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Top Customer Experience (CX) Trends to Know in 2018

  • 3 July 2017
  • Dean Schmid

The modern buyer’s journey revolves around the customers and their experience can make or break your marketing funnel.

New Voice Media came out with a study that found an estimated $62 billion is lost by U.S. businesses each year following bad customer experiences.

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You might not have the best product in your space, there might be better content offerings out there, and your website doesn’t have to draw eyes like the big brands, but by improving your customer’s experience, you can make people like you and that will drive conversions.

Forrester data shows that while 72% of businesses say improving customer experience is their top priority, only 63% of marketers prioritize implementing technology investments that will help them reach this goal.

This lack of investment and general care about the customer experience means that a motivated company can stand out with a little bit of effort.

Take a look at the top customer experience trends to know in 2017 to see what is and isn’t working.

Top Customer Experience (CX) Trends to Know in 2017

The first thing that you need to know about your customer experience is you probably have it wrong.

It’s okay, everyone does.

“80% of businesses believe they provide excellent customer service, but only 8% of customers agree” Shep Hyken, Forbes. This suggests more than just an inability to provide customer service but that companies are ineffective at collecting data about the customer experience.

Trend #1: Programmatic and Social Approach to The Customer Experience

The rapid adoption of programmatic software and systems is trending in every discipline of sales and marketing, but by automating the customer’s experience companies can provide a personal experience to each and every customer.

Dimension Data reports growth in every digital channel and a 12% decrease in phone volume for mobile customer support. Rather than pick up a phone and be connected to someone in a call centre, customers are communicating with chatbots, communities, virtual agents, live chats, and other web or mobile points of self service.

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Technologies like chatbots, which imitate human conversation to answer questions in real time, can streamline the customer experience. When compared to waiting days for an email response or sitting on hold, it isn’t hard to see why the customer favors them.

A Programmatic approach is also about targeting and specificity. CMO says that RTB solutions are adept at building profiles of your customers and then finding more of them. This gives companies the tools to target content specifically at a customer or account. The goal here is to answer the customer’s question and improve their journey at a content level and programmatic systems are an invaluable tool for doing so.

Trend #2: Personalizing and Automating the Customer Experience

“Metrics, Big Data, and analytics have abstracted how a company treats its customers by automating and mapping a journey from prospect to loyal brand advocate,” says Tom Martin, B2C

Dimension Data’s “Global Contact Center Benchmarking Report” found that personalization of services supported by data analytics is the top trend that will change the call center industry in the next 5 years.

Marketers have started to track everything and record the data with powerful analytic and programmatic software. It isn’t just one thing aspect of marking that this is affecting.

Account based marketing is becoming a refined science were companies target exactly who is interested in their products.

Bidding wars and programmatic advertising are putting the ads that match the user on any of thousands of sites they are potentially viewing.

If it seems like a lot of this is being driven by technology that is because it almost entirely is. Marketers can now track and learn about the customer. We can record the content they have seen, how and where they saw it, and then come up with a strategy to show them content that will drive them individually towards a conversion.

I predict, in the near future, whole websites will rearrange themselves programmatically. Like an automated A/B test but with every aspect of the site. Using analytics and by monitoring engagement an AI could draw from a content pool and just show users what they would be most engaged by.

This completely automated marketing process will just require humans for our creativity, and it won’t be that much longer until algorithms can write better than us, make killer infographics, and we are all out of a job.

Trend #3: Mobile Mobile and Mobile

eMarketer estimates that there were 4.3 billion mobile phone users worldwide in 2016.  If you are still asking if you need to focus on mobile, that is where you customer experience is going wrong.

You need to be asking how best to focus on mobile.

Companies will continue to adopt mobile websites, mobile applications, and use technology that overcomes the limitation of a smaller screen. Time and time again research has shown that if you make something complicated users will click the little red x at the top of the screen and transact with your competitor.

This is especially relevant on a mobile device. If it’s hard with a thumb it won’t be done.

Studies have shown that 32% of consumers will start abandoning slow sites between one and five seconds.

Why is that relevant?

Because we are impatient and impulsive. Most websites will see bounce rates fall somewhere between 26% and 70%. The average bounce rate is around 40% for successful sites.

As you can see, on a mobile device, that rate goes up to 60%. Are mobile users more impatient? Possibly, but the difficulties of navigating on a smaller screen have to play at least a small part, wouldn’t you agree?

If your site is mobile friendly, you can capitalize on this 60% of wondering mobile users looking for a favorable customer journey.

About Dean Schmid