With the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic being detrimental to the lives of millions of Americans across the country, it is imperative that organizations manage their customer experience effectively so that customers feel that they are cared for and want to return to the organization. What should an organization be prioritizing to be sure that it can nail customer experience in 2021? The following customer experience trends in 2021 will be valuable to maintain great customer relations.
1. The Value of Continuous Listening
Continuous listening is a strategy of gathering feedback more often during the lifecycle of an employee. On a large scale, this may refer to surveys with results that are real-time that allow corrective measures to be taken instantaneously, but can also refer to in-person feedback conversations as a form of gathering feedback. In the continuous listening strategy, it is imperative that feedback is gathered and corrective actions are taken, without corrective action feedback gathered for the continuous listening strategy is a failure. The components of the strategy may seem overwhelming, but mapping them piece by piece along the employee lifecycle helps the organization to decide when it is appropriate to launch surveys or plan in-person feedback sessions. It is important to note the most valuable takeaway is that with continuous listening strategies, an organization is able to gather real-time feedback and make real-time corrective measures on a course of action.
2. Focusing on the Moments that matter
At each stage of the customer journey, the customer experiences various moments that matter. Customer experience is the new battleground for brands, and the moments that are meaningful during the experience can have a huge impact on a customer’s experience when monitored and evaluated. Customer experience holds the power to alter consumers’ perceptions of a brand and thus its success-- both positively and negatively. In Forrester, the customer journey is defined as “the [customer] journey span[ning] a variety of touchpoints by which the customer moves from awareness to engagement and purchase. Successful brands focus on developing a seamless experience that ensures each touchpoint interconnects and contributes to the overall journey.” Additionally, there are also moments of magic within the customer experience journey where things the organization accentuates create a different experience for the customers driving them above competitors.
3. Communicating the ROI impact of Customer Experience
Being able to demonstrate the ROI of customer experience platforms is one of the most difficult, but pressing challenges that professionals face. According to the research institution, Forrester, this is due to the fact that businesses are coping with increasing customer expectations while simultaneously facing limited resourcing around skills and operational capability. Essentially, customer experience professionals need to make a strong case (well defined) for their program in order to continue to develop and fund it. Additional tactics that may be useful to secure buy-in by executes include highlighting how the organization compares to industry averages, shining a light on the work competitors are doing to get ahead in the market, partnering with the CFO to add credibility and financial expertise, and finally, highlighting the consequences of not taking action to this industry trend.
4. Empathy as a Top Customer Experience Metric
The COVID-19 pandemic took the workforce by storm and taught us all that empathy is a necessary skill to lead teams and ensure stability in the workplace. Employers are realizing that extending courtesies to employees does not compromise the work done or business outcomes, in fact, Anthony Bartolo, chief product officer at Avaya states that it actually accelerates the progress! In addition, Steven Petruk, President of, Global Outsourcing Division, CGS, predicts that: "Amid the challenges of the pandemic, customer care centers have all but done away with any metrics around call duration and are actively encouraging agents to spend more time on the phone with clients. While empathy has not been an operational performance metric in the past, it absolutely is a prime area of focus now and will continue to be."
To bridge that gap and build a more empathetic organization will require a commitment. DropThought’s engagement software helps businesses understand their customers better, so you can steer your company towards success in the future. We provide the hardware for gathering customer feedback data through on-site kiosks, apps, and mail and analysis for driving critical metrics in your business. Click here to learn more.