Jason Grier, Reputation‘s executive vice president and chief customer officer, reveals the key trends that will inform your CX Strategy this year and beyond.
It’s true that what really matters for businesses — the customer and building customer loyalty — never wavers in importance year to year. So, it’s no surprise that in 2022 — as in years past — anything CX will continue to be top of mind for companies across verticals. There are, however, specific trends in the industry and our economy that will shape businesses’ CX strategies this year. Following are five of them.
This year will be heavily influenced by the Great Resignation and supply-chain issues, in which resources are severely constrained. Now more than ever, businesses are having to do more with less — including staff and inventory. This means fewer employees to field customer service inquiries and to shepherd the customer experience. It also means that whatever inventory is available is delivered without hiccups. For example, if a customer orders a piece of furniture and it’s taking six months to deliver, it had better be in tip-top shape upon delivery. Businesses can get ahead of any potential issues in either area by having in place the tools and protocols necessary to monitor customer communication and address problems as they arise. Listening to customers and showing them that you’re doing something about their issues goes a long way to establishing customer loyalty, even in today’s tough climate.
The use of unstructured data is continuing its trajectory in terms of the order of magnitude of what matters. Unlike survey responses to carefully constructed questions, unstructured data yields unfiltered insight into customer sentiment. It’s uncontrolled by brands, making it incredibly valuable because it’s an unadulterated reflection of online reputation. Unstructured data will continue to be one of the greatest assets to CX practitioners — if they can figure out how to capture, analyze and take action on it.
Long-form surveys look increasingly more like reviews. This year, businesses and customers will forgo much of their survey-driven communications and engage in even more real-time conversations than ever before to gain insight into customer sentiment. This shift is a reflection of customers’ preferred use of social media platforms to communicate, as well as their shrinking patience to fill out traditional surveys.
Listening posts continue to evolve and change. Social and messaging continue to be popular forms of communication with brands — this is, after all, how many people communicate with each other, and brands must meet their customers where they are. The use of videos to communicate with brands is still nascent, but it’s picking up steam as a new listening post. Brands should explore this as part of their strategy, especially as TikTok and Snapchat make their mark in the world.
Businesses are grappling with data aggregation and how to use it effectively. The biggest impediment to effective use of data isn’t an inability to collect it; rather, it’s what to do with it once it’s aggregated. With a great volume of CX data available, brands can have a more complete, full picture of the customer experience as it happens in real-time. Analysis reveals outlying issues before they become a problem, as well as trends that can inform course corrections for CX strategy going forward.
Businesses can always count on CX as a foundational element affecting whether they meet their goals for a successful year or fall short. Hopefully, these five trends will provide a starting point for them as they contemplate what this year might bring and how it will affect their CX strategy for 2022.
About the Author
Jason Grier leads Reputation‘s customer loyalty and growth initiatives as executive vice president and chief customer officer. Jason is a former senior vice president of Global Support Operations and chief customer officer at McAfee, where he spent more than 10 years.
While at McAfee, Jason built a reputation as an industry leader in customer support and operations. His teams were honored with a number of awards, including the Intel Quality Award, a prestigious honor for outstanding quality and personification of Intel’s values and the highest team honor given at Intel. His teams also won two TSIA Star Awards, two Service & Support Professionals Association Awards, and a Stevie Award for innovation in action.