5 trends to stand out through customer experience in 2022
Customer behaviors have changed dramatically over the years, especially with the linkages between the physical and digital worlds and the exponential growth in the use of messaging apps. The pandemic has further accelerated these changes, as more customers rely on digital to counteract the restrictions...
Companies have thus accelerated their digital transformation to adapt to the context and maintain their activity. In 2022, how can they differentiate themselves through customer experience?
1 - Pursuing innovation after the pandemic
The restrictions during the pandemic forced companies to reinvent processes (click and collect, virtual shopping experiences...) and accelerate their digital transformation. Throughout the pandemic, companies accelerated the digitalization of their customer interactions by three to four years, according to McKinsey. Customers are quickly adapting to innovations and expect them to be the standard for all their future experiences. The challenge for brands now is to know which innovations will be relevant to the "new normal."
In 2022, customer experience leaders will offer journeys that are tailored to new customer habits, and will quickly adapt to potential restrictions due to the Omicron variant.
2 - Integrate voice and digital to deliver the best possible experience
Service by phone remains essential for certain customer groups and is a powerful way to communicate in situations requiring urgent assistance or empathy. The question is not whether to choose between voice and digital, but how to integrate the two to deliver a seamless experience. Digital brings infinite possibilities to improve the phone experience: call detour reduces waiting time, while messaging apps make voice asynchronous to adapt to the customer's availability.
In 2022, offering a combined telephone and digital experience should be a priority for companies to improve the accessibility of their customer service. This step will also allow companies to prepare for using voice analytics with AI.
3 - Using conversational AI to improve productivity and satisfaction
The role of AI in customer service continues to grow. Conversational AI, often used via chatbots and virtual agents, is a great way to help customers 24/7. Knowledge management uses AI to centralize information from all of a company's content, such as FAQs, user manuals, video tutorials, etc. This approach is much more efficient than using a chatbot or virtual agent. This approach is much more efficient than a manual process and ensures consistent responses across all channels, improving their quality and reducing message processing time. Increasing the use of conversational AI in 2022 will allow companies to better support their customers and provide them with the seamless experience they expect.
4 - Leveraging Team Engagement Management for Employee Retention
In recent years, we have seen a shift from Workforce Optimization (WFO) to Workforce Engagement Management (WEM). While WFO refers to resource and cost optimization, WEM is more employee-centric and includes recruitment, onboarding, training and more. Customer experience is becoming increasingly important to differentiate, which explains this shift to the notion of team engagement, to improve agent experience and build loyalty.
In 2022, companies will continue to prioritize empowering their contact center agents. By leveraging tools such as quality management and performance management, supervisors can support agents in their daily work and help them improve customer satisfaction.
5 - Getting back to basics
The innovations mentioned are great ways to improve the customer journey, but companies also need to address basic customer needs. One of the biggest frustrations is wait time: to limit it and set the right expectations, companies should inform customers of their standard response time on each channel. Another common problem is organizations that direct customers from one channel to another. To avoid this and remove silos, companies should restructure their contact center organization by skill set rather than by channel. This way, specialized agents can respond to requests on any channel. Finally, before implementing a new strategy, companies should remember to test the journey themselves to ensure consistency.
In 2022, analyzing the customer journey and resolving frustrations will enable companies to deliver a truly seamless experience over the next year.
Prepare for the next wave of digital transformation
We can't predict what the future will look like, but companies can prepare for it by adopting a flexible organization that can adapt to market changes. When developing this strategy, leaders should consider how to manage tools to keep employees engaged and how they will integrate all customer service channels. This will ensure that companies are ready to deliver the experiences and adopt the innovations that customers expect.