Customer Experience Trends for 2022

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After navigating a global pandemic and the Great Resignation, companies are expanding their focus and beginning to consider people as well as product. Supply chain disruptions and increased consumer expectations weigh heavy on modern businesses as they attempt to stay relevant, stand out amongst competitors and build a loyal consumer base—but most executives recognize garnering brand awareness and increasing profit shouldn’t come at the expense of their own employees. Modern businesses across all industries have been challenged to adapt and create new ways to deliver positive, effective consumer experiences while also prioritizing employees’ needs.

Adapting for Both Consumers and Employees

At the height of the pandemic, many businesses implemented or expanded services to increase convenience and safety, such as standardizing contactless delivery, and these measures are expected to continue in 2022. As more employees are returning to in-person offices, companies are tasked with developing better experiences and options for both employees and consumers. Workers and customers alike are looking to companies to respond, and many businesses have answered with increased hygiene protocols and dual physical-virtual options to help everyone feel safe.

This adaptability is a necessary component of providing a memorable consumer and employee experience. To set your business up for success and growth this year, focus on balancing the expectations and needs of your employees and consumers. This balance can and should be specific to each brand, but the common goal remains: the future of modern business includes positive experiences for both the consumer and the employee.

How To Revitalize Your Consumer Experiences

Marketing teams ensure that a company’s digital experiences are positive, the right customers are engaged, and tracking is in place. On a broader scale, they are largely responsible for creating effective strategy that benefits the consumer, the employees, and the business as a whole. Your marketing team should not only ensure that your brand messaging is consistent externally, but they should also take steps to engage internal employees. Aligning your internal and external marketing builds trust in your brand at every level. When each member of your business, from in-store customer service to top-level CXOs, understand how marketing decisions reflect company values and mission, your entire business will be focused on common goals and function as a cohesive unit.

To revitalize your company’s marketing strategy and create internal and external alignment, consider incorporating these 2022 trends:

Evaluate your current digital ecosystem.

The pandemic and subsequent lockdowns dramatically increased consumers’ digital interactions with businesses. If it wasn’t already before, managing your presence, community, and two-way communication with your audience on social media should now be viewed as a permanent, important aspect of your company. Focus on creating user experiences that allow consumers to seamlessly interact with your brand across multiple channels and train your employees to provide consistent interactions across these channels. Not sure where to start? Conduct a UX audit on your website to ensure that it’s easy to navigate and your customers can find what they are looking for with little to no friction.

Consider adding new digital products, services, or apps.

Providing creative new digital options to consumers will keep your brand relevant and make your content and services more accessible. But don’t join a new platform just because everyone else is – keep your customer front and center. Where do they want to interact with your brand? How do they find or engage with your product or service? How can you make your digital shelf more user-friendly?

Promote or create subscriptions and auto-renewals.

Quickly solving consumer pain points with great products and services will always be a necessary facet of good business, but modern shoppers are looking for ways to conveniently—and automatically—receive what they need. Automated services are a win-win: consumers can rely on your products, and employees can rely on the revenue.

Integrate VR and AR options.

Delivering heightened customer service and product support via virtual and augmented reality platforms is becoming a key component in creating a great user experience. Offering VR and AR options allows consumers to interact with products from the comfort of their homes.

Supplement customer service with chatbots.

Artificial intelligence advancements, particularly those surrounding natural language processing and sentiment analytics, allow chatbots to better understand user questions and provide quick and precise answers. This not only provides a smoother user experience, but also frees up valuable employee time and resources.