Customer Experience Digital Trends to be Aware of Right Now

The Joy of CX: Keeping Your Customers Satisfied

Customer Experience (CX) – brings together everything that influences and defines a customer’s views, feelings and relationships around your brand and business.

CX is there at every interaction, and at every stage of your customers’ dealings with your organisation. Often it’s down to the careful planning, design and creation of digital products like websites, apps and films. Powering these assets: solid strategy, plus the thoughtful UI and UX that underpin excellent customer journeys.

Get Customer Experience right and you’ll be delivering what customers want – when and how they want it. By extension, you’ll be giving revenue, loyalty and recommendations a serious boost too. So it’s an area of business that’s essential to focus on.

Discover 2022’s Hot-to-Trot CX Trends

In this Hookson blog we’ll look at the hot CX trends to know about – and act upon. So prepare for a trip to the multichannel environment. The customer-pleasing benefits of personalisation. The role of AI. And some more surprising CX-associated topics including environmental issues and the role of empathy.

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.

Beyond Products

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.

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.

CX Trend #3: It’s the Environment, Stupid: Authentic Green Credentials

The global demonstrations seen in response to Glasgow’s COP26 event – one that saw world leaders converge and thrash out environmental policies and promises – indicates the strength of feeling allied to environmental concerns. These are responses that will only gather pace

Climate change is recognised as both a fact and an existential threat. Subsequently, consumers are looking favourably towards businesses demonstrating genuine care for the environment. Consequently, greenwashing is now part of the lexicon, and for customers any empty, vague or unsubstantiated promises in areas like product sourcing, resource use and polluting practices will no longer cut it.

Communicating Credentials

Aligned to CX, brands making a big splash about – and this is the kicker – authentic efforts in this area will be the winners.

Look at retail brand Patagonia. Online, its Activism pages communicate the brand’s environmental credentials and the steps the business is taking to become greener still. For customers looking out for these stories and pledges, this of course provides a heightened experience and connection.


CX Trend #4: Personalisation and Customisation

Connected closely to the experience component of customer experience, personalisation and customisation is a CX trend that’s flourishing.

Netflix demonstrated an example of this when the streaming giant’s research revealed that 80% of users’ viewing choices sprang from the company’s recommendations. These heads-ups were of course powered by data and smart AI which together constructed an accurate picture of what each user would likely wish to watch.

Customer Experience in Action

For the customer it’s a story with a happy ending: precisely the correct products offered at the right time in the right space. That’s kind of a definition of outstanding CX in action. Spotify offers a similar experience, uncannily matching customers to ideal playlists and artists.

Personalisation applies to physical products too of course, and a cool and elegant example comes from jewellery-maker Monica Vinader. An email campaign saw recipients receiving mailshots whose exquisitely photographed gemstone pendants and bracelets displayed the recipient’s monogrammed initial. That created an emotional connection and truly surprising, shareabale and personalised CX.

The Best Experience Possible

Lastly, personalising the theme park experience, Disney rubbed on its magic lamp and has introduced the Disney Genie Service. Maybe it’s not the most dynamic name for an app, but the company’s innovation makes magicking up a personalised itinerary a walk in the park. Presented as a kind of pocket-sized friend, the app translates user-entered information to deliver to visitors the very best experience possible.

CX Trend #5: Video Driving Customer Engagement Further

With the pandemic grounding consumers like never before, video stepped forward as a powerful tool for customer engagement.

TikTok, which Hookson looked at in a recent blog, and Instagram Reels, both rose to prominence alongside YouTube as locations where brands could express their values and showcase products and services. For customers, they experienced these businesses in new and authentic ways.


A clever example of this trend in action comes from a Netflix promotion for new survival-themed show You vs Wild. The programme’s interactive video harnesses YouTube’s video embed feature to give viewers options to accept or decline a (pre-recorded) FaceTime call from show host Bear Grylls.

Without doubt, video will continue this dazzling march. And the smartest CX players will exploit the medium’s power to connect meaningfully and memorably, and to contribute to a deeper and wider customer experience.

CX Trend #6: Subscription Services Delivering the Goods

We’ve touched upon two of the world’s most successful subscription-based businesses already: Netflix and Spotify. And the subscription model, now applied to products and services as diverse as meal kits and software, wine and fitness services, is a CX trend that’s here to stay.

This is a model that seems purpose-built for the delivery of excellent customer experience. Its recurring nature provides opportunities to impress at regular intervals, and to build a meaningful connection.

A Logical Step

It’s a type of business that feels very ‘now’ too. With movement still compromised, and with consumers very much on board with home deliveries, subscriptions to goods and services previously bought in the moment, are perhaps a logical step.

For the customer, convenience and a comforting predictability characterise these transactions. And it’s these factors above all that contribute to outstanding CX.

The smartest CX players will exploit video’s power to connect meaningfully and memorably, and to contribute to a deeper and wider customer experience.

CX Trend #7: Empathy Leading to First-Rate CX Moments

And speaking of humans, a perhaps-surprising keyword summarises another CX trend, and it is this: empathy.

Of course, empathy isn’t a mere keyword at all; it’s a valuable ability to understand another’s feelings or position. Where it fits into CX is the realisation by HR departments that by tapping into what’s important to employees – their values, and what they care about – deeper connections grow as a businesses’ culture shapes itself to fit.

Big Questions

Covid led many workers to reassess aspects of their lives – including their job – and to ask themselves big questions about what really mattered to them. ‘The Great Resignation’, also known as ‘The Big Quit’ – as well as being terrific names for bands – saw, according to Microsoft research, 40% of global employees seriously considering resigning. That rightly spooked business, and those responsible for Human Resources.

Values-First Engagement

An example of where empathy might positively disrupt a business could be seen in a contact centre where hard targets and efficiency-at-all-costs are in the driving seat. If agents value autonomy and personal responsibility, the centre’s culture and its employees are in opposition. The result: unhappy staff. Low retention. High training costs. And – you guessed it – a poorer experience for customers.

On the flipside, the emerging trend in engaging values-first with employees can deliver the opposite: higher retention. Happier employees. Greater productivity and motivation. And significantly improved CX.


CX Trend #8: AI Refining CX

To customers already warm to the idea of self-service and solving problems, AI is a CX winner. Artificial intelligence has loads to offer Customer Experience and is busy powering the CX landscape:

  • Actionable data is ensuring super-relevant digital ads reach customers
  • Sophisticated chatbots are providing right-first-time answers and services
  • Search results are becoming more and more personalised
  • Shoppers are benefitting from the very best in-the-moment pricing
  • Proactive customer service is anticipating – then solving – problems

The value of the actionable data at the heart of these benefits is well know and certainly understood. In terms of this CX trend, gathering such insight will allow enterprises to continue satisfying and delighting customers at every level of an interaction or transaction.


Let’s Work Together to Achieve Outstanding CX

At Hookson, all of our digital products are created to help ensure the very best customer experiences. So if you’re looking to stand out from the crowd by delighting your customers, let’s begin the conversation.