Poor customer experiences cost a lot. As customers now have hundreds and even thousands of choices, companies are starting to pay more attention to customer experience as means to retain customers and keep them happy. As 2014 is going to an end, it is time to look at some customer trends and predictions for the upcoming 2015.
1. Customer expectations will rise even more
It’s been a while since customers have the power to drive business directions and give voice to their demands and expectations. Excellent customer service has not only become mandatory for every business, but there is a growing demand for 24/7/365 support. Customers want answers and solutions straight away and 9 to 6 schedules quickly become obsolete.
2. Companies will invest more for better experiences
In order to gain a competitive advantage and build a loyal customer base, business will invest more in creating memorable customer experiences. According to a research conducted by Gartner, businesses dedicated nearly 20% of their marketing budgets to customer experience and this the numbers are going to be even bigger in 2015. In fact, for many companies, customer experience will be a top priority for the upcoming 2015. And in order to achieve a truly great customer experience, not only marketers and sales people should have the customer-centric approach in mind, but each employee should be working towards meeting and surpassing customer needs and expectations.
3. Social media grows even bigger
Over the last couple of years, social media has been a must have for businesses. Customers are using social media channels not only to interact with each other and explore products and services, but also to connect with their favourite brands and even apply for a job.
From a business perspective, social media allows brand to connect with customers in real time, capture valuable insights and respond to customer queries as quickly as possible.
4. Customer reporting and analytics will be key
Customer data drives customer experiences. As companies collect and analyze more customer information, they are able to adapt to changing customer behaviour and build stronger relationships.
In 2015, the trends towards data-driven marketing will expand even further. By employing reporting and analytics tools, companies are able to create personalized shopping experiences and higher levels of customer loyalty.
5. Leading companies will embrace mobile
According to recent statistics, mobile usage is going to surpass the desktop Internet usage in 2015. Mobile allows companies to interact and engage with customers in many different ways and offer richer customer experience.
Location-based services, mobile payments, gamification and near-field communication are just a few of the latest trends conquering the mobile world. And the more mobile experiences companies offer, the better.
6. Gamification takes over
More and more companies embrace gamification as a way to engage customers and create fun. Gamification has a series of positive effects, including increased customer engagement, awareness about business offering, access to valuable customer insights, increased loyalty and collaboration, and many others.
That is why, both big brands and smaller businesses will continue to gamify customer experience to make it both fun and rewarding.