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Featured Story | Written by James Hayward
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Digital customer experience trends for 2020 and tips to stay ahead

It’s that time of year again. 2020 approaches at breakneck speed. Brands that plan to succeed next year are thinking ahead - setting long-term objectives, goals, KPIs and budgets. Strategy season is well and truly upon us.

6 Nov - 11 min read

It's a must have

And one thing’s for sure – a solid customer experience strategy is no longer a nice to have. By now, it’s a must-have. Gartner reports that 81% of executives believe they’ll compete on customer experience alone in the not-too-distant future, but only 22% believe they have developed an experience that exceeds customer expectations. The opportunities are there for the taking, if you’re one of the few brands who manages to stay ahead of the curve. Hopefully our round-up of the latest trends for 2020 will help you do just that. 

Keep it personal

Let’s face it, personalisation in CX is nothing new. But recent research by Internet Retailing shows that whilst 69% of consumers want to have a personalised experience, less than 50% of brands are actually delivering on this. Salesforce has found similar results – customers are twice as likely to view personalised offers as important versus unimportant.

But before you get started, your personalisation strategy needs two important elements:

Excellent customer data –Your attempts to get personal are only as good as the data you have on your customers.

“Organisations with large amounts of data about customers’ preferences, habits and interactions are leading the field”.

Think of disruptive brands such as Netflix. They are winning the personalisation game because they can tap into so many customer data points. Bruna Gill from Linkedin recently explained how the Netflix homepage is personal to each customer. But it doesn’t stop there. Netflix even customises the thumbnail they use to promote a film or series to you based on your viewing history and preferences. So, if you have a tendency for romantic comedies, the algorithm will naturally serve you a more romantic image. Now that’s personalisation! 59% of customers say tailored engagement based on past interactions is very important to winning their business – Netflix clearly got the memo on this. 

Relevant content – You really need specific content for each and every one of your customers. It’s clear that automation is your friend here. Now most of us can’t go as far as Netflix, even if your customers expect you to. But think as much as possible of your specific audience groups, and how you can best serve them relevant content. Just don’t go so far as to approach on “stalker” territory. Or lose the human touch; the reason your customers probably love your customer service. After all, that doesn’t feel all that personal. 

Keep all conversations in one place

By now, customers expect that you’re able to join the dots between online touchpoints. Whether it’s social media, live chat, or email, you need to be able to move as seamlessly across channels as customers do. And crucially, you need to be able to tap into relevant insights about your customers wherever they are. 

“70% of customers say connected processes – such as seamless handoffs or contextualized engagement based on earlier interactions – are very important to winning their business”.

So what does that mean for brands? Once again, it’s all about data. Solutions such as Orlo integrate CRM systems with social media channels and live chat. By centralising all communications, you’re able to streamline processes internally and offer a superior customer experience. If you’ve not already invested in a holistic CX tool, then 2020 needs to be the year you do it. 

Keep it private

As well as keeping all conversations in one place, customers are increasingly expecting brands to meet them exactly where they are. They want to talk to you using the channels most convenient and comfortable for them. And for many, that will involve private messaging – SMS and Whatsapp. 

Facebook bought Whatsapp in 2014, so we’ve all been waiting for the company to shift focus to messaging. Earlier this year, Mark Zuckerberg indicated just that – a pivot towards “private, encrypted services” and specifically, messaging. With over 1.5 billion users on Whatsapp (and counting), and 63% of people now preferring private messaging channels to share content and recommendations, this focus makes sense for everyone. It allows for instant one-on-one customer service, and comes at a low cost to customers and brands. 

Here at Orlo, we’re following the trend. We’ve added private messaging to our tech stack so you can create a unified view of all customer contact in one place. Helpfully, you’ll be able to apply advanced automation where appropriate, allowing you to serve customers at scale. We’ll also provide access to integrated analytics, enabling you to monitor trends in customer service across all channels. 

So there you have it. A quick run-down of three of the hottest topics for 2020. Wherever you are on your journey towards providing an exceptional customer experience, we hope there’s something you can take from these insights. If you’re hitting Netflix-level personalisation, then kudos to you. If you think you might benefit from a chat about how to implement some of these trends within your own strategy, then we’re always here to help. 

Support your customers when and where they speak to you.

Let us show you how you can quickly start having meaningful, effortless online conversations with your customers, at scale.

James Hayward, Client Success Manager at Orlo, has a wealth of experience in managing customer service teams, helping organisations drive continual value for their service users, and using his creative and analytical skills to determine key areas for revenue growth. In his spare time, James loves to travel, study new languages, their history and culture.

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