Digital Experiences Drive Customer Expectations

Confucius said, “Study the past, if you would define the future.”

When exploring “Digital Customer Experience Trends for 2016” at our recent webinar with guest speaker Allegra Burnette, Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, Inc., and Rich Langan, Senior Product Manager at Broadridge, we reviewed recent digital customer experience trends and then shared what companies can expect for the future.

The overall trend in 2015 was that digital changed customer expectations – with mobile as the driving force. “Mobile has had a profound effect on how customers engage with companies, whether it’s to shop, deposit a check, look up store hours or ask for help,” shared Allegra. “People are mobile and they’re engaging with brands wherever they happen to be.”

Hear Allegra explain how digital is impacting customer expectations in this 13-minute video.

This mobile mind shift creates the expectation that consumers can get personalized information and services in their immediate context and at moments of need. While these expectations aren’t necessarily new, they continue to have a significant impact on digital customer experience and how companies conduct business.

“In our recent research, we found that 77% of consumers have recommended or paid more for a brand that provides personalized experiences or chosen that company because of those services, and companies are responding to this,” stated Allegra. “Of the companies we surveyed, 58% said that addressing this rising customer expectation of personalized services is a critical business priority for the year.”

The following digital customer experience trends made their debut last year and they will continue to influence consumer expectations in 2016:

1. Customers exert more control over their experiences.
Whether it’s the ability to freeze their credit card from their phone without having to call customer support or choosing a specific hotel room and checking in via an app, companies are giving their customers control through convenient, self-service solutions while, at the same time, differentiating themselves from their competition.

2. New interfaces enrich the experience design palette.
The list and range of the Internet of Things continues to grow with products being developed that help automate aspects of customers’ lives or engage them with their favorite activities. There are numerous examples, ranging from home security and thermostats to meal planning and wellness care. Personalized data experiences are popping up in wearables, apps, and other connected systems.

3. Artificial Intelligence (AI) drives more experiences under the hood.
Artificial intelligence is on the up rise. “There are more than 350 company partners that are building products on top of IBM Watson’s AI platform, and, as of September of last year, 70,000 developers are using Watson in their software for applications that range from healthcare to wine and recipe selection,” shared Allegra.

4. More peer-to-peer models emerge.
Joining the popular models of Airbnb, Uber and Lyft, more peer-to-peer models are emerging, especially when combined with crowdsourcing.

These are just a few trends that we can anticipate seeing again this year. Which of these trends do you anticipate will make the biggest impact on your company, your customers, and your life?

Click here for the full webinar recording.