The rules of customer experience (CX) have changed dramatically in the last year as a result of the global pandemic. The things that mattered most to consumers are significantly different than they were back in early 2020, and businesses that cannot continue to meet customer expectations will inevitably become obsolete in the volatile global markets of today.
Unfortunately, no brand is immune to the negative impacts that the pandemic has had on the global market. Even the bigger, well-established brands will need to fine-tune or rebuild their CX operations to retain their customers.
Any CX realignment needs to be based on a solid understanding of customer needs and changing behaviors. In addition to tracking sentiment, organizations must also think about building CX programs that can monitor and navigate customer vulnerability and encourage empathy for the customer experience.
Underpinning all of this is the need for organizations to have access to a robust customer insight gathering platform to help shape their CX offering.
The shifting focus of CX
Like never before, organizations are obligated to understand the needs, anxieties, and vulnerabilities of their customers.
A recent study from McKinsey shows the impact of being out of step with customers in today’s uncertain market. The study states that as many as 75% of customers have tried new brands and new ways of shopping as a result of the pandemic. This shows how important it is for brands to have a highly responsive CX program in place, one which encourages companies to engage in a two-way dialogue with their customers.
The rewards for understanding the needs of your customers can be huge. For instance, according to research by Gallup, those brands that can deliver on their promises and engage customers see a 23% uplift in revenue and customer relationship growth. Outstanding CX operations have a huge role to play in shaping the future of a business in the current climate.
Video insight is a good starting point
Building robust CX operations needs to start with a thorough understanding of your customer’s pain points. Investing in technology to do this will save your business time and resources in the long run, and in current circumstances, could in some cases be the difference between obsoletion and survival.
Traditional means of customer insight gathering such as feedback surveys are a good start for many companies when it comes to informing what a CX program should look like. However, a world that demands that we know more about our customers than ever before requires us to dig deeper.
Encouraging customers to leave feedback via video is by far the most effective and efficient way of gathering insight and data on customer opinions and behaviors. When analyzed using technologies like AI, machine learning and natural language processing, a much deeper understanding of customers can be unlocked via video. In essence, the use of such technologies can uncover deep-seated emotions, anxieties, and needs that a customer may not articulate through their responses to standard survey questions.
We’re no longer living in the era of the shy consumer. The surge of video-first social media platforms is contributing to society becoming increasingly more comfortable in front of the camera. In addition, mobile devices have put cameras in everyone’s pockets. Now companies are not only able to both see and hear their customers' thoughts and feelings, --say, as they consume their product or service for the first time--they’re also able to analyze all of the data that video provides, including speech, emotion, sentiment and even object recognition.
This approach to customer insight gathering has certainly gained momentum, particularly in the last year, and will underpin and enhance CX in 2021 and beyond.
Implementing ‘fit for purpose’ CX
It’s imperative that brands be finely attuned and responsive to customer feedback or risk losing them altogether. As even the biggest global companies know, customer loyalty is hard-won but easily lost.
Forward-looking businesses will have learned the lessons of the last twelve months and will be using the very latest in feedback technology to use every customer interaction to optimize sales in a way that is more empathetic and considerate of the overall brand experience. As we’ve already seen, the rewards for taking this approach have the potential to be huge for those businesses that get it right as we move towards a vastly repurposed global economy.