The Customer Experience: Key Trends to Watch in 2021

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The Customer Experience: Key Trends to Watch in 2021
by Anastasiia Dyshkant

 

2020 was a defining year for customers in both buying behavior and customer experience trends.  Statistics show, 59% of consumers care MORE about customer experience when deciding what company to support or buy from (up from 38% pre-COVID.) In other words, customer experience will define success and dictate behavior in 2021.

 

 

customer experience trends

 

 

What is customer experience?

 

Customer experience is the perception of your clients of how a company or brand serves them. CX is crucial to so many businesses, as it influences their behavior and creates memories or emotions which drive their loyalty. In other words, a happy customer will convert to a buyer and recommend you to others.

 

 

2021 Customer experience trends

 

 

Contactless and Self-Service 

 

customer experience trends

 

 

Over the last year, Contactless experience went from innovative to standard operating procedure. Today, the DMV provides temperature sensors for self-service, and the restaurant industry replaced menus with QR codes on tables. 

 

Oracle and Skift conducted a detailed report on post-Covid travel preferences noting 35% of customers would be more comfortable staying at a hotel with contactless payment.  Along with temperature checks, smartphone keys, and kiosk check-in, customers prefer the option to stay “socially distant” with travel experiences. In fact, 73% of hotel managers believe that self-service will be increasingly crucial for guests.

 

 

Telehealth 

 

customer experience trends

 

 


Throughout 2020 we saw healthcare transition to office visits, home health care, and consultations virtually. By 2025, telehealth is expected to account for 25 % of healthcare.

According to doctor.com, 60% of patients want to make an appointment online without sacrificing quality customer service. Like retail, healthcare must invest in the design and execution of patient experiences that enable a seamless transition digitally while remaining HIPAA compliant. 

 

Value proposition

Investment in a corporate culture that will operationalize your belief system is key.

In fact, 71% of clients believe companies that have demonstrated more concern and empathy this year have earned more loyalty over time, according to Salesforce research.

 

 

Multi-channel servicing 

 

multichannel

 

 

Companies interact with their customers across multiple channels, including website, live chat, social media, and more. Yet, their voice and level of service should remain consistent. 

 

For example, wherever a customer may visit an IKEA store, the standard of service remains the same. IKEA opened more stores this year than ever, invested in their home delivery network, and launched a brand new app – all for the good of their customers. It’s this level of execution that drives more companies to invest in an omnichannel experience.

 

 

Mobile customer experience

 

customer experience trends

 

 

Mobile customer support is critical: a bad mobile experience will significantly harm your brand perception among consumers. 

 

For instance, 57% of consumers would not recommend a company with a poorly designed mobile website. And if a website isn’t mobile-friendly, 50% of clients will avoid visiting it even if they like the business. While 84% of businesses claim to be customer-focused on mobile support, an overwhelming 90% of customers report having a poor experience searching for customer support on mobile devices.

 

According to Stat Counter, 52% of all internet traffic now comes from mobile, with desktop usage on a trending decline.

 

 

Chatbots and automation

 

customer experience trends

 

 

Chatbots offer quicker responses to their questions when consumers need to reach out, thus reducing overhead for frontline agents at the same time. Modern chatbots triage problems, route clients, and even answer routine questions. 

 

The business effect is impressive: businesses using chatbots are 60% more likely to report a definite improvement in resolution times and 30% more likely to report customer satisfaction.  On average, 38% of customer questions gain an immediate response, saving more than 800 hours to date for their team and more than 1,000 hours for their customers.

 

 

Final Note

 

Empathy to the customer and your team is vital in 2021. Consistent communication through all channels and an aware approach to business is critical for success in today’s unique market.