5 Macro Tech Trends That Will Shape CX in 2022
At the intersection of technology and business, change is the only constant. And over the next decade, we can expect to see even more changes in the way companies interact with their customers. Here are five of the biggest customer experience trends that we'll be seeing in 2022:
1. Enhanced Personalisation
With the amount of customer data available to businesses today, customers expect brands to know their name, who they are, and their interests and preferences. Beyond knowing and understanding your customers through their previous interactions, brands need to tailor customer experiences to the individual. Each interaction and communication with your business builds upon the next to create a continuous conversation and experience for the customer.
Artificial intelligence will also play an even bigger role in personalised customer service this year. As consumers' expectations evolve, AI will provide businesses with new insights to better understand their current and potential customers.
Customer-centric businesses are taking advantage of real-time decisions and predictive analysis to better integrate their products and services into our lives, providing us with more valuable insights and richer customer journeys.
With the ever-increasing amount of big data currently available, personalisation will bring brands closer to consumers than ever before.
2. The Rise of Mixed Reality Experiences
Virtual and augmented reality can't be overlooked by brands when it comes to potential avenues for delivering their message and a modern customer experience. Creating a world that bridges the gap between the physical and digital (or 'phygital') provides customers with tangible and highly emotional experiences that can be challenging to deliver on a 2D screen. The ability to create completely new and highly 'shareable' experiences makes this technology extremely attractive for today's consumer brands.
Enabling people to try on clothes, visit far-flung destinations, or even customise and test drive cars can all be achieved through VR or AR. And it doesn't stop there. Mixed reality will also provide customers with the opportunity for multi-sensory virtual experiences. This means that customers will feel, hear, see, and maybe even smell what they're experiencing in the virtual world.
In 2022, businesses will look to these mediums to create one-of-a-kind experiences for customers to interact and engage right from their homes.
3. Chatbots to Automate and Scale Customer Support
It's no longer a secret how much chatbots can influence the customer journey. Businesses can utilise them as a cost-efficient, yet effective ways to provide scalable support for customers. Aside from providing quick answers to the most common queries, chatbots are equipped to handle thousands of conversations at once with no wait or hold times for the customer.
Through natural language processing (NLP), chatbots get increasingly better at understanding customer inputs to predict the right responses. And sentiment analytics measure whether or not customers are satisfied and how they feel about a particular topic. Combined, these powerful tools are changing the way consumers expect customer service to be delivered and will continue to grow in 2022 and beyond.
4. Customer Control Over Data & Privacy
Customers want more control over what information companies collect about them and how it's used. But, at the same time, they expect customer service channels to have access to this data when needed.
On the one hand, customer data can provide great insight into what products they're most likely to purchase or what interests they have. On the other hand, it's crucial to note that the Consumer Data Right puts strong privacy protections for the collection, disclosure, and use of this data.
There are already customer service solutions that allow brands to package customer information into an easy-to-use interface for customer care agents, helping them provide personalised experiences without compromising customers' privacy.
5. Social Media as a Customer Service Channel
In line with the adage of being where your customer are, technology has only expanded the realm of possibilities for communicating with customers. Customers are constantly on social media to interact with friends and family. In fact, Statista predicts that over 4.4 billion people will be on social media by 2025. And they expect businesses to be on there, too. Not only that, but the same rules of customer support engagement apply: fast, personalised service and responses. In fact, on Instagram, when a customer posts or DMs a complaint, roughly 55 percent of users expect a response within less than 3 hours.
With growing engagement on social media, businesses should be prepared to monitor and address their customers' needs through these channels with the same care and attention they put toward offering service through email, web forms, live chat, and other means. Ensure you're actively monitoring brand mentions, DMs, and hashtags on social media so customer enquiries don't get left unanswered. Otherwise, it can impact customers' perception of your business and overall customer satisfaction.
Customer Experience as a Top Priority for Businesses
With consumers willing to pay more for a great experience, brands are now prioritising their customer experience to set themselves apart from the competition. Over the next year, providing the best customer experience is a huge focus for businesses. They'll build on their successes and learn from their failures by leveraging technology-driven solutions.
As we transition into a service-driven economy where customer lifetime value is of primary importance, 2022 is expected to see increasing investments in technology designed to enhance customer experiences and build brand trust.
These trends will only accelerate in the future, impacting customer service processes and procedures across all your customer touch points.