At BMC, we enjoy keeping our finger on the CX pulse, ensuring we are always able to apply best practice thinking when consulting to our clients.
After exploring the internet and speaking to various CX thought leaders for the past couple of weeks, we've compiled a list of 9 bold CX predictions for 2022.
So what are the CX trends for 2022?
If you can't be bothered reading each prediction in detail below, here is our synopsis:
2022 will be the Year of the Employee
Customer surveys will start to become obsolete
Data privacy practices will change the way customers provide information to businesses - we might even have to start paying customers for their time & insight!
CX Prediction #1 - Voice and video technology will begin to change the way we interact with customers
Ensuring you can interact with customers via their preferred channel (voice / video messaging) will become increasingly important in 2022.
Customer behaviour is changing. It is estimated that up to 30% of browsing sessions were completed by voice search in 2020 and a recent survey concluded that 70% of Americans prefer to use voice search VS typing something into the keyboard.
So does this mean that customers are going to stop using self-service channels and start to call contact centres more often? No not at all. But what it does mean is that customers are starting to prefer to communicate by speaking rather than typing. This means that businesses should begin to optimise their customer interactions for voice to text translation and video interactions where possible.
It will also be extremely important for businesses to be able to extract actionable data from these interactions in the same way that a business can gauge sentiment from traditional contact methods.
CX Prediction #2 - Employee experience (EX) will become just as important as customer experience (CX)
I'm sure you have all heard the quote that happy employees lead to happy customers. Well this statement has never been more true, particularly after 2 years of COVID!
In November 2021, it was reported that the "great resignation" lead to over 4.5 million people quitting their job in America. This highlights how burnt out and sensitive employees are at the moment. It also demonstrates how important it is to take extra care of your employee wellbeing.
Unfortunately, traditional measurement approaches (i.e. bi-annual eNPS surveys) will not cut it in 2022. Market-leading companies will invest as much time and effort into understanding the employee experience as they have historically done on the customer experience.
Similar to the evolution of CX measurement programs, we anticipate that employee behavioural data (i.e. wellbeing monitoring tools) will allow managers to keep their finger on the pulse of employee wellbeing.
Predictive analytics & AI tools will ensure that managers are able to proactively pinpoint employee dissatisfaction before it becomes a major problem.
CX Prediction #3 - Customer signals will replace the traditional customer survey
A recent study by McKinsey highlighted some pretty damning statistics about the confidence that Executives have with current CX measurement programs as can be seen in the quote below:
"Only 15% of leaders said they were fully satisfied with how their company was measuring CX and only 6% expressed confidence that their measurement system enables both strategic and tactical decision making"
So if current CX survey programs aren't meeting the needs of the C-Suite, what is the alternative? Enter a new buzzterm - Customer Signals.
With the wealth of data that organisations currently have at their disposal, we anticipate that the need to retrospectively ask a customer about their experience via a survey will slowly become obsolete.
In 2022, we predict that the most advanced businesses will begin to pivot from the traditional reactive approach of capturing a small subset of customer data (via a survey) to a proactive and predictive customer analytics model.
This will require close collaboration between Customer & Data teams, with data scientists becoming a hot commodity in the CX space.
Customer data lakes will be created and used to triangulate multiple data points captured across the customer journey, with the nirvana output being a predictive customer analytics model which provides insights and predictions back to front-line staff in real-time. Scary or not, there will be organisations who will be able to predict what a customer is going to do before they do it, based off of historical data trends.
CX Prediction #4 - Personalisation (at scale) will become the new norm
In sport, the marquee player is often treated differently to the rookie because they add more value to the team. In 2022, businesses will begin to do the same thing.
Customers are becoming increasingly aware about the information that organisations store about them and they subsequently expect that this information will be used in a meaningful manner to deliver additional value.
Similarly, entities are becoming smarter in ther ability to segment customers according to the approximated value that these customers will bring to their business.
Our prediction - the myriad of datasets and data techniques available to organisations in 2022 will drive personalisation at scale - ensuring customers receive the right information at the right time across multiple touch points in the customer journey.
It will become more and more likely that different segments of customers will receive different promotional & retention offers based on their propensity to purchase and perceived value to the organisation. Data techniques that actuaries have used for many years to calculate risk ratings and insurance premiums will start to become mainstream; this will allow customers to reap the rewards of more personalised and appropriate offers according to their specific needs.
CX Prediction #5 - Product roadmaps will finally be driven by customer insights (via signals)
The voice of the customer has historically been the forgotten child when it comes to product innovation and roadmaps. This is because there has been hesitation in using customer insights which come from a very small proportion of customers - "why should we trust insights from 20 survey respondents out of 10,000 customers?"
With the evolution of customer insights (by combining behavioural and operational data to generate real time customer signals), the voice of the customer will now become more representative of the population and harder to argue with.
This will give Product Managers greater confidence that the insights obtained from customer data is robust enough to act upon.
CX Prediction #6 - Data privacy will shift the paradigm of power to the customer
We anticipate that there will be a heightened focus on data privacy in 2022. Customers will become more mindful of who they share their data with, and what organisations are doing with their data.
In addition to this, the emergence of blockchain technology is going to shift data ownership away from large conglomerates (Google, Facebook) and back to the consumer. There is already examples of customers receiving micropayments in exchange for the provision of data or insights. We expect this trend to continue in 2022.
This "pay to play" model will ensure that customers decide WHO they share information with, and HOW frequently they do this.
CX Prediction #7 - Frontline agents will hold the keys to contact centre success
In 2022, we anticipate that staff shortages will mean that front-line agents will have greater bargaining power in the workforce.
COVID-19 has mobilised the contact centre workforce which gives employees more freedom to work wherever they want, and for whoever they want.
This freedom, coupled with substantial resource constraints in customer service roles at the moment will force call centres to take more notice of their front-line staff, ensuring that staff are empowered to make decisions and are being groomed for the next stage of their career.
Front-line employee insight has historically been neglected in organisations however we expect to see a tighter connection between those who speak with customers every day, and those who make decisions in the business. Hell, some organisations might even implement VOOP!
CX Prediction #8 - Brands will need to invest into digital analytics to remain relevant
The digital world is becoming more competitive every year. Customers have more choice than ever and subsequently become disengaged very quickly if they do not find the information that they need.
Journey Analytics will become critical across the entire customer lifecycle, with operational and behavioural indicators becoming critical to ensuring a business is regularly keeping their finger on the pulse of customer behaviour.
As a bare minimum, organisations should be regularly reporting on basic web & social metrics including:
Engagement Metrics (Top of Funnel) - New VS Existing Customers, Bounce Rate etc
Revenue Metrics (Bottom of Funnel) - Conversion Rates, Avg Basket Value
Lifecycle Metrics (Stop Funnel Leaking) - Customer Effort, Retention, Self-Serve Use
As they say, if you're not measuring it, you can't improve it.
CX Prediction #9 - The customer experience (CX) in retail, healthcare and automotive industries will be substantially disrupted
A number of industries are ripe for disruption in 2022 - here are our top 3:
Healthcare - We've observed a number of startups build digital solutions for the Health industry in 2021 and absolutely kill it! We believe that the customer experience in the health care industry is particularly bland and ready to be disrupted via digital and personalised solutions.
Retail / Restaurants - We recently wrote about how we've observed a substantial decline in the level of customer service since COVID-19. We don't anticipate this level of service to improve until hospitality jobs can be replaced (or complimented) with appropriate technical solutions. We anticipate that there will be a substantial up-lift in "self-serve" restaurants whereby orders flow seamlessly from customer to chef without the need of anyone else. This will pave the way for other innovative practices to completely optimise customer convenience.
Automotive - We anticipate that COVID will change the way that customers purchase cars (and likely housing). Providing great virtual experiences will likely be enough for a consumer to purchase a car in 2022. Tesla is spearheading this online car purchase movement and are doing it very well. Whilst we're on the topic of Tesla, we strongly feel that they will set the standard for data-driven decision making in vehicles. AI vehicles are not too far off!
So there you have it - our 9 CX predictions for 2022.
We'd love to hear from you if there's one that we might've missed!
Ben the Bearded Man