There’s plenty of activity in the digital space: generative AI is changing the way marketers work, consumers are quickly adopting new social media channels and their expectations keep rising. In this environment, customer experience (CX) leaders must learn how to respond effectively to new trends and challenges as they arise.
Dan Gingiss, chief experience officer at The Experience Maker, and Scott Monroe, Director of Product Marketing at Momentive (maker of SurveyMonkey), hosted a webinar to discuss the top challenges CX professionals are facing this year:
- Uncertain economic climate
- New digital trends
- The growing importance of employee experience
In a previous article, we explored how CX leaders are adapting to the current economic landscape. This article will discuss recommendations around the second big-bucket challenge: following digital trends. You can also watch the webinar with Dan Gingiss here.
Companies often feel like they should be doing more. When setting CX strategy for 2023, Gingiss explains the most important thing companies can do is to connect with customers and take their needs seriously.
Recommendation #1: Don’t Chase Shiny Objects
Social media, for one, has seen a lot of change over the past year, with Twitter changing ownership, Meta’s metaverse raising questions and governments investigating TikTok. There’s a lot going on, but Gingiss stressed that companies should focus on the channels that matter most to their customers, rather than trying to excel at every existing and emerging one.
“Some platforms will make it, and some won’t,” Gingiss said. “It’s better to invest in the ones you know have value.”
Cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are digital trends that debuted to great fanfare last year, but saw “scary collapse” down the line, pointing to the profound risks that come with chasing trendy investments. Leaders are also racing to find uses for generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools such as ChatGPT in the workplace, although the technology is still evolving.
Gingiss explained that brands must keep a critical eye on new digital trends without feeling like they need to lead the market or be the first to adopt them. In fact, it’s often better to see what mistakes others in your industry might make before making any moves yourself.
Recommendation #2: Engage With Customers Where They Are
To truly impress customers and focus on the right priorities, meeting them where they are is important. According to Momentive’s The 2022 State of CX Report, many companies had to race to add digital touchpoints during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 49% adding an email channel, 38% adding chatbots and 32% adding in-app/web communication.
Gingiss said that while a lack of communication options for customers is unsurprising, it is a problem. “You should want to talk to your customers as easily as possible…it shows that you actually care, and that you want to do better,” he explained.
Customers who have even slight trouble reaching a company about an issue or concern can easily switch to a competitor, which hurts business and your brand reputation. According to a study from Deloitte, customers tell an average of nine people about a positive experience with a brand, but they tell 16 people about a negative experience.
Recommendation #3: Stay In Tune With Customer Behavior
Customer feedback is a particularly valuable form of communication that companies should encourage to understand their customers’ behaviors better. Specifically, companies need to avoid creating “leaky buckets” of customers.
“The worst customers are the ones who don’t tell you why they leave,” Gingiss said, noting that it prevents companies from implementing changes that prevent further churn. In fact, a study from Microsoft found that 77% of consumers view brands more favorably if they seek out and apply customer feedback.
When companies understand the cause behind even one customer’s poor experience, they can do more than take steps to correct it for just that individual. They can also build an understanding of consumer behavior that can be used to make broader changes needed in their CX strategy.
While this year’s latest trends could present opportunities for companies, they can also be distracting. Leaders can avoid wasting resources, time and money by pursuing them more thoughtfully. In addition, by encouraging — and listening to — authentic customer feedback, companies can determine which endeavors will make the most difference.
Ultimately, companies must keep their CX priorities grounded in reality and focus on strengthening customer relationships to ensure success in 2023.
Learn how Momentive, maker of SurveyMonkey, can help you deliver memorable customer experiences at momentive.ai.