5 Customer Experience (CX) Trends Every Brand Should Watch
Artificial intelligence. Content management. The Cloud. What stays and what goes in the search for better CX?
We live in a world where friendly chatbots offset customer questions and major purchases can be made through social media platforms like Instagram. But customer experience (CX) goes beyond the latest tech platform.
Even with the crazy rate of technology changing, one thing remains important: customers having a good experience with your brand. In general, what makes an enjoyable customer experience hasn’t shifted. It’s fast, friendly service that gets people what they want with minimal distractions or hoops to jump through.
Our expectation? Brands will have to keep up with the technologies that track changing shopping habits while still offering the same excellence they’ve always given.
These 5 trends have popped up within the last year, but since they contribute to overall CX, don’t expect these to go away.
1. Cross-platform data sharing matters more than ever before.
Users travel from mobile to desktop and back to mobile. Maybe they’ll use your app. Maybe they’ll convert on the mobile version of your website. There’s a significant chance that before they ever get to your bricks, they will have invested several clicks.
It’s more than just trendy to have your data readily accessible in a platform like a CMS; it’s imperative to excellent customer experience.
To meet that growing demand, CMS platforms have shifted away from feature-laden website builders to digital hubs for a brand’s organization. The importance has moved away from having the best native features into being the platform that integrates with a brand’s marketing and sales stack the best. As data continues to move between platforms like Salesforce, Marketo, and MailChimp, a new breed of CMS and DXP will succeed as ‘umbrellas’ for brand data.
2. AI-powered products help customer experience, not hurt it.
No, robots aren’t taking your jobs, but they are providing a better customer experience. Artificial intelligence and AI-based algorithms can help personalize experiences and automate services.
With increasingly realistic chat ‘personalities,’ AI-based chat and voice chat programs can quickly become excellent additions to the front lines of a brand’s customer service.
And it’s not just chatbots and AI assistants. Machine Learning continues to shape how consumer data is both acquired, processed, and used. This is critical for personalized marketing down to the micro level.
For example, AWS Personalize technology underwent beta testing to give developers with no machine learning training the ability to personalize and customize their CX. Amazon explained:
“You can start serving your personalized predictions via a simple API call from inside the virtual private cloud that the service maintains. You pay only for what you use, and there are no minimum fees and no upfront commitments.”
3. Cloud technology continues to improve Customer Experience (CX).
Within the last few years, talk of “the cloud” has seemingly woven its way into every facet of a brand’s digital experience. The numbers back this up; 73% of organizations have at least one part of their digital infrastructure in the cloud.
Does that actually lead to better customer experience? Yes, according to the numbers. A 2018 IDG Cloud Computing Study found that 57% of survey respondents said the cloud helped them improve CX.
But why is putting your software in a cloud platform like AWS beneficial? The cloud connects data sources, streamlining work functions and making everything on the backend more efficient. And, since data is at an organization’s fingertips, there can be a faster response time for addressing customer needs.
The cloud also expands the opportunity to personalize CX. Marketing teams can convert customers at a higher rate thanks to how easy it is to automate things like personalized campaigns.
A third benefit of the cloud is the improved collaboration within a brand. This is particularly important for large brands with various locations.
4. Accessibility, data ethics and compliance matter.
Recent Gartner surveys list data security as a growing concern for users. GDPR forced brands to take a hard look at their data ethics. Consumers now pay close attention to how brands leverage their data throughout the buying process. Being transparent about data usage is no longer a courtesy from brands to consumers; it’s an expectation.
Similarly, having accessible digital experiences — on all platforms — is an expectation. We saw more web accessibility lawsuits last year than ever before. More experiences are moving online; thus more people of all abilities are moving online to keep up.
Beyonce, Five Guys, and Target all faced massive public backlash for not having accessible websites — and not providing an equitable experience to the nearly 18 percent of internet users who have disabilities.
DX platforms and CX-focused companies now offer ADA remediation and ADA-ready platforms for businesses. From local governments to nonprofits to Fortune 500 companies, expect more organizations to invest in accessible and secure DX platforms.
5. CX should be on everyone’s radar.
Sure, dedicating yourself to helping grow your company’s bottom line is important. But helping your customers have an enjoyable, seamless web experience is the yellow brick road to success. CX is more than something that can be siloed under “marketing” or “sales.” From backend development to front-end web design, having an enjoyable customer experience should be a priority of everyone involved.
We’re keeping an eye on these 5 CX trends, but we know there are more. What trends in customer experience have you seen? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!