Today, when customers have a choice of any product and service along with loyalty programs, rewards, and generous customer satisfaction packages, they are as picky as ever!
Therefore, having a customer experience strategy integrated with every part of a company’s operations isn't just “nice to have” but rather a must-have, as stated in the extensive study by Hotjar. We'll review the most important findings from this study that can help position you among the leaders in 2021.
Top Customer Experience Trends 2021
Customer experience is a top company priority that outweighs other objectives including revenue
Customer experience leaders, over 40% of which make USD 100M+ revenue annually, know for a fact that they need to be more customer-oriented then profit-oriented.
It's probably the most shocking trend for novices and for those who still doubt to what extent they need to integrate customer experience into the overall company strategy.
Becoming obsessed with your customers is one of the turning points for understanding the core of this trend. According to a senior marketing manager from Klaviyo, you need to dedicate time to learn about your customers via phone calls, meetings or by going through your customer support emails.
Old fashioned customer experience strategies are better than new ones
The most successful companies use traditional methods when it comes to implementing their customer experience strategy. They do market research, talk to their customers personally and hire the most talented specialists.
Despite the rapid development of predictive analytics, chatbots, and augmented reality, they are not favorite tools among the leaders in customer support. On the contrary, these leaders try to stick to surveys, voice-of-the-customer (VOC) feedback (the most popular method) and other forms of feedback that they use at every point of interaction with the buyers and especially when they have a negative experience.
As a bottom line, phone calls and surveys remain the top methods used by mature companies. Conversely, companies providing average customer experience tend to rely on social media and live chats.
There’s nothing more valuable than customer feedback for a successful customer experience strategy
Quality feedback is like a treasure for the customer-oriented company; therefore, they do everything they can to gather it.
These professionals are like investigators digging to find the truth in an attempt to understand their buyers and custom tailor their experience.
The Hotjar study even calls it “the main driver” for the strategy.
Inadequate employee training and knowledge are the main obstacles
Regardless of how successful a company is, the human factor plays a critical role in the customer support team. Rudeness, lack of expertise, skills, and knowledge can ruin the best strategies. They are the main obstacles for reaching customer experience goals, and therefore you should deal with them seriously.
The degree of employees’ rudeness towards customers drops down by six times from the least successful companies to the most successful, investigated in the Hotjar survey.
Long wait times are the most irritating part of the customer experience
Regardless of the size of a company, the size of their customer support team and the number of tools they use, the problem of long waiting times for a response can be applicable everywhere.
So, it’s recommended to scale the support operations in an attempt to reach your customers as fast as possible and ideally surprise them with a rocket-fast response or satisfy them with a timely reply.
How to implement a successful customer experience strategy
- Motivate your staff, create a customer-oriented culture that is obsessed with your customers.
- Try to get as many people involved in the strategy as possible.
- Imagine yourself a customer.
- Try to understand the behavioral and thinking patterns of your buyers.
- Ensure all team members prioritize listening to your customers as the key to successful strategy implementation.
- Conduct surveys and ask your existing and past buyers strategic and product-related questions.
- Use interviews and speak directly to your customers.
- Create wow effects and long-lasting human experiences.
- Focus on the key interaction points with your buyers on a human-to-human level and automate the rest.
- Organize additional training for your staff to teach them how to be more empathetic and helpful.
- Develop a professional knowledge base (e.g., based on Zendesk Guide) that will exceed customers’ expectations.
- Do not forget about the post-purchase experience.
- Try reducing friction to a minimum.
- Analyze all points of interaction with your customers and identify the friction points.
- Come up with a self-service solution whenever possible.
- Reply promptly.
- Follow up without waiting to be asked.
- Provide different methods of communication functioning 24/7.
We hope that this article was helpful to you and gave you some hints about the current situation and how to improve all your KPIs, including profits, by switching your attention to the customer experience.
If you'd like to dig deeper, see more pro tips for the best customer experience strategy.