Did you know that companies that focus on improving their customer experience strategies grow revenue 4% to 8% higher than their competition? This is just one of the reasons why you need to concentrate on improving the experience of your own customers. Rather than delivering services and goods that they expect at the time of purchase, delight them!

Customer experience is constantly growing and evolving as tech takes a larger role. In order to stay ahead of your competition, you need to be aware of the latest trends.   

With this in mind, read on to learn the top five custom experience trends of 2021 and how you can utilize them in your own business! 

What is Customer Experience? 

Customer experience is the experience customers have of your brand overall. Many people use the terms customer service and customer experience interchangeably. However, we view “customer experience” as the larger umbrella term over more specific strategies. Here are some factors that can affect a customer’s experience of your business: 

  • The people they interact with
  • The final service or product they pay for
  • The user experience of your website
  • Product delivery and turnaround time
  • And more

You can see how there’s no endpoint when you’re striving for a better digital customer experience. There will always be areas of your business that you can improve upon in order to keep customers happy. The trick is to make customer experience a part of your daily processes, creating a culture of the “customer comes first” mentality.   

2021 Customer Experience Trends

Beyond taking frequent surveys and polls, keeping up with the latest digital customer experience trends and behavior trends is an effective way to ensure that your business has an edge over the competition. Here are some of the most common trends we’re seeing today: 

1. Contactless Options

Do you own a brick-and-mortar store? If so, you’ve probably already discovered that self-service and contactless options are important for the survival of your business. With the pandemic still in full swing, many states aren’t allowing certain industries to open fully without contactless options for customers.

Businesses are also finding that some customers prefer the shopping experience of contactless, curbside delivery. Quick, self-service check-ins via easy to reach kiosks are also a boon. 

Brands that have physical properties need to continue striving for fully contactless solutions. This may mean incorporating new software and technologies into the daily workflow, such as emailed receipts and NFC card readers. 

2. Websites and Apps

Websites and apps never lost their importance, but they’ve gained even more importance during the pandemic year. People are using brand’s websites and apps more than ever before in order to shop, book reservations, contact customer service, and more. Your business needs to focus on creating a seamless user experience that cuts down on loading times and utilizes web design. 

Customers that prefer physically shopping in a store are now utilizing websites in order to make sure products are in stock or use curbside delivery. Consider your customer’s shopping experience and how you can make it faster through your website. 

3. Relationships and Empathy 

Everyone is living through an unprecedented time in history. We’ve all been either directly or indirectly impacted by the pandemic in some way.

With this in mind, it’s even more important for brands to incorporate empathy into communications. Relationship-building can boost the customer experience journey no matter the industry. 

This means being open and transparent about what your company is doing in order to improve their experience. New cleanliness standards and precautions should be well-communicated so that your customers know their health and comfort is also your priority.

When it comes to trends in customer experience, we’ve noticed over time that there is always a push towards more transparency and relationships. Make this your year of reaching out to current and potential customers on a more emotional level. 

4. Interactive Marketing

With the prevalence of social media and more emphasis put on relationships, there has been a rise in video marketing. With more people spending time indoors, they’re more likely to interact and engage with quality content that entertains and informs. Focus on creating content that encourages uses to interact. 

For instance, this can be as simple as Instagram stories with quizzes that allow users to choose what kind of color combination of a product they like the best. Hone your content marketing strategies on short-form videos that tell a story and enable users to engage with them in some way. 

5. Customer Data Management

Ever since the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica data scandal of 2018, people are warier about data collection than ever before.  This scandal brought to light the stolen personal data of millions of Facebook users, leading to Facebook paying a hefty fine of $5 billion in 2019.

You can’t build solid relationships with customers without a foundation of trust. The easiest way to do this is to be as transparent as possible about how their data is being protected.

Focus on responsible data practices and governance strategies. You’ll be steering your brand away from another potential scandal and boosting your trustworthiness at the same time. 

DCX Trends: Staying on the Leading Edge in 2021 

Researching the latest customer experience trends and adapting them to your brand won’t stop. Although it may seem overwhelming, an emphasis placed on customer experience will allow you to create daily strategies that enable you to keep your customers at the top of mind.

For instance, you can automate surveys and polls after purchases are delivered in order to see how your customers’ buying experience was overall. You’ll also be “future-proofing” your brand as more emphasis is placed on responsive websites, contactless services, and more. Ready for more ways to stay ahead of competitors? Keep reading our blog for more tips and tricks!