by Larry Mead, Kate Kompelien and Kurt Schroeder
Over the last few years, more organizations have recognized the impact that exceptional experiences can have on their organizations, their employees, and their customers. As organizations prepare to embrace the experience economy and hit the ground running in 2022, there are a number of strategic initiatives, business imperatives, and trends to balance and prioritize.
While there will always be new and emerging buzzwords and bandwagons, it’s important to take a moment to ask yourself if your organization has properly executed on the trends of the past. Are you delivering a true, omnichannel experience? Are you using a “know me, help me, value me” approach to your customer experience strategy? What about personalization? Are you as close to “audience of one” experiences as you can get?
Here are my five, not-so-new trends that will help you consistently deliver value to your customers and outpace your competition in 2022 and beyond. While these trends have been around for a while, they’re more important than ever to execute on this year.
of consumers now expect consistent interactions across channels and devices used to interact with brands.
Build True, Omnichannel Experiences
We’ve seen a massive shift in consumer behavior throughout the digital revolution. Consumers’ expectations have been molded by experience leaders like Amazon and Google. The pressure is on for organizations to respond as 90% of consumers now expect consistent interactions across channels and devices used to interact with brands.
Omnichannel has been trending for a long time, and for good reason. It is no longer just a nice to have or a competitive differentiator. Rather, omnichannel experiences now make up the baseline expectations from your customers. To execute on this trend and build an impactful strategy, you’ll want to start by gaining a core understanding of your customers’ needs and journeys. Additionally, you will need a central system of record, like a CRM, to manage your data and integrate with every channel. The free flow of data between key systems at the right time will set the foundation for a successful omnichannel program.
At Avtex, we have the deep expertise across a wide array of omnichannel CX technologies from contact center platforms to CRM systems. We’re poised to help you enable an integrated, omnichannel experience, no matter the channel.
Implement The Know Me, Help Me, Value Me Approach to CX
This next trend is a simple, tried and true approach to breaking down the steps to a successful customer experience strategy. I have been talking about the “know me, help me, value me” approach to CX for years. A strong customer experience strategy is centered around delivering on these three main customer needs.
First, you must show your customers that you know them. This can be realized through strong data and analytics practices, VOC programs, and customer profiling. Next, is helping your customers. This is all about being proactive and anticipating your customers’ needs. Key to this area is frequent communication, self-service capabilities, and world-class customer service. Finally, you need to show your customers you value them. Valuing your customers means delivering lifelong loyalty and value, adapting your solutions, services, and approach to serve clients’ evolving needs, and providing dedicated support to address these ongoing needs. Mastering the “know me, help me, and value me” approach will help you build stronger client relationships and deliver wow experiences.
Deliver Hyper-Personalized Experiences
Delivering personalized experiences takes thoughtful application of data and a deep understanding of your customers. Like the other trends I’ve mentioned, the trend toward hyper-personalization has been around for a long time. While personalization is not a new concept, it has certainly evolved from mere segmentation toward true “audience of one” experiences.
The days of simple, standard, transaction-based recommendations are over. Today, nearly every aspect of our lives - from Google searches to Netflix streaming to social media feeds - have become curated to fit our unique needs and behaviors. Consumers no longer want personalization, they expect it. This expectation has become so engrained in consumers’ minds that one study reports that as much as 80% of those who classify themselves as frequent shoppers say they only shop with brands who personalize their experience.
Personalization investments will continue to accelerate in 2022 as brands find new ways to deliver valuable interactions to customers that, in turn, generate insights about what those customers want. But this level of sophistication can only happen when the right data is served up to reveal each customer’s unique buying habits, preferences, and behaviors.
of those who classify themselves as frequent shoppers say they only shop with brands who personalize their experience.
Unify Your Technology Systems
Your technologies and tools need to work together to foster omnichannel, personalized customer experiences. Your team needs access to data and information that resides across multiple key systems like your CRM, contact center platform, ERP, and even your eCommerce platform. These systems should work together harmoniously to eliminate silos and ultimately provide a seamless customer experience.
At Avtex we have deep partnerships with companies like Genesys and Microsoft. There are several benefits in using these technologies as the engine to fuel your experiences. When you use Microsoft technology for example, each system seamlessly integrates with the next. Microsoft Dynamics 365 has options for your CRM, ERP, and even Commerce, and when you harness the power of all these systems combined, you’ll be able to deliver omnichannel brand consistency.
Whatever technology you choose, it is critical that you build an integrated technology stack with API-enabled, cloud-based technologies that empower your employees to be efficient and enable your members to self-serve.
bytes of data created each day.
Double Down on Your Data and AI Strategy
Every day, we create roughly 2.5 quintillion bytes of data. The sheer volume of customer, IT, financial, and business data flowing through organizations is difficult to quantify, let alone access, unify, manage, and govern. Organizations are getting more sophisticated with their data and analytics capabilities which allows them to deliver more personalized experiences.
The focus on data has been a long time coming, but in 2022 we’ll see organizations reestablish the importance of effectively leveraging large volumes of data from multiple systems, sources, and across all ends of the enterprise. Prescriptive AI will enable organizations to make customer service more efficient and effective. The end goal of any strong data and analytics strategy should be to make your data live and actionable, drive the next best action, and deliver wow experiences to your customers.
While these trends have certainly been around for years, they remain highly relevant today and will only become more relevant five years from now. From my viewpoint, as little as 20% of enterprises have reached their full potential when it comes to executing on these trends. But Avtex can help you join the leaders’ circle with end-to-end CX design and orchestration capabilities.