Customer experience can be hard to measure with a KPI or a specific metric, but it has an outstanding impact on whether your customers are happy with and loyal to your brand.
It's important to be mindful of trends in the space so you can quickly adapt your strategy to the latest industry insights and create a beloved customer experience.
While the concept of customer experience is timeless, the research being conducted on it is still fairly new. Every year, new studies reveal insights into important trends that are influencing businesses across the world. To some, these statistics may feel like conversational fun facts, but in actuality, they can help your customer service team capitalize on timely opportunities to improve customer experience.
If your team is looking to stay up-to-date on the latest trends occurring in customer service, consolidating your information is a great way to start. Below, we unpack a list of customer experience statistics and trends that your company should pay attention to for 2022.
Customer Experience Statistics
- 66% of customers expect companies to understand their needs.
- Customers will spend more for a good experience.
- Customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies that aren't.
- Business leaders agree that prioritizing worker happiness gives companies a competitive advantage and makes it easier to retain talent.
Here are some stats that we're paying attention to for this upcoming year.
1. 66% of customers expect companies to understand their needs.
Understanding the customer's needs is a common challenge for many businesses and studies show that this will become a make-or-break benchmark for most companies. Salesforce surveyed over 6,000 consumers and found that 66% of them expected companies to understand their needs and expectations. In addition, 82% of survey respondents expect retailers to be able to accommodate their preferences and meet their expectations. This doesn't leave very much wiggle room for your marketing and customer service strategy to fail.
If you want to deliver a sound customer experience, then it's imperative that you create a customer-centric company that is focused on fulfilling customer needs.
2. Customers will spend more if they know they’ll receive excellent service.
Have you ever been loyal to a brand that sells products that are more expensive than its competitors? If so, then you're probably hooked on the customer experience and are willing to pay more for a brand that you trust. Rather than switching to a competitor, you know that this company's products and services are perfect for your specific needs.
And, you're not alone, either. Research shows that one in four customers are willing to pay up to 10% more in almost every industry if they know they’ll receive excellent customer service. Once you build rapport and earn their trust, it becomes difficult for a competitor to win them over. They either need to match your company's offer or hope you provide a negative experience that drives customers away.
Customers are also more likely to do business with you again after a mistake if you provide excellent service, so having that as an end goal is always important, even if there are roadblocks along the way.
3. Customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies that aren't.
Customer-centric companies are more profitable because they can leverage customer service as both an acquisition and retention tool. For example, if your company has good online reviews, you can promote them as a way to attract more leads. As the graph below shows, customers trust reviews the most from fellow customers, family, and friends when learning about a new product or service.
In terms of customer retention, reviews can be used to keep customers loyal as well. If you have a negative service experience, you can send the customer a satisfaction survey to see where exactly things went wrong. Once you collect feedback, your team can then reach back out to the customer and provide the solution they were hoping for. This gives your team another chance to resolve the situation and prevent potential churn.
4. Business leaders agree that prioritizing worker happiness gives companies a competitive advantage and makes it easier to retain talent.
A report conducted by Indeed revealed that, of the 1,073 business leaders surveyed, the majority agreed that prioritizing employee happiness provides a competitive advantage (87%) and makes it easier to retain top talent (96%).
But while three-quarters of executives surveyed report employee expectations around happiness in the workplace have risen in the last five years, 19% of companies have made it a strategic priority.
These executives strategize for the business and make key operational decisions that guide the company. However, their day-to-day experience doesn't often confront them with many customer interactions or opportunities for feedback.
Frontline employees like customer service reps engage with the customer daily, making them valuable resources when researching the customer's journey. They're constantly engaging with new customers and gathering customer reviews in everyday workflow. Executives and upper management should be craving their feedback when looking for new ways to improve the customer and employee experience.
The statistics above indicate some larger patterns that are emerging this year in the customer experience field. These trends present timely opportunities for companies to capitalize on the most pressing customer needs. Here are a few customer experience trends that we're monitoring for 2022.
Customer Experience Trends
- Widespread adoption of chatbots.
- Improved Personalization.
- Omnichannel experiences.
- Securing customer data.
- Continued investment in customer loyalty.
1. Widespread adoption of chatbots.
For growing companies, one of the biggest challenges facing their customer service teams is handling increases in customer support calls and emails. It can be difficult for these teams to expand their bandwidth without hiring additional employees to operate their support channels.
Chatbots ease a lot of that pressure. While these bots can’t replace the job of a human rep, they can answer quick and simple questions that save time for both the customer and the company. Considering that:
- 48% of customers already feel comfortable with interactions managed by bots,
- 71% of customers say they would be happy to use a bot if it improved the customer experience,
- And 7!% of survey respondents expect brands to already offer support over messaging,
The adoption of chatbots to improve the customer experience is worthwhile. The amount of messaging tickets are also up across all different live chat channels, so consider where your audiences are already at, and implement a chatbot where it makes the most sense for your business.
2. Improved personalization.
Initiating support interactions by greeting customers by their name or sending an email on their birthday are valuable personalization strategies, but consumers nowadays want more. They expect the businesses they spend money on to provide personalized experiences in all of the ways they engage with you, like suggesting products based on their purchase history or learning from their website behaviors.
Overall, they want you to have an understanding of who they are, what they stand for, and why they do business with you. You can leverage this trend by collecting customer data and analyzing their interactions and metrics to get meaningful insights that help you provide the experience they desire.
70% of consumers say that they’re highly likely to purchase exclusively from brands that understand them and their needs, so practicing personalization will pay off for your business. In addition, 82% of survey respondents expect retailers to be able to accommodate their preferences and meet their expectations.
3. Omni-channel experiences.
Customers want to be able to contact you in multiple different ways on multiple different channels, making cohesive omni-channel experiences a significant customer experience trend to watch in 2022. In fact, 76% of businesses report increasing their investments in offering multiple channels for customer service.
Interactions with your business can span multiple different channels, like over the phone, via social media, email, chatbots, and customers can pick their preferred channel to contact you on.
4. Securing customer data.
Just as customers want personalized experiences, they also want you to protect the data you have on them that helps you provide those personalized experiences. They want to trust that the personal information you have is stored securely and that you work to ensure it is always safe.
To improve the customer experience, you want to continuously uphold and prioritize data security for your customers. You can do things like clearly list your data practices in privacy policies, ask customers for consent to use their data and explain how it will be used and be honest about any security issues or threats that arise.
Here are some additional stats that display the importance of data security and how it can benefit your business:
- Cisco found that the average privacy budget at businesses doubled in 2020. Those that did so nearly doubled returns for every dollar spent prioritizing data privacy.
- Zendesk says that 1 in 5 customers want companies to have as little of their data as possible, but customers are more comfortable sharing information if they’re informed about how their data is being stored.
- 79% of customers that think businesses can’t protect their information say that it’s because they don’t understand what they’re asked to consent to.
- 63% of survey respondents said they would feel better about a brand if they knew how their information was being used.
- 71% of customers would leave a company if it shared their data without permission.
Ensuring your business has strong data privacy and protection practices shows that you’re committed to providing customers with a safe experience, and you’ll be meeting their desire to have that. Doing so can also bring an increase in customer trust, a big factor in satisfactory customer experiences.
5. Continued investment in customer loyalty.
Loyal customers are more likely to purchase from your company again. They make up 20% of your customer base but drive 80% of your business. Existing customers are also 50% more likely to try a new product and spend 31% more than new customers. They’re also more likely to practice word-of-mouth marketing and refer other customers.
Since loyal customers create the best opportunities for conversions, companies will place heavy emphasis on loyalty programs that show appreciation to these customers and inspire them to continue coming back. 68% of loyal customers will join a loyalty program if offered, so it’s worth considering for your business.
To learn more, read about how design thinking can improve customer experience.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in April 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.