CX Trend #1: Multichannel Commerce
Multi-channel servicing – which sees consumers accessing products, information and services via numerous routes – was on the rise pre-pandemic. But when Covid hit, it of course wiped the floor with physical stores and interactions. That hurried-in digital processes across social media platforms, apps and websites.
A First-Rate Experience
Now, even as bricks tentatively makes a comeback, clicks are only going to grown in take-up. For the CX-savvy organisation, the challenge will therefore be in providing a first-rate experience whether business is happening in-store or online. That’s because customers are becoming increasingly channel-agnostic: happy to engage in different ways, but with an expectation of a consistently excellent and connected attention to service.
Opportunities are there for enterprises to lead the way, to ensure an omnichannel experience that customers will delight in.
Apple’s Core Channels
Apple provided a fine example of an omnichannel approach when it conceded that its own website, and the sites of third-party vendors, were where sales were predominantly happening. So Apple reimagined its physical stores as locations for experiences: product demos, and expertise: tech support and education.
Sales could still be made at the stores of course, but customers not quite ready to commit could go on to complete a purchase online and via the app, with both digital channels retaining the interactions made in-store. Connecting every touchpoint: consistently excellent CX offered information, advice, engagement and understanding.
CX Trend #2: Agile, Responsive Instant Gratification
You might consider yourself a patient person. But how long would you really be happy waiting to say transfer cash between two bank accounts? And how much time would you spend searching a company’s website for a specific piece of information?
It may be shorter than you think. But don’t worry, it’s not that you’re a horrid person. It’s just that as customers our expectations are aligning with what apps and innovators are making possible.
The notion of instant gratification is a big CX trend that’s here to stay. Examples include:
Same-day delivery – Sometimes measured in minutes. Businesses from chemists to supermarkets, chain stores to grocers are turbo-charging dispatches. And somewhat inevitably, many enterprises are harnessing innovators like Uber and Deliveroo to get products to our doorsteps double-quick.
Click & Collect – See it. Want it. Get it. Click & Collect emphatically taps into and satisfies our desire for in-the-moment purchases – experiences throughout which we are calling the shots.
Instant visualisation – Saying ta-ta to the tester pot, AI-driven apps can show us how that spare bedroom, before we get the dust sheets out, will look in canary-yellow (prior to deciding that magnolia isn’t quite so bad after all). Take a look at just such an innovation from Dulux
The CX genie of instant gratification is out of the bottle, although it’s worth noting that right now it’ll be doing battle with well-reported shortages of materials from microchips to lumber, vinyl records to aluminium cans.
Another arena allied to instant gratification is service. Here, smart businesses can ensure websites offer a first-time-search solution. That bots and apps deliver the questions and responses that shorten the distance from query to resolution. And that human agents are trained, and have the tools, to quickly deliver outstanding CX.