Customer service and customer experience have gained increasing influence to a point where everyone with a business is aware of these terms and what they mean. These words get a lot more play in the business world than they did ten or so years back. Unlike in the recent past, where people would use customer service and customer experience interchangeably, today, almost every business person knows that they don’t mean the same thing.
To succeed in today’s competitive marketplace, you’ve got to make the customer experience as the key to your business strategy. Whether yours is a company that offers professional writers WritingJobz or a cosmetics shop, you have to pay attention to customer demand since this is what drives success in today’s business world. Due to the advent of technology and new innovations, customers know that personalized customer experience is possible. Now they crave more of it with each new innovation that enters the business world.
To achieve frictionless customer experience, you’ve got to understand what your customers’ preferences are. Every company is sprinting to deliver on customer demand because this is how you remain relevant as a business. Customer service and customer experience trends are always changing, which means every business has to keep an eye out of the latest trends.
Here are 2020’s trends that companies would do well to implement.
1. No one Owns Customer Service
The business world is at a tipping point for many transformation triggers. All these triggers are equally intense, and it’s putting business owners under pressure. Factors such as the shift in technology and regulatory compliance are backing businesses into a corner. The business sphere is becoming highly complex because many customer trends are simultaneously changing.
Businesses continually realize that the lifespans of these trends are becoming shorter with each passing year. Every thriving business requires a flexible strategy that keeps customers happy and the business afloat. A customer service strategy that’s adaptable with changing developments ensures customers always enjoy frictionless customer experience.
In 2020, a business requires the right strategic vision because if your anticipations are wrong, the whole plan falls apart. When you know what customers want and how best to achieve this, you’re unstoppable. This means that your business model always has to be aligned with your strategies. Understanding the depth and scope of a trend helps you gauge how long it might last.
Because of this, businesses have realized that assigning a few people in the company to give lip service to customers does not cut it. How then can companies ensure customers are satisfied with their services if no one can own customer service?
Adopting a Customer-first Mindset
Many companies expect to achieve top-notch customer service without knowing what goes into it. Thriving companies figured out the secret, and there’s no stopping them. The truth is, there is no secret. Every company that wants to remain relevant and successful has to adopt a customer-first mindset. The company should work together as a unit to achieve a single goal, according to customers’ seamless experience.
Your employees should be insanely focused on giving customers the quality of service they demand. Instead of hiring a chief customer officer, you should groom all staff to know how to satisfy customer expectations.
Hire Customer-Oriented Employees
Once you adopt a customer-first mindset, the next thing should be to ensure everyone in your company understands how your business operates. Hiring customer-oriented employees give you an easier time keeping your customers satisfied. Thinking of customer experience in everything you do leaves no room for friction between the business and your customers.
People you hire, be it in the IT department, supply chain, or leadership positions, should understand that the customer is king.
2. Transformation Means Shredding your Old Skin
Due to technology, businesses have managed to scale to greater heights. However, many businesses still remain behind because they’re reluctant to shed their old skin. New trends might not be compatible with your business’ old model. Changing with changing times allows you to use technology to solve your problems as a business optimally.
Talking about shedding the company’s old skin. It’s not only the company’s framework that you need to change. You’ve got to transcendent into a completely new business model to rise above your challenges.
Blur the Line Between the Digital and the Physical World
When people talk about seamless customer experience, what comes to your mind? Well, hopefully, it’s according to customers the same quality of services regardless of the channel they use to make a purchase.
Even though online shopping is commonplace today, there’s still a good number of customers who appreciate the in-store experience. Your new business model should blur the line between the digital and the physical world. In simpler terms, customers should be in a position to order online and pick their order in person, and vice versa.
If you’ve tried everything and it doesn’t seem to improve customer experience, it might be because you’re not offering what customers want in the first place. This is a clear sign that it’s about time you went back to the drawing board. Staying in the marketplace as an irrelevant business is as good as shutting everything down altogether.
You can only pivot when you eliminate the fear of being misunderstood. A long-term plan that people won’t get in the beginning is better than a short-term one that will eventually drive your business to the ground.
3. Digital Transformation is Never Ending
If digital transformation is not your focus yet, you’re running your business the wrong way. It has been a major focus for a couple of years now across all industries. At this point, it should be your top priority as an entrepreneur since it’s a do or die initiative. The point every business should understand is that digital transformation is not something you get over and done with. This is a never-ending trend without an expiry date.
Customer demands change with digital transformation, so for you to thrive, you need to recognize transformation as your new normal. You can only evolve and pivot when you embrace customer changes with an open mind.
Companies that have embraced digital transformation as a permanent state of mind have succeeded in adapting to the digital environment. Digital transformation works for entrepreneurs who think outside the box.
Digital Transformation is a Long-Term Initiative
Since digital transformation is never-ending, it should be a long-term initiative in every company. It’s called the new normal because it’s not a trend that’ll be soon replaced by another. Such a huge transformation cannot be handled by one department alone. As a business, you should involve all employees in your quest for digital transformation. Organizational leaders should make digital technology their responsibility.
To make your strategy as effective as possible, you need personalized feedback from all customers. This, together with strategic clarity, gives you the armor you need to take your business to the next level.
4. Robotic Process Automation
What exactly is Robotic Process Automation? This is the technology responsible for computer software configuration. It’s the tech used in robots to emulate human interactions and integrate these actions within a digital system. Robotic Process Automation is now widely used to execute business processes. RPA is suitable for repetitive tasks that consume a lot of time while running a business.
The beauty of Robotic Process Automation is that the systems never sleep, and human error is eliminated. With such technology, businesses can increase efficiency and reduce running costs in a company.
Development of a Strong Customer Experience
RPA frees employees of mundane tasks like checking inventory and logistics, so they have time to focus on the customer. Furthermore, since this technology eliminates human error, customers won’t experience issues with order deliveries, refunds, payments, and other things along this line.
Ensure all your employees dedicate their time to uniquely human tasks like problem-solving and connecting with the customer.
Use RPA to Communicate with Digital Systems
Thanks to the existence of advanced technologies, companies can come up with software that uses RPA to manipulate data and communicate with digital systems. You should be in a position to customize your RPA system to suit your business needs. Businesses can interpret transactions and automatically reply to emails to reduce downtime.
Integrating the RPA system into your business operation allows customers to enjoy the human interaction they crave and still benefit from the efficiency and accuracy of digital systems.
5. Compliance with GDPR
The law has provisions that ensure customer data is protected. All EU citizens have the right to know what companies do with their personal information. One can choose to have their information erased from a company’s database. As a company, you should ensure you’re in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Other Countries are Expected to Follow Suit
Even though the EU is currently the only place where the GDPR applies, other countries are expected to follow suit. Companies should not cherry-pick customers whose data should be protected.
Focus on Cybersecurity
Data breaches are becoming more rampant because cybercriminals have access to all the resources they need to hack a company’s database. Such an incident can greatly affect the reputation of a company, no matter how established it is. Every business should focus on cybersecurity to ensure customer privacy is maintained.
Customers have realized they have the power to demand better experiences. As a business, you need to center your business model around the customer to stay relevant. After all, the customer remains to be king.