In today’s digital landscape, customer experience (CX) is much more than just customer service. It includes every touchpoint a customer has with your company, whether it’s the moment of discovery, your company’s reputation, or the way they discuss their experience on social media. Therefore, offering a great customer experience in this day and age means having a thorough understanding of consumer needs, customer personas, and buyers’ journeys. If CX hasn’t been on your radar until now, it’s time to implement it in order to bolster overall satisfaction and sales growth for your business.
Here are three key customer experience trends to help you get started:
Consumers expect a highly personalized shopping experience and prefer when brands tailor their experience to their wants and needs. However, despite these expectations, the vast majority of consumers are disappointed with the ongoing lack of personalization in their shopping experiences. In fact, Segment’s State of Personalization report found that more than 70 percent of consumers express some level of frustration when their experience is impersonal.
In order to improve personalization on all fronts, retailers are using unique tactics to capture customer information that they can leverage in the future, including forms of digital signage. For example, Farfetch’s Store of the Future allows businesses to collect customer data while browsing inside the store. In the fitting room, smart mirror technology enables shoppers to request different sizes, colors, or items. The customer’s information and shopping habits are then stored in Farfetch’s database so the company can later access information about that customer’s personal style, previous purchases, and browsing history.
When collecting and utilizing customer data, it’s important to ensure the safe keeping of this critical information. Though consumers value personalized experiences, they also value privacy and the safety of their personal information. According to an Accenture study, 87 percent of consumers believe it’s important for companies to safeguard their information. Luckily for today’s retail companies, cloud-based data management has become a much easier process, with solutions like Oracle’s autonomous database, offering increased levels of automation and less need for human intervention.
In general, today’s consumers don’t like to wait. Whether they’re waiting for a website to load, a response to their emails or chat questions, or anything else, they expect their problems to be the top priority for the businesses they interact with. Given the current landscape of mobile technologies, it’s clear why this is the case. With smartphones and other mobile devices, consumers have immediate access to anything available on the Internet.
However, if businesses don’t satisfy consumers’ needs as quickly as possible, they lose revenue based on a customer’s initial impression of them, before any actual exchanges take place. For example, according to Neil Patel, 47 percent of visitors expect a website to load in just under 2 seconds, and 40 percent of them will leave if it takes more than 3 seconds. Speed and convenience are some of the biggest factors affecting customers. Failure to meet these standards will put a great deal of strain on your bottom line.
Digital signage is being used to provide instant gratification to consumers in modern-day shopping malls. In order to compete with online purchasing, malls have to use effective integration with digital technology to provide solutions to drive consumers to make purchases quickly . Digital signage, acting as virtual mapping of one form or another, allows consumers to gain insights quickly and efficiently. In what could otherwise be a complex and confusing situation, digital signage offers consumers a streamlined experience for traditional, brick-and-mortar shopping.
In tandem with consumers’ “need for speed” in the modern shopping experience, they also prefer to complete their transactions on their own. It’s not surprising that shoppers have gravitated toward self-service retail technologies. An increasing number of retailers have begun to embrace smart, mobile, and automated checkout systems. In today’s busy world, it makes logical sense that customers would prefer such self-service technology to quickly process their purchases.
In fact, SOTI’s most recent Annual Connected Retailer Survey revealed that 73 percent of shoppers prefer retail self-service technologies over engaging with store associates, a 10.6 percent increase over last year.
McDonald’s began incorporating touchscreen digital signage fixtures for self-ordering in 2018 and plans to bring them to every location by 2020. Self-ordering kiosks allow consumers to quickly enter the restaurant, place their order, and get their food without ever interacting with one of the restaurant’s employees. The kiosk initiative is part of McDonald’s quest to adapt to changing consumer preferences, in which they are also exploring options for mobile ordering and delivery.
As CX continues to evolve over time, it’s vital for businesses to stay up-to-date with the preferences and expectations of the modern consumer. Businesses must consider aspects of the customer journey including personalization, instant gratification, and self-service in order to cater to the needs of their customers and get ahead of the competition.