Customer Experience Innovation 2021: How to be Future-Ready?

Customer Experience Innovation 2021: How to be Future-Ready?

logo The CX Insights
November 9, 2020 | 5 Min Read

Innovation is the bedrock for success in any industry. With so many similar products to choose from, even customers tend to prefer innovative brands that continue upgrading their offerings for more value. However, business innovation is not just limited to product design or marketing strategy. Customer experience innovation or CX innovation is the new battlefield as multiple businesses vie for attention in the crowded web-space. 

Innovation in CX in the Post-COVID World

Innovation has always been the top agenda for the C-Suite. According to McKinsey, 84% of executives agree that innovation is critical for their growth strategy.

Innovation in retail and customer experience has also been a priority in the past few years to keep up with the changing customer expectations. However, the post-COVID era has made things more challenging for business leaders. 

Before 2020, CX was the only way to stand out from the competition. However, in the post-COVID era, the aim is no longer to just stand-out but also innovate and transform. At present, the focus is not only on attracting user attention but also on getting them back on their feet. 

Put simply, CX requirements have changed in the post-pandemic times. As a CX leader, you are now servicing customers with foreseeable financial troubles and looking at a complete digital transition.

This also means your customer experience strategy needs a complete overhaul to understand and align with the temporary and lasting changes in user behavior driven by the pandemic. 

In this post, we have captured some upcoming trends that will help you pivot and transform your CX strategy for the post-COVID times: 

1. Customization in Product

CX is all about selling your product and nurturing customer relations. But can you use your product to build an engaged user base?

Nike did just that by selling customizable shoes to the end-user that boosted its sales and earned the brand brownie points for its innovation in the shoe industry.

Various companies are introducing wall emulsifiers with germ protection to add to their existing portfolio of products. With hygiene and health being top priorities for customers presently, such innovations match the mood of the audience and are certainly going to add to the sales.

Nike by You
 Image Source

2. Using AI-based Chatbots and Robots for Support

We have all heard of chatbots in retail and robots being used in warehousing to streamline logistics. However, the role of chatbots and robots is not just limited to retail or supply chains. These automation tools are finding their way into multiple industries. 

For example, there was a rise in telemedicine apps during the pandemic that enabled online consultations between patients and doctors. Babylon Health is an excellent digital innovation customer experience example.

The company offers AI consultation to users based on personal medical history and common medical knowledge. It also offers live video consultations with a real doctor. 

Babylon Health App 
Image Source

In the world of commerce, besides support, chatbots can also be used for qualifying leads. Splashtop, a Silicon Valley-based tech firm, increased its conversions by 35 percent with a chatbot to automate lead qualification through pre-sales questions. Salesforce integration makes it even more seamless to keep updated records and follow-up seamlessly.

3. Follow a Mobile-First Strategy

In the post-COVID era, health, hygiene, and social distancing are on everybody's mind. A mobile-first strategy can help you meet these requirements by minimizing physical contact and routing everything swiftly through a mobile app.

Last year in April, Momofuku's popular restaurant chain decided to replace physical menus and a dining room with a completely online process. The process enabled customers to enjoy gourmet food without having to wait for a table or travel across the city.

You can find such customer experience innovation examples in the present times, and something similar for your brand could be the key to getting back in action.

4. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) to Recreate a Personalized, In-store Experience

It is a fact that users are minimizing outings and avoiding brick and mortar stores. But what if you could take your store to users via augmented reality (AR)? 

So, if you are in the garment retail business, you can invest in an app where users can see how a dress would look on them before buying it. The Inkhunter app uses AR to enable users to know how a tattoo will look on them before getting inked in real.

Another example is NYX by L'Oréal that allows customers to virtually test various makeup looks and products on their AR-based app. Users can also connect with beauty consultants through video chats for personalized recommendations and beauty advice.

Inkhunter App
Image Source

Together, VR and AR can give end-customers a better idea of your products and their benefits before purchase. This is especially true for complex or design-oriented products.

For example, VR can show users the steps involved in using the product, while AR can directly demonstrate the steps from a live image of the product.

IKEA is already using a mix of AR and VR on its app to enable customers to place lifelike pictures of their furniture at home and see how it would look before making a purchase decision.

In post-COVID times, these technologies can be used to give self-assembly directions and reduce the number of returns to make the supply chain more manageable. 

5. Increased Emphasis on Personalization

You cannot improve customer experience unless you understand customer behavior. Therefore, it is essential to collect more data about your users to build sophisticated models that can predict their actions so that you can fine-tune your CX accordingly. 

Understanding user behavior is exceptionally helpful for marketing, product innovation, and other spheres of your business. Especially in the digital world, understanding your users can help you deliver a digitally personalized experience that will make you stand out from the competition.

You may invest in behavior analytics and other tools to collect and crunch user data if you wish to keep your users happy and satisfied in the future.

Are You Ready Prepared For The New Conditions?

Most businesses are grappling with financial and workforce issues. But now is not the time to gloat. Instead, you need to take charge and pivot your business model to help your customers back to their feet while minimizing your costs and efforts.

Investing in CX innovation like digital customer experience and adopting touchless technologies is the way to go forward. If you are wondering where to start, automating your customer service is a good way of improving your customers' satisfaction levels while also answering their queries and optimizing your costs simultaneously.

We are confident that the ideas mentioned above will help you augment your CX strategy to navigate the new normal confidently.

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