Companies are no longer just focused on gaining market share, but on customer preferences. Successful customer retention strategies are therefore the focus of most marketing departments today.
Global technology company Zoho identified five digital customer engagement trends that businesses can leverage to not only meet customer expectations but also gain competitive advantage.
The concept of customer experience (CX) is constantly evolving, forcing companies to be more flexible and offer customers an optimal interface to interact with their brand and strengthen loyalty. What was true at the beginning of the year may already be outdated today. Therefore, Zoho advises companies to adapt their CX strategy with the following five trends:
- Don't lose sight of employee experience
When employees feel comfortable, it direct impacts the customer experience, because happy employees are more productive and efficient. To establish a positive employee experience (EX), companies can make various adjustments, including onboarding processes, organizational culture, work environment, leadership and the software tools provided.
In particular, the implementation of user-friendly and flexible tools that grow with the company contributes to a positive EX. In addition, cloud software solutions should be tailored as precisely as possible to the respective tasks of the employees. Many solutions, especially in the CRM area, offer extensive personalization options for end customers, but only a few allow this for the actual user. This can sometimes come at the expense of productivity. To create the best possible experience for your own employees, not only does training play an important role, but also flexible and intuitive interface designs and the ability to adapt to the different requirements within a team.
- Hyper-personalization is becoming the norm
Customers have long since gotten used to being addressed by their name in emails or receiving personal messages on their birthday. Nobody is impressed by that anymore. Instead, they expect a highly personalized experience every time they engage with a brand, making modern CX platforms with advanced AI and data analytics capabilities a must. By interpreting real-time customer data – such as website behavior, search results, purchase history, active times, and past interactions – businesses can gain a deeper understanding of customer needs and hyper-personalize experiences. This can range from customizing the website based on customer activity to intelligent product recommendations. However, hyper-personalization must not come at the expense of privacy, as the next point explains.
- Privacy is a must
As customers share more personal data in exchange for highly personalized experiences, data security and privacy are more important than ever. Companies that guarantee the integrity of customer data not only ensure a good reputation, but also the loyalty of their customers, and thus create a solid basis for growth.
The most important data protection measures include:
- Options to adapt the opt-in workflows to the respective country standards.
- Use tools that comply with globally recognized data security and privacy standards.
- Notify customers quickly in the event of a data breach and be transparent about how the company is handling it.
- In-house training on data management is as important as choosing the right platform, so keep your staff updated on a regular basis.
- Consistent communication across different platforms and channels
When companies don't unify interaction channels, the result is a siloed customer experience without context. Hence, the magic word is omnichannel. It's not just about being present on different channels like social media, email, or live chat, but also about providing smooth and continuous experiences there. Teams need to be able to switch channels quickly and pick up conversations where another channel left off, as this is the key to stronger customer relationships.
- A shared vision for everyone involved
A good customer experience does not depend on a single department, but on cross-functional teamwork. To create positive interactions throughout the lifecycle of a customer relationship, all departments must work together in a well-coordinated manner and leverage an innovative technology platform. Centralizing customer data and facilitating collaboration are key to realizing this shared vision. The possibilities and ways of contacting customers are usually very diverse, so the tools used in each case must be able to standardize and process these journeys.
By considering these trends when planning their CX strategy, companies can better meet customer expectations and create real competitive advantages.