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In our latest webinar, Founder and Managing Director of The Customer Experience Company, Australia, Raj Mendes and Founder of The CX Academy, Ireland, Michael Killeen joined forces to look at the top emerging global CX trends and to discuss what organisations can be doing today to lead the way to CX Excellence in 2021.
Customer experience is becoming more strategic - we are seeing more leaders choose it as central to their business strategy
“From Afterpay to Santa Claus, the true CX champions of the world are market leaders in something that many organisations have long overlooked - empathy. The foundation of our craft, customer empathy is increasingly becoming a driver of better decision making, leading to better business strategy”, Raj said.
“Strategy is about making specific choices to win in the marketplace - what better place to start than with a deep understanding of your customers which allows you to make the right choices to win?”
Whilst the world has become more complex and hence achieving CX Excellence has become more difficult, there is a way for organisations to grapple with this. Raj has found that in Australia, clients are spending more time and resources on understanding their customers, what they value and why they value what they value.
“In the more complex world that we are in, we need greater understanding, we need to be more measured and more thoughtful.”
To achieve change, you need insights about your customer experience and what is happening within your business; the good, the bad, and the ugly. Use these insights to drive internal change. The best insights, the most profound ones are the simplest.
More organisations will begin to embrace disruptive technology to achieve CX outcomes
Genome sequencing, energy storage, and digital wallets - the cutting edge of technological innovation is being propelled by desire to improve the human experience. Technological disruption is occurring in almost every industry and having immediate and long-lasting effects on CX. Raj looks at what U.S fintech Square is doing as an example of how CX-led tech is eroding the market share of banks and other traditional businesses. Square began as a digital payments system which streamlined customer transactions and in doing so, is disrupting the banking industry.
“It (Square) is now heavily moving to the consumer side through their CashApp - in the U.S it has 30 million monthly active users. The largest bank in the U.S, J.P Morgan, has 38 million, and it’s been around for years. This is exponential growth.”
Since moving into the consumer space, Square’s outstanding customer experience is causing many to question what value banks offer that new fintech players can’t. However, Michael’s view is that while technology is a huge driver at the moment, the market will soon start to place more weight on the human side of the experience and that the balance of investment between technology and people will level back out.
“I see technology not necessarily as an enabler of innovation, I believe technology is here to stay but I fear that too much is being invested in it, and that it’s leaving gaps in the human side of customer experience.”
At the end of the day, it is up to organisations to recognise and understand the needs of their customers individually, so as to strike the balance between human and technology they demand.
Consumers have less money in their pockets and more time on their hands
Michael identified this trend as being key for companies to address in 2021 and beyond. With the macroeconomic forces of Covid-19 at play, people now have both the motivation and time to seek greater value from brands. The question this raises is one of value. How can a company find ways to offer not just value to customers, but incrediblevalue?
“We need to be prepared to see ongoing value replacing the seasonal sales promotions that we see all the time. You have this whole series of special offer promotions at the moment, but I believe that soon we’ll see a year-long continuous offer.”
But it’s not all about relying on reduced price-points to deliver value. Some industries are creating value through greater service and bundling products which work well together, which helps consumers rationalise the value exchange.
“We know that companies that deliver CX excellence can demand premium pricing. Consumers are willing to pay in excess of 16% premium on products and services for greater experience.”
Regardless of how businesses achieve it, the pressure from consumers is there to be provided with more value than was previously accepted.
The goldmine of Customer Complaints
This trend falls into the realm of one of The CX Academy’s key emotional drivers for consumers. How a company ‘fixes things’ when they go wrong can be make or break for customers, and in fact should be viewed as an opportunity rather than an inconvenience. Michael’s findings with customer complaints is that those who take the time to complain are often your most loyal customers.
“Only 1 in 8 customers will actually let you know if they’re unhappy. But those who do, want to give you the opportunity to fix the issue because they like doing business with you.”
It is these moments which Michael sees as an incredible opportunity for creating ‘remarkable CX’, an experience which people go out of their way to remark on.
“When you have a company that treats complaints brilliantly, the advocacy benefits are superb. They’ll put the phone down and turn around to someone immediately saying ‘you won’t believe what my bank just did for me’... Our business is in creating thousands upon thousands of unbiased sales people!”
Customer expectations have never been higher and while that brings an increase in customer complaints, when responded to correctly, companies have the opportunity to build and create customer advocacy.
This is just scratching the surface of what these two leaders of CX had to say on emerging trends. For the full webinar, watch above.
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