Now that we’ve experienced a few months of 2019, it’s time to talk about where elements of technology, including SEO, web design, and e-commerce are headed this year. Looking back on 2018, it was a year when algorithms from Google started to look at the user experience (UX) more intently, when content quality took centre stage, when people were using their phones more than ever for information, and for a third year in a row, the Customer Experience Index (CX Index) was relatively still. Although the quality of websites generally increased, why was it that the customer experience continues to be stagnant?
In 2018, multiple industries learned that CX is a multi-faceted, intricate, and far-reaching piece of business. Yet, many businesses also pursed their lips and sat on their hands when it came to improving anything for CX. Because of this, 2019 is proving to be the Year of Customer Experience.
Here are some of our customer experience predictions for 2019:
1. CX, Meet EX
First, we had UX. Then CX. Now, EX. No, not your Ex, but your employee’s experiences. One of the reasons CX faltered in 2018 is because many brands still didn’t understand the struggles for their employees and how those problems influenced customer experience. 2019 calls for a new understanding of the employee-customer relationship that exists along the purchase funnel. In a Medallia study, it was found that businesses with a high Net Promoter Score of 90 and above had 12% higher customer satisfaction scores than those with a lower NPS.
This means that you must look beyond the buyer persona in 2019. Think about the people that the customer interacts with, too. It’s time to focus on the real-time experience that is built whenever employees engage with the customer and how you can meet the expectations of both parties to create a great experience for both.
2. AI Automaton and Augmentation
The introduction of artificial intelligence into the B2B and B2C world has been met with some hesitation so far. Now, in 2019, it’s becoming much more appealing to use AI to automate and augment discussions between companies and customers. AI is partnering up with sales representatives to remind them to call certain businesses, send email reminders to customers, schedule publishing of content, and providing a quicker, more in-depth look into the personality profiles of the leads a website has generated. This will help businesses and brands under the target audience more intimately while getting in head of the competition.
3. Abandonment of Apps for Mobile Sites
At one time, there was an app for everything. However, one in five brands that had an app are now abandoning that app for something much more organic—mobile-friendly websites. Many brands that made apps didn’t realize that it costs money to get people on board with using an app. Instead, businesses are making a switch to mobile sites with instant messengers and live chat platform integration, like Facebook Messenger, LinkedIn messenger, and WhatsApp. Since 60% of customers believe businesses should have responsive chat apps available, this switch makes sense and is sure to continue on well into 2020.
4. Real-Time Experiences
Up to now, most of the experience a customer would have on the internet was based on something already in existence, such as infographics, previously recorded videos, blogs and articles, and so on. However, when Amazon and other businesses introduced same-day service, the ever-increasing demand for instant gratification skyrocketed in 2018. Now, 78% of customers expect a representative to immediately contact them whenever they need help. In the same study, more than half of the respondents said that their bad experience could have been enriched if they had been given real-time feedback or had someone take immediate action.
How do you add a real-time experience? The previously mentioned chat applications are a decent place to start. From there, continue engaging on social media, and make feedback less of a post-traction thought but more of an experience that begins the moment a customer enters the purchase funnel and all the way to the end. Now is the best time to reach out to your leads and visitors.
5. Align Your Business With A Customer Journey
In 2019, it’s becoming obvious that the customer experience is more than just a buyer’s journey or purchase funnel. Though these things are in stages, the experience doesn’t start and stop at the end of each checkpoint. The experience is continuous. Flowing. You can’t focus on a single point in the buyer’s journey and expect the experience to carry over to the next point. Everything needs to tie-in together consistently.
This year, make the resolution to take an omniscient view of the customer experience. Construct a complete experience that begins and ends on the same high note by paying attention to the entire process. You can do this by increasing interactions with the customer, implementing the feedback that has been provided, and understanding that people change overtime. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes.
6. The Need For CX Specialists Will Rise
Just as an increased focused on SEO brought forth a surge of SEO specialists and UX experts, the same is bound to happen with CX. Since companies across the globe are increasing their focus on the customer experience, it is now imperative to develop CX teams. This means that CX professionals are required more than ever. Currently, there aren’t many people who are experts in this newly blossoming component of digital marketing and technology. That is why the imminent CX transformations that many businesses and brands are going to go through are going to take years and cost a lot of money to complete. However, you shouldn’t shy away from CX specialists. Retain whatever talent in CX your business has and ensure these individuals are empowered to educate themselves further.
The key to customer experience (CX) in 2019 is to understand how CX will interplay with every other element of e-commerce and B2B/B2C that we’ve come to understand. You’re going to need insights from employees, innovation, product and employee management, as well as vigilance when it comes to promoting your content and engaging on social media platforms. By considering the predictions we’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able to take in feedback and apply it faster, while keeping up with the blazing momentum 2019 has already set for CX transformations.