Customer experience will be at the top of the list of priorities for many companies in 2022 (or at least it should be). As we are unfortunately still in the middle of a pandemic, attracting and retaining loyal customers is more important than ever. For this reason it is crucial to understand exactly what your customer needs. With this blog article, we want to provide you an overview of the top customer experience trends (Van Belleghem, 2022) for the new year that may help you to understand your customers even better.
But what exactly is customer experience?
Customer experience can be described as the total experience of a customer during the purchase process. Therefore it is extremely important that customers find what they are looking for with one click. If this is not the case, chances are they will look for it at your competitor. In other words, you may offer great products but if your website is not user-friendly, you will most likely not be able to sell them either.
Top customer experience trends for 2022
Avoid digital inconvenience
As a result of Covid-19, we all started shopping online. However, today we all became accustomed to this adn as a result, the customer expectations are also higher. Consequently,there is absolutely no room for any digital discomfort on the part of consumers. Brands that offer a slow or frustrating website experience to their customers will be severely judged on this in 2022.
Optimizing and continuing to improve this online experience is a work in progress. For example, big players such as Amazon and Bol.com seem to have reached the absolute peak of the online customer experience, but behind the scenes they still seek constant interaction with their customers to find out about their experiences.
So try to make the online customer experience as pleasant as possible and identify frustrations. You can do this by using surveys, reviews, but also by installing a Hotjar tool. With this tool you can find out exactly how the consumer behaves on the website. If you want to learn more about this, be sure to check out this article we wrote earlier!
Love your frustrated customers
As described above, brands that fail to meet customer expectations will be judged accordingly. Recent research showed that one in three previously loyal customers will not remain loyal to a brand after one bad experience. However, here lies a great opportunity for companies to capitalize more on in the new year. Customers who have had a negative experience with your company are the biggest source of information. Ask them about their negative experience and learn from it. This is the only way you can invest in the future.
Would you like to learn more about how best to handle receiving negative feedback? Then be sure to read this article we wrote earlier.
Encourage artificial serendipity
Today, customers have access to seas of information about products both online and offline. We see something online, compare different websites, take a quick trip to the store, etc. As a result, our purchases are often planned and thought out. However, recent research has proven that the random discovery of new products plays a major role in customer satisfaction. Brands that capitalize on these spontaneous discoveries therefore enjoy a greater opportunity to differentiate themselves from their competitors in 2022. An example of this artificial serendipity is the Netflix shuffle button that eliminates the abundance of choice and instead plays a randomly selected show by itself. So try to think out of the box and surprise your customer. The implementation of ‘related products’, ‘you may also like’ or ‘style with’ on the website can certainly add value for many customers. If you prefer to keep the contact with your customer personal, you can also respond to this with personalized e-mails, where you make recommendations based on previous purchasing behavior.
Promote shared interest
As mentioned above, retaining and keeping loyal customers happy is a challenge for many brands. However, it is crucial to continue investing in these customers, as attracting new ones is becoming increasingly expensive. This is a consequence of the increasing competition in the online marketing world, which makes the cost of attracting a potential customer to the website increase month by month. As soon as you have been able to conquer a new customer, as a company you have to do everything to turn this customer into a loyal customer. According to experts, a shift in loyalty will take place in 2022. Companies should become more loyal to their customers instead of customers becoming more loyal to companies. Currently, many loyalty programs are quite unbalanced. For example, it often provides more value to the company than to the customer. For this reason, in 2022, companies should focus more on creating a positive sum game.
For example, consider reforming the traditional points system. Today, customers save for days, weeks or even months for a reward. In return, they then often receive a reward in the form of a discount coupon or free goodie. However, it would be more interesting for both parties to treat customers as ambassadors. For example, the point system can be reformed to a system whereby writing a review earns 2 points, but writing a review with a photo can earn 10 points. This system can be expanded as desired, but is beneficial to both the customer and the company in question.
Become a partner in the life of the customer
You have to ask yourself, how can you as a brand, add value in the life of the consumer. After all, every customer has hopes, dreams, fears values and standards. Consumers are more likely to buy from brands that closely align with their own values. It is therefore important to think about where you position yourself as a brand and how you want to and can add value in the life of the customer.
The emergence of Metaverse was one of the biggest novelties in the digital landscape of 2021. Metaverse is an online network of virtual worlds where the user, often represented by avatars, can interactively look around and interact with others. In the metaverse, people can meet, for example, to get to know each other, network, learn new skills, build relationships, provide products and services, collaborate, relax, game, shop and consume. Although that virtual reality technology around the metaverse is not yet optimal, companies should already start thinking about their strategy to make marketing happen within metaverse. Large fashion retailers will probably respond to this by, for example, launching a virtual collection, architects could design customized rooms for people to enjoy in the metaverse,…. The possibilities are truly endless. Despite the fact that the emergence of metaverse is not yet immediately for tomorrow, companies that are already trying to understand associated technologies before they become mainstream will enjoy a big advantage over their competitors.
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