Product Management — 12.10.2020

Customer Experience Trends Product Owners Should Consider in 2021

Sara Croft, Principal, Growth Marketing

With the end of 2020 on the not-so-distant horizon, it’s time to evaluate how to enhance the experience of 2021 consumers. Creating an exceptional customer experience (CX) is an ongoing challenge for a number of reasons. Business leaders in some traditional industries don’t see CX as a priority. Business leaders at some very sophisticated companies don’t have a clear view of who their customers are or what they want. Despite the challenges, CX is a difference-maker. It can catapult companies to success and bring them down just as quickly.

What is customer experience?

Before we dive into the customer experience trends, let’s define what customer experience is, as it can often be confused for “customer service.” Customer experience is about developing an ongoing relationship with customers, tending to their needs and engaging them in new ways and new places.

Customer experience was coined as a result of the modern digital transformation. That revolution changed the way businesses operated, and it still is. That’s why corporate digital product owners should consider 2021 customer experience trends when planning their product roadmaps: because customer expectations continue to evolve.

More humanized digital customer service experiences

Consumers want fast and accurate help with customer service issues, but they don’t always prefer to speak to a person. For many companies, digital tools offer self-service assistance without the need to talk to a human. While waiting three minutes for a response from a chat tool may have been acceptable for consumers a decade ago, it’s not now. Customers’ demands of virtual help desks have changed. A humanized CX is required even if it isn’t a human assisting the customer.

Seamless customer journeys

We’ve been talking about customer journeys for years now. Yet even large brands can continue to struggle to provide a seamless one. Product marketers need as much context and data as possible to provide a seamless customer journey between digital products, in-person and online experiences. While a seamless journey can be difficult to achieve, it will be more expected than ever in 2021 as customers continue to engage with companies through multiple channels.

Consistent communication across channels

As part of the seamless customer journey, companies should focus on providing consistent communication throughout channels. Whether it’s social media, email, live chat or in-app, communication should provide the same level of service. Additionally, data shared by a customer from one channel should not have to be shared again through another channel. For example, if a customer worked with customer service via email to address an issue with an order then followed up on the issue via live chat, they shouldn’t have to repeat all the information surrounding the initial complaint a second time.

In-person details shared digitally

In the age of COVID-19, it’s vital that in-person experiences be addressed through digital channels. People want to know what to expect when interacting with a company’s physical footprint. For example, store owners can add information about in-store COVID-19 precautions being taken on their websites and through their apps.

Multipurpose digital products

When digital products first hit the market, they largely would solve a single customer problem. Now, a one-trick-pony may not do the trick. Customers will expect more from digital product capabilities and assume they can do more than one thing with any particular product.

More opportunities for feedback

To provide an exemplary CX, you need to know your customer. Get to know your customer better by offering more opportunities for feedback. Collecting and analyzing customer feedback should be a goal for 2021. Whether utilizing surveys, web forms or incentive programs, it’s more important than ever to glean insights from past customers. Invest in improving areas where customers report being unsatisfied.

Knowing your customer is key to offering an exemplary customer experience. Innovatemap is able to help companies build digital products that meet the needs of their unique customer-base. We bolster your ideas on how technology can be a catalyst for customer growth and utilize the latest trends and data to ensure the product meets its mission and retains customers for the long haul.