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  • Writer's picturePeggy Amelung

Nine Customer Experience Trends 2022

Updated: Mar 3, 2022

The pivot of Customer Experience. Customer Experience becomes an executive topic and changes companies from the root. We look ahead.

Rising sales and excellent customer ratings are no coincidence, you'll agree. But what exactly are the drivers in the new year 2022 that matter to you as an entrepreneur? I'll tell you in today's post.

1. Cultural change in the company

The Corona pandemic has changed our society. And it's just the beginning. Companies that address this challenge from the roots up are the winners. Why? For one simple reason. It's not Respond, Recover, but Renew that counts. These companies accept the situation. They respond to it, recover. They change internal structures at the root. That means new agile working methods and revised value models, effective leadership strategies, sustainable talent search, and development. Everything. In dealing with their customers, they know: If we don't holistically adapt to the new needs and stresses that the crisis has brought, we won't survive. Many companies such as airlines, hotels, or car manufacturers have got hit ice-cold by the crisis. Is change what we need? Stephanie Selmer, change expert coming from IT, says:

"Change management is dead. A permanent change is becoming permanent disruption."

2. New Work - New Employee Experience

New Work - A Detroit professor, Frithjof Bergmann, who taught in the 1970s, asks for the first time questions like How do I manage my lifetime? How can we combine life and work in the best possible way? We find out, the whole concept is not new.

What is different? Today, we are breaking down structures. Rigid working hours are becoming flexible. We are more mobile, no longer tied to an office, communication takes place on all channels. Digitally. Only one thing, and here I am addressing you, is ultra important. Your employees need to be fine with the situation. Feel good about themselves, be able to be productive, and connect to everyone "out there." Do they have the right tools for success? McKinsey notes in a study that employees spend an average of 1.8 hours per day, 9.3 h per week searching for relevant information. Do the math for your company - fatal. Is your employee digitally connected with CRM, cloud systems, and smart communication so that he or she can power through? One thing is certain: New Work is here to stay. Prepare your employees. Because that's the only way to achieve effective customer enthusiasm in 2022.

FOR YOU: Is this an option for you, to send your sales staff to the home office? Or an employee in another city, even in another country? Even as a hotel, for example. I also know the complete opposite. Those who say: "No way, I need the whiteboard with the sales figures, these ups, and downs like on the stock exchange. And the vibrant atmosphere as motivation - otherwise nothing works." Think about that for a moment- what is the best solution and balance for your situation?

3. Customer Experience is Brand - New Business Models / Services / Experiences around the Customer Emerge

If the company changes at its core, the way we work together, the way we communicate, the way we ultimately live, then business models and services must also change. Customers are part of the value chain. The Customer Experience is one of the most influential parts of branding.

FOR YOU: GOODYEAR: From tire, provider to a service company. Through sensors in the tires, they are able to give their customers real-time information on when it's time to change tires, for example. Or Zara Home, which has developed a cooking and recipe platform to package its Kitchen Collection in a customer experience and sell it emotionally. Almost everyone falls in love with colorful, well-styled home design if it tastes good.

4. Optimization AI, Automation & Co.

Digitalization is integrated holistically and connects Human Touch - the highest expectations of the customers after the pandemic experience. Further prognosis: Ongoing! The fear of digitalization is fading. The fear that all jobs could be lost, that we would only be ruled by machines, is fading. AI and then what? We know AI can't understand humans better than humans understand themselves. Bots need to get better at supporting us humans better. Bots need arms and legs. And save the customer endless questions and time-wasting. Not the other way around. Smart connections of professional humans and technology have the ability to really make life more convenient. Customers expect communication to be available either through AI or digital interfaces. And it's everywhere. Multichannel. Fast, frictionless, and sympathetically friendly. All those processes go to the next level. There you go!

FOR YOU: After all, 90% of entrepreneurs plan to integrate AI by 2023. I'll give the example of social shopping here: 62% of those aged 40 and under and me ;) are interested in shopping via social feeds. What are your thoughts on this? Where in the customer journey are you already using technologies that enable direct purchase? Is the process polished? Fine-tuned? 2022 is the right time to do it.

5. Customers and users as Co-Creators

Customer surveys have always existed. How satisfied were you with our service from 0 to 10 or: Will you visit us again soon, yes, no, maybe. Now we go deeper. Now we're getting closer. And finally, tell each other the truth. What do you think of me? What do you like about me? What don't you like? And since we're already on the subject of clarification: Why are you blinking at the competitor? What are they doing better? What do you think of my competition?

Musicians do this when finding titles, football clubs when rebranding, and also IKEA, Heineken, DHL, BMW, and other big brands. Why not you too? The goal is even more in focus 2022: Build trust with the brand and develop new products very close to the customer. Great side effect: This guarantees customer loyalty and revenue growth. But to do that, you have to ask them, get close, and be honest.

FOR YOU: Prepare your employee well. Train them, establish a customer-first mindset and teach them to handle feedback professionally. The more you ask for feedback, the less fear you have of coming off poorly. Be brave. That's the only way you'll get better.

6. Emotional Experiences

Emotional Experience was the main topic in a hotel about four years ago. The hotel manager liked the topic. But his skepticism was evident in his face.

Today, everyone knows what it's all about. Inspire. Create emotions and positive feelings. Get under the skin. Make the customer happy.

Now it's time again to climb to a new level. Sweep them away with enthusiasm. Show them new things, tell them new stories, invite them to try unusual things, and talk about them. Find out what inspires your customers and guests and what tends to bore them. ( yes, that too!)

Have it clear; The moment of inspiration stays with us and with customers in their memory. Influences thoughts and feelings. Inspiration connects. That is the ultimate emotional experience.

"To be irreplaceable, you must always be different!"
Coco Chanel

FOR YOU: When we're sitting in a restaurant and the chef is playing with the essences and colors of the ingredients, whisking our latest creation for us and we experience the taste on our tongues, we often want to recreate it. We're hooked. That is an inspirational moment. Be conscious of it. In marketing, too: describe with feelings. Dare to use emotional language, instead of just stating the bare benefits of your products or services. Inspire!

7. Service Excellence

The 5 stars are synonymous with superlatives. The ultra-beautiful, the best, the wish-from-the-lips-reading, the perfectly pleasant, and ultimate feel-good is what I get. 5-star service excellence is what every customer understands: that's where I feel good.

Digitization makes a lot of things easier and faster, but it doesn't always make service excellent in every case. And it doesn't always feel good. What are the cornerstones? How do you build the service component into the customer experience in its perfect form? Also as a 3- or 4-star hotel, as a marketing agency, or as a retailer? There will only be two areas in the future. Self-service or service excellence. Nothing in between. Lousy service will be mercilessly voted out.

FOR YOU:: Service models must be even more sophisticated, more pointed, run really smoothly like clockwork. Functioning for the customer. Frictionless. A positive side effect of the pandemic? The importance of service as a distinctive brand feature has also arrived in the C-suite. The topic will be of particular concern to us this 2022.

Hybrid Self-Service or Service Excellence? Starbucks leads the way with a pick-up counter, online ordering, Citizen M with a Self-Service check-in counter, and dinner buffet in the evening but personal lobby concierge at each hotel.

8. Situational Awareness- Approach in Customer Contact

Instead of thinking only in terms of the customer journey, we now add SitautionalAwareness as a bonus: what does that mean? Here are the four steps.

  • Perception: Gathering all information relevant to the situation;

  • Understanding: Quickly analyzing for insight and prediction;

  • Projection: confirming that the correct roles and responsibilities have been established;

  • Action: Establishing a clear set of actions to enable an effective response in the shortest possible time.

FOR YOU: Aren't we already doing that, actually? Or is it just theory? Yes, rather the second. Because what really happens in practice- the customer calls. An inquiry. It is handled correctly, but often only on the surface. It is passed on instead of being solved. This Situational Awareness - that is, attentiveness to the situation at hand - really gets to the heart of the importance of the customer's account. And demands action. What customers want. Fast and good solutions. The key is to 1) Provide relevant data 2) Prepare the employee for customer interactions 3) Present the solution to the customer quickly.

9. Flexibility, Empathy, Personality

Last year, we had speed as one of the trends. And of course, it's here to stay. However, to make it even faster and to be able to offer customers better solutions in real-time, you also need flexibility. Being flexible, evasive, improvising, Plan B, finding intermediate solutions, thinking agilely, modifying, and of course, also tuning, thus improving.

FOR YOU: Personalization was a trend last year. Not only generation Me- generation Z, but everyone is going for the very personal. What is important now is to handle the data carefully. The more trustworthy you and your company act, the more customers will give you their consent to use their data. Focus on keep building trust in 2022 with your customers.

—“Brand is not what you say it is. It’s what they say it is.” —Marty Neumeier


BOTTOM LINE: The trends are the essence of CX studies, opinion research reports, and my experiences from the last year. What do you do with them now? That's the crux of the matter. Because without implementation these 9 points are as meaningless as all the good resolutions that are written down at the beginning of the year. Here's my suggestion: pick 3 and nail them down. Write them on your board, your agenda, your home screen on your computer, or in your

team dashboard and discuss it with your team:

  • How can you apply it specifically to your business and your work?

  • Does everyone on the team understand what you're trying to do?

  • What are the first steps you will put in place?

I wish you much success in this, I look forward to a new year with you. More CX TUNING HACKS are coming up.


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