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The Greatest Customer Experience (CX) Trends 2022

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Technologies that customers use in their everyday lives often become extensions of the way they do business. This sets a tough act for brands to follow, as customers may begin to create certain expectations based on their interactions with other companies. Because of this, being complacent about the customer experience you provide isn’t an option.

It’s important for businesses to keep up with customer experience trends (CX trends) so they can provide the best possible service to their customers. It’s the key to engaging your current customers, attracting new ones, and giving them what they want. When done well, your customer experience innovation may give you a competitive advantage compared to brands that have fallen behind the times.

Every year brings new advancements in technologies, as well as an evolution in consumer expectations and digital transformation. Let’s explore some of the key CX trends that have defined 2022 and will likely carry over into 2023.

Table of Contents:

  • The Omnichannel Customer Experience
  • The Rise of Chatbots for 24/7 Customer Service
  • More Self-Service Options
  • Predictive Analytics for Turning Data Into Insights
  • Virtual Assistants to Address CX Talent Shortages
  • Augmented Reality as a CX Trend
  • Data-Driven Marketing for Hyper-Personalized Experiences
  • Customer Loyalty Program Investments
  • Greater Customer Data Transparency
  • The Metaverse as a Battleground for Customer Experience
  • Discovering the Future of Customer Experience with Linkfluence

 

The Omnichannel Customer Experience

The path of the customer journey is becoming less predictable; it’s no longer a linear progression. Customers are likely to have multiple touchpoints with a business before making a final decision. Some of these touchpoints are self-guided, while others involve direct contact with a business.

No matter how, where, or when customers choose to engage, companies need to ensure their experience is as seamless as possible. This is the heart of an omnichannel experience — a key piece of digital transformation.

For example, let’s say a customer discovers you on social media, then clicks through to your website. They start shopping, maybe even adding an item to the cart. But when they pick up their session on their desktop computer at home, the item is no longer there. What’s more, the customer has to dismiss the multitude of website pop-ups before they can continue their journey.

Making the customer journey more omnichannel-friendly helps to address inconsistencies like these. 

Take Google’s cross device capabilities, for example. When logged into a Google account, customers can sync their browsing history and activity across all their devices. They can even access tabs on their smartphone that they left open on their laptop.

For brands to get omnichannel right, they first need a deeper understanding of their customers’ journeys and all of the touchpoints within them. From there, you can look at how you engage customers at each touchpoint, find inconsistencies, and work backward to solve them.

The Rise of Chatbots for 24/7 Customer Service

Chatbots for CX

Service as a competitive advantage is becoming a hot topic in CX. One way many brands are competing is by offering customer service support around the clock. Chatbots provide a viable solution as they can engage with a brand's customer base at scale at all hours.

Companies are already putting chatbots to work to create positive customer experiences. They are using chatbots to:

  • Answer questions
  • Provide keyword-based resources
  • Offer product recommendations
  • Troubleshoot problems
  • Collect customer feedback and other data

Chatbots can also use artificial intelligence technologies like natural language processing (NPL) to analyze customer sentiment during interactions. This may provide brands with a deeper understanding of how their customers are feeling about their support options and the problems they’re trying to solve.

Chatbots are already showing great promise in customer experience digital transformation. Data shows that about two out of three global consumers have had an interaction with a chatbot within the last year. What’s more, more than 87% of those experiences are either positive or neutral, indicating customers are receptive to this up-and-coming technology.

More Self-Service Options

A growing population of consumers says they prefer self-service support options over human contact. They want quick answers to their questions or needs without having to wait on hold or reach out to support.

What’s more, 70% of consumers say they expect some form of self-service support on company websites. This can take the form of FAQs, knowledge bases, customer discussion forums, or similar resources.

Customer Self Service

Source

Part of creating a standout customer experience means giving customers what they want. The future of customer experience needs to include self-guided resources, especially when those resources can provide faster resolution than real-time engagement.

Predictive Analytics for Turning Data into Insights

Predictive analytics is a form of artificial intelligence that makes predictions about unknown future events. Predictive analytics uses many techniques from data mining, statistics, modeling, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to analyze current data and make predictions about the future. 

By making accurate predictions about future events, businesses can make better decisions and take proactive actions to improve their performance.

Today’s businesses have access to an overwhelming amount of data. One of the most promising digital customer experience trends is to find new ways to tap into this data and turn it into insights, which will result in hyper-personalized customer experiences.

Personalization

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Data shows that 73% of customers expect brands to understand their needs and deliver personalization in ways that matter. What’s more, 62% of customers say they expect companies to anticipate their needs. Predictive analytics will check both of these boxes, helping to raise the bar on the future of customer experience.

Virtual Assistants to Address CX Talent Shortages

The effects of the Great Resignation continue to linger. Companies still struggle to fill key roles that will allow them to support their customers and deliver on customer expectations. Having a lack of key personnel where they’re most needed can bring your CX strategy to a grinding halt, leaving customers lacking the help and connection they expect. 

One potential way to fill the talent gap is to lean on the expertise and support of a virtual assistant. Virtual assistants take on a variety of tasks, from customer support to social media management to research and more. 

Specifically for customer experience, companies can tap into this remote resource as a way to pick up where chatbots and self-service options leave off. It allows companies to remain competitive by having enough staff available to provide support when and where it’s needed.

What’s more, many virtual assistants have a background in customer service and support and can easily step into these roles as needed.

Augmented Reality as a CX Trend

Augmented reality (AR) has been around for several years, but its potential in CX continues to be explored. As part of the digital transformation of the customer experience, AR technologies will help to add context to products and services both in-person and online.

For example, makeup brand L’Oreal is deploying AR with its Makeup Genius app. Shoppers can “try on” shades of makeup before purchasing. Magnolia Market takes a similar approach by letting customers see how furniture will look in their homes.

Loreal CX

Source

Ultimately, AR aims to help consumers make better buying decisions and “try” products before they buy. This can lead to fewer returns, happier customers, and even referrals and recommendations.

Data-Driven Marketing for Hyper-Personalized Experiences

Analytics and data are playing increasingly important roles in marketing and the creation of hyper-personalization. 

Data is the key to understanding what your customers need and want from you. Knowing this, you can improve your customer experiences to meet their expectations. Better experiences can lead to increases in customer engagement, customer loyalty, and customer satisfaction. 

With cookies going away and data privacy laws tightening, marketers will lean more than ever on their own data and publicly available sources to create composite customer profiles. Using third-party tools for social listening and consumer insights can help companies fill gaps in their own data and learn about their customers beyond their purchase history and demographics.

Customer Loyalty Program Investments

Loyalty Programs

Loyal customers aren’t just repeat buyers. They’re also advocates for your brand and become some of your most powerful word-of-mouth marketing partners. The more they promote you, the more cost-effective your marketing efforts become.

According to the Pareto Principle, about 20% of your customers fall into this category and drive about 80% of your sales. The probability of selling to an existing customer is about 60-70%, plus they tend to spend more than the average customer. In fact, a loyal customer is usually worth 10x more than their initial purchase!

What keeps customers coming back is all about their experience. However, a bad experience can drive even your most loyal customers away. Companies that continue to invest in loyalty stand to gain the most. Making sure your loyalty program meets customers' needs, is easy to take advantage of, and provides real value can make all the difference.

Greater Customer Data Transparency

As part of the digital customer experience, customers expect the companies they do business with to be good stewards of their personal data. This not only includes contact and payment details, but also things like purchase history. What’s more, they also care about how you handle situations in which their data may become compromised.

One survey found that 35% of consumers would stop shopping at a store altogether if their data was hacked. However, 33% of customers say they’re more likely to shop with retailers when they know their data is secured.

Technology to combat data breaches continues to grow in sophistication. But breaches and hacks continue to threaten data integrity across industries. Many companies are learning from others’ mistakes and data breaches by investing more into protecting consumer privacy and transparently communicating how their data is used.

The Metaverse as a Battleground for Customer Experience

Metaverse

The introduction of the metaverse provides brands with new ways to deliver experiences and develop transformation strategies. The stage might not be ready for branded experiences just yet, given its newness, but now is the time to start exploring and learning how others are engaging in the metaverse.

Over time, CX leaders can learn how to build their presence here and meet customers wherever they are. It’s still too early to tell what a customer-centric strategy might look like, but it will be an interesting development in 2023 and the years to come.

Discovering the Future of Customer Experience with Linkfluence

Remaining on the cusp of digital transformation, customer experience trends, and the future of customer experience means gaining a bird’s eye view of what your customers need, want, and expect. Your own data provides a sound place to start. Linkfluence empowers that data with an end-to-end platform designed to turn data into customer insights.

Our cloud-based AI-driven platform combines the best worlds of artificial intelligence and human data analysts. Linkfluence scours the digital and physical worlds to learn more about your target audience to give you high-value consumer insights in real time. 

Learn more when you schedule a demo!

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