Dec 10, 2021 9:06:38 AM
Top 4 Customer Experience Trends to Look Out for in 2022
2021 has almost come to an end and what a year it has been! For some businesses it was a make-or-break year because of the pandemic. One factor which plays into this scenario is customer experience (CX).
Already in the past few years, CX has been more and more recognized as THE key differentiating factor for companies, beating product and price. But with the recent pandemic, it has gained a whole new momentum.
According to Forrester:
“This leads to 2022 as the year when companies will make the grand pivot from reactionary to revolutionary — designing long-term solutions that right-size their CX projects and investments and leveraging the now chronic disruption as a catalyst to reinvent and reinforce experiences that delight customers and empower employees.” 1
In an upcoming episode of “The Art of Customer Service”, I had the pleasure of discussing with Katie Stabler, CCXP and founder of CULTIVATE, a global CX consultancy, our top 4 CX trends for 2022. Let’s get right to it!
CX Trend #1: The Small Business CX Mentality Is on the Rise
Delivering a great CX is both easier and harder for small businesses compared to big companies. Why? On one hand, you have less resources to act on, but on the other hand you really know your customers better as your data set is smaller. On top of that, as a small business you really need to put CX first as you need to stand out from the crowd (something we discuss in trend #4). To small businesses, CX is intrinsic.
The interesting trend here is to keep this CX mentality when scaling from a small business to a bigger one. It’s about truly knowing your customers even when your base is growing and growing. You need to have a clear CX strategy in place, a team buy-in and processes in place to support a customer-centric behavior. The small business CX mentality will be more in demand next year, also for big companies.
Recommended reading: "Why Business Is Ultimately about Service"
CX Trend #2: B2B Customer Experience Needs to Be Treated Like B2C
When it comes to CX, it’s mostly the B2C sphere that people are talking about. But what about B2B — is CX an overlooked trend there? We think so! B2B CX needs to become more like B2C and this means mainly two things: proactiveness and personalization. Don’t wait until your customers tell you what they need, but anticipate it and react accordingly.
B2B customers are also B2C customers at other companies which is why they expect the same CX. It’s time to step out of old habits and to really get to know your customers: Offer personalized support they can’t get anywhere else. Luckily, we see a trend here that more and more CX roles are also created in B2B companies.
Recommended reading: "What Everyone Should Know About Customer Experience"
CX Trend #3: Time Is the New Gold
This has been my mantra for many years and I believe it’ll be more important than ever in 2022. We live in a world of abundance which I like to call the “Netflix world”. We’re used to having everything on our fingertips, which leads to having sky-high expectations, less patience to wait and a heightened consciousness of how we want to spend our limited time.
As a company, you need to appreciate your customers’ time, not waste it (not even unintentionally). You need to get your customers excited about you by offering a great CX they can’t get anywhere else so that they happily spend their valuable time with your brand. This also means making mundane, transactional tasks as streamlined, easy and frictionless as possible by offering efficient self-service options like a chatbot which need no human intervention. Automating repetitive tasks will save your customers and your service agents a lot of time.
Download our guide for free: How to Create a Customer Service Funnel
CX Trend #4:Stand Out of the Crowd
Whether you’re a small business or a big company: You can’t afford to not invest in CX even if you have budget or other resource constraints. As a business, you need to put your customers first, otherwise you won’t have a business much longer. People are hard-wired to remember negative experiences more than the positive ones, which is why you need to control your CX and make it outstanding.
CX enables you to keep your customers for a lifetime and not make them switch to your competitors. Remember: CX is a marathon, not a sprint so make sure to invest in a long-term strategy and break it down into quarterly milestones to keep it manageable. CX is what makes your brand stand out of the crowd and this trend will never go out of style.
1 Forrester (2021), “Predictions 2022: Customer Experience”.
Erik Pfannmöller is the CEO and one of the founding members of Solvemate. He is a serial entrepreneur with a deep passion for AI and Software. Erik started out as a professional sportsman in white water canoe slalom. His sports endeavors culminated in becoming World Champion in 2007. In 2015 he founded and became CEO of Solvemate. Prior to Solvemate, Erik founded an eCommerce platform.