Article

Geoff Galat
Geoff Galat 5 February 2018

The three key trends shaping digital customer experience strategies

In a world in which anything can go viral and kill a brand's reputation in a matter of hours, businesses need to up-the-ante and deliver innovative, state-of-the-art, seamless experiences every single time. Leading the way, ecommerce giants such as Amazon are making customer experience an integral part of their company culture. With this in mind, here are three key trends that we expect will shape the customer experience industry in the next year.

Customer experience has become the new currency and is quickly becoming the most effective way for online business to stand out from the crowd. Research has even shown that by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key differentiator for brands. While delivering a good customer experience has always been important – no one wants unhappy customers – Mobile technology and the growth of an instantaneous ‘app culture’ driven by brands such as Uber and Airbnb means we now expect products and services at our finger tips.  Social media has also given consumers a platform to amplify complaints that were previously kept private.

In a world in which anything can go viral and kill a brand’s reputation in a matter of hours, businesses need to up-the-ante and deliver innovative, state-of-the-art, seamless experiences every single time. Leading the way, ecommerce giants such as Amazon are making customer experience an integral part of their company culture with Jeff Bezos stating that  “We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.”

At Clicktale, we’ve identified three key trends that we expect will shape the customer experience industry in the next year.  

1. Better experiences ‘buy’ loyalty

A recent study by Vision Critical found that 42 percent of Americans will stop shopping with a brand after just two bad experiences, regardless of whether they belong to a loyalty program or not. Understanding customers and delivering a seamless experience every time they interact with a brand has been proven to drive loyalty and, therefore, sales. For example increasing customer retention by just 5 percent boosts profits by 25 to 95 percent, according to the advisory firm Bain & Co.

So with customer experience having a direct impact on a business’ bottom line, it’s no wonder the C-suite have taken notice. A recent Digiskills report found that the focus is increasingly on optimizing digital channels to ensure every interaction has a positive impact on the customer, with 83% of organisations working to improve online interactions using website optimisation. We expect this to drive adoption of experience analytics as brands look for tools that can help them understand what consumers are thinking and feeling.

2. Behavioral science will shape experiences

The behavioral aspect behind a customer journey will become key to successfully moving people along the funnel. It is not enough to drive people to a website, or get people to click on a call to action in an email. Once people arrive at your website or app, do you understand what their intent is? Do you know why they clicked and what mindset they are in? And, most importantly, can you deliver the experience they need based on their behavior?

Most likely, you don’t. That’s why you need behavioral science and experience analytics that can help you understand digital body language. This is achieved by aggregating rich data related to experience across every single interaction of every user on your website – clicks, scrolls, zooms, hovers just to name a few – and applying analytics, data science and artificial intelligence to abstract insights from the data about what users really feel.

The route to business success in the future will be to understand this digital body language so that you can make changes to your digital assets based on real insights into how each customer is reacting and feeling towards the experience. Only brands that are truly able to maximize every single interaction will be able to get ahead and succeed.

3. New channels will emerge to challenge how brands deliver experience

We are heading towards a world in which it’s not just websites and apps delivering brand experiences to consumers. We are seeing new avenues open up, internet of things (IoT) and virtual reality (VR). New technology will have a significant impact on how brands design their experience strategy. For example, how do you ensure that the experience in a virtual shop is the same as on your website?

While this question might be difficult to answer right now, it still comes down to understanding people’s digital body language. If you put the tools in place now that allow you to gather the richest data set and effectively utilize it to derive insights, you’ll be in a position to develop those capabilities further as other digital platforms emerge.

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