, and with so many of us only shopping online now, it’s even more vital for brands to do everything they can to ensure consumers have the best digital experience possible.”
“No one knows exactly what the new normal will be, but whatever it looks like, it will be vital for brands to focus on digital. This means providing customers not only with the relevant content and information relating to products but also the personalized content that makes them feel more valued and adds to the overall digital experience”, he adds.
Businesses can now even communicate with customers on Facebook, Telegram, WhatsApp, Twitter, and other popular communication apps. 2021 will see more companies reaching out to customers through online messaging channels to offer updates, promotions, and other personalized messages.
For infographics click : Digital Customer Experience-Top Trends in 2021
Data Science and Predictive Analytics
As far as customer data is concerned, everything is essential. It has the power to impact how organizations create goals for their business going forward. With sufficient customer data, organizations can start analyzing and utilizing it for predictive analytics. This field of machine learning and AI is advancing at a rapid rate right now. Companies can enhance the customer experience by obtaining real-time feedback, predicting customer needs, and identifying the customers at risk of turning away, based on various factors.
Omnichannel marketing is a growing concept with businesses looking to increase their presence on social media platforms and other digital channels. From a digital customer experience point of view, omnichannel customer service has become more important with the explosion of remote work in the last few months.
The data needs to follow the customer wherever they go. Omnichannel platforms help solve this issue to a great extent. 2021 will see more companies switching over to omnichannel.
But customers expect companies to have a consistent voice across all platforms. They may become frustrated if treated differently on different platforms, especially when they have to repeat their customer data or the issues they face each time they contact through a different channel.
Increased Focus on Privacy and Security
Data breaches are happening at an alarming rate in 2020, and this may continue in 2021 as well. With these attacks are making it into the news regularly, and customers have become more conscious than ever about their data security.
Many customers no longer trust companies with their data. In 2021, more companies will implement stringent privacy and security practices. Businesses that are serious about privacy and respect customer data will attract more customers.
Customers appreciate honest businesses. In the era of widespread misinformation and fake news, customers just want the truth. They don’t want to read between the lines when browsing a product or service.
CMOs predict that in 2021, more companies will use digital mediums to communicate their commitment to transparency. They will focus on creating relationships with customers on social media. Businesses need to share their privacy and data protection policies with customers. They need to be transparent with pricing as well as other aspects of the customer journey.