In today’s ever-changing digital environment, customer experience is becoming critical to creating and maintaining a loyal consumer base. With brands like Amazon catering to the individual, people expect a customized experience throughout their buying journey.
According to a study by Fortune Business Insights, the customer experience industry is worth $11.31 billion in 2022 and is expected to surge to $32.53 billion by 2029. Another study says that 80% of people are likely to make another purchase from a brand if their service is on par. Beyond that, 68% of people would be ready to pay more for exceptional service.
So, how can founders and leadership best leverage innovative technologies for CX, and the customer service trends of 2022? We’ve got the latest info to keep you on top of the top trends, read on to learn more!
What Customer Service Innovation Means in 2022
At the end of the day, the goal of any company is to make its customers and shareholders invested in its mission. If customers are happy, then all your business strategies have paid off. While this was true a few years ago, the scope of customer service is much more complex today.
Customer service is now an indicator of how far a brand can go to make a customer’s experience, from start to finish, fulfilling and satisfactory. There are no lengths a business will not go to refining and honing these processes to gain customer trust and loyalty. This is where innovation comes in. Leveraging technology to find different ways and methods to support your customers and enhance their experience with customer service innovation.
Let’s look at a few customer experience innovation trends that companies will likely follow in 2022.
Customer Experience as a Business Decision
Customer experience is not merely a luxury, but a prominent part of the decision-making process when consumers choose a service or a platform. At the end of the day, your investment in customer service drives the business and enables monetary growth.
According to Zendesk’s customer service trends report, 73% of the leaders surveyed mentioned a direct link between CX and business performance, while 64% affirmed that good customer service has affected their business.
All efforts in customer service will become an essential business decision. With the help of unit economics, companies can calculate the investment to returns ratio as well. Organizations need to start looking at parameters that drive the business directly or indirectly. Furthermore, they need to also learn how to measure these parameters, determine how successful the company’s customer experience efforts are, and calculate the ROI.
Automation of Menial Tasks and Self-Service
Employees can spend a lot of time on menial tasks like sending reminders, following up with leads, creating reports, and more. All these repetitive tasks can be easily automated for increased efficiency. Automation will also encourage self-service, which customers tend to prefer for personalization and ease.
A good example of this would be tracking your order on the Amazon platform. It is constantly updating automatically, and people choose to simply open their apps and check them on their phone, rather than having to actively check. Amazon is also planning to move towards robotic process automation when it comes to delivering people their packages and parcels with the help of Amazon Drone Delivery.
Another advantage of automation is that it reduces the workload of customer support executives. Once the workload decreases, companies can use their resources to focus more on improving the business than on the minutia.
Automation also elicits a much faster response time, which has also been shown to improve customer experience. About 82% of people surveyed in a Hubspot study felt that an immediate response is important when they ask a sales-oriented question.
AI and Machine Learning for Chatbots and Predictive Analysis
AI and machine learning are being used in several stages of the customer journey. One of the major use cases is chatbots.
With Natural Language Processing, companies are moving toward simulating human interactions in their chatbots as well. These interactions will go beyond just keyword recognition and predefined answers that have already been directed. The bots will emulate human-like speech capabilities when it comes to conversating with customers.
According to a report, chatbots will save companies and businesses over $11 billion by 2023 and both consumers and organizations will save over 2.5 billion hours. Between 2019 and 2020 alone, chatbot usage surged by about 92%. AI trends of 2022 suggest that this tech will also be used for analyzing customer behavior. Companies will analyze customer interactions, their purchase behavior, payment patterns, and much more.
Machine learning will be used more heavily to track the performance of the customer support department in the company. This provides valuable insights from the historical data of countless interactions the customers have had with the brand. Based on these insights, companies can understand where there are gaps and inefficiencies and take necessary steps to optimize that part of the process.
Omnichannel Support and Social Media
Companies are starting to provide omnichannel support, which is assistance for customers across an integrated network of devices or touchpoints. This can include live chats, social media forums, email, and phone. People are moving towards social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter to pose queries, drop complaints and get their issues dealt with.
Companies like Xbox and Nike have customer support on Twitter rather than just on their website shows how the process of integrated feedback is changing. Whether an app is crashing or if a game’s servers are not working, updates are readily available on their own social media feeds.
When it comes to shopping, people are making more purchases on social media platforms. One-third of the US population made a purchase on Facebook in 2021. Social media platforms are increasingly popular amongst millennials and Gen-Zs. Companies are looking to build their omnichannel support and interact in new and innovative ways as customer preferences develop.
People don’t want brands to act as neutral entities. Instead, they want them to have human-like qualities that make people feel like they can identify with them. Default solutions aren’t appreciated by customers. Instead, they want answers and help tailored to their needs.
This is another space where Artificial Intelligence is going to help brands and companies. They’ll be able to understand the behavior of different users and suggest the best choices available to them based on the insights derived from the customer data. As a result, users relate more to the brand and also have an emotional bond with the brand.
All data through the customer journey is important, and machine learning algorithms are used to analyze them.
AI also helps with moving the prices of products/services based on real-time data and user behavior. This helps C-level strategies to be much more grounded in data and not just perceived customer sentiment. Proactive decision-making for businesses is one of the biggest advantages of AI data innovation.
Examples of Innovation in Customer Service
Companies are leveraging technologies like Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) to create experiences for people who want to purchase their products or services. For example, AR clothing try-on will soon become mainstream.
Companies are also trying to apply the same concept of AR in industries like automobile purchasing and personalized interior design as well. This enhanced customer experience makes buyers more likely to move toward brands that provide innovative options.
Another example of customer service innovation is Zoom calls for customer support. Customers can get on video calls with specialized customer support representatives, and solve their problems and issues easily.
Customer experience is reaching new heights of innovation and is on the verge of becoming a primary differentiator between any two brands that offer the same services. How is your business improving customer experience and personalizing for your customers