Forecasting changes and anticipating the needs of customers is an important part of your marketing and sales strategy each year. Trends tend to indicate what direction industries will move, and analysing those trends means that your business can deliver what your customers want.

  • Customers Will Walk Away Faster

Customers are less tolerant of poor service. When they have bad service experiences, they are quick to walk away. Customers have access to at-hand information and are willing to  find the companies and brands that meet – or exceed – their expectations. A recent study by Gladly shows that 84{d1a1694403c5660430dc420b8f142668f13097a51a1c1fc172179b975fdf78b3} of customers will switch to a competitor after 3 poor customer service experiences, and 17{d1a1694403c5660430dc420b8f142668f13097a51a1c1fc172179b975fdf78b3} will switch after just 1 poor experience.

  • Omni-Channel Will Become Omnipresent

Omnichannel access is a must. Customers wanting to connect with a company will search on their smartphone, then research on their laptop and maybe complete a transaction on their PC. When a customer wants to connect with a company, they will reach for the method of communication that is closest and most convenient. It could be an app on a smartphone, emailing, texting, messaging, social media and more – including a landline. The Northridge Group’s “State of Customer Service Experience 2019” report indicates that while the phone is still the most frequently used channel of communication, the preference for digital channels, such as online chat and email, is increasing. Alternative ways to communicate – multiple ways – continue to grow.

  • Customers Will Be Smarter This Year

Trends continue to indicate that customers are educating themselves before making purchases. Customers’ expectations for service and CX are set by the best brands. Customers are comparing businesses with their direct competitors, and that includes the best service they have received from anyone, anywhere. The gap between customers’ expectations and the reality of service is widening for some companies.

  • Smart Devices Will Be Improved and Customers Will Use Them More

The convenience of using voice command to perform simple daily tasks is improving. ‘Alex, please ring home.’ ‘Siri, preorder my coffee please.’ Customers are using voice command to research businesses, find convenient services and create more time in a busy schedule. If your online service or business is not voice-command responsive, you are not going to attract customers; it’s that simple.    

  • Convenience Takes CX to Another Level

The easier-to-do-business-with companies have been disrupting competitors and, in some cases, industries. More companies are recognising the power of convenience to drive repeat business and customer loyalty. It is expected that more companies and brands will find ways to create unique customer experiences, which is what customers want.

  • AI Customer Support Will Improve 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to improve. In customer support, AI fuels self-service in the form of IVRs and chatbots interacting with customers. While sometimes these services can be frustrating, AI will improve. AI will better understand languages which will improve customer support services. AI can be used to support customer services agents by providing relevant information about a customer’s past purchases, prior support calls, buying behaviours and more.