Today, customer-centric strategies have taken a critical role in the success of a business and undoubtedly only those who create exceptional customer experience stand out in the crowd. This is because, more than ever before, companies are struggling to satisfy the rising demands which is getting more intricate with the growing tech-savvy, millennial generation.

Interestingly, 75% of companies pointed out that improving their customer experience was their top innovation objective priority for 2016. The key is to be readily available at their convenience otherwise which you lose them to your competitor.

Although most companies focus on customer’s individual touch points, the future of customer experience will involve tracking customer’s end-to-end journey thereby bringing about a 360 degree change in the way customers perceive your brand and engage with them.

  • Hyper-Personalization Will No Longer Be Creepy

The millennial generation no longer hesitates to offer some extra information about their brand/product interests to receive more personalized shopping experience. In fact, nearly 57% of consumers are willing to provide their personal information for relevant suggestions that are specific to their needs. Hyper-personalization has become marketing’s holy grail as it reduces acquisition costs as much as 50%, lifts revenues by 5-15%, and increases the efficiency of marketing spend by 10-30%. With the growth of digital marketplace, consumers will favor brands that are intelligent enough to anticipate their needs and engage with their data in real-time.

  • More of Augmented Reality

Augmented reality will have a huge role in shaping the future of customer experience. Brick and mortars are still preferred even today mostly because customers can touch, feel and sense the product and no digitization can replace this level of buying satisfaction. For this reason, augmented reality can offer customers a more realistic idea on what their shopping experience would feel like and help them in their buying decision.

The Global Market Insights predicts that the global market for AR products will surge 80 percent to $165 billion by 2024. Not only that, 61% of consumers prefer stores that offer them AR experience and 40% of them are willing to pay more just to experience their product through AR.

Of all, the retail industry is increasingly experimenting with AR equipments and technologies to let customers touch and feel their favorite products while experiencing all of this at the comfort of their home. Bridging the gap between the real and virtual world, companies like Pepsi, Sephora, Gap, Timberland, and KabaQ build customer experience beyond expectations through AR.

For instance, using Kinect technology, Timberland turned a virtual fitting room into one of their main window displays where customers could literally try out clothes without actually wearing them. By scanning a person’s face and studying their gestures, the device let customers freely change their outfits and make desired changes until they fix one to buy.

AR has an indefinite role in the future of improved customer experience and companies and leading brands are no longer reluctant to make the most of it.

  • Integrated Customer Data

According to Forrester, “Garbage in/garbage out erodes customer satisfaction. Customer service agents need the right data about their customers, purchases, and prior service history at the right point in the service cycle to deliver the right answers.”

Data is exploding across all channels. It’s not just enough to keep accumulating data but ensure that with the increasing volume of data, the key is to gain maximum insight from these data to drive growth and make intelligent business decisions.

When it comes to delivering exceptional customer experience, there’s nothing like an integrated data system where companies gain a ‘single view’ of their customers. This is because in the digital era, the shift from visitors to conversion happen anytime and any where. Smartphones and technologies have become indispensable part of our daily lives from dawn until dusk. Hence, it’s important to not turn any stone unturned to increase your customer base and their satisfaction index.

Companies realize the importance of following customer journey in order to connect each touch point. With data integration, companies can streamline their operations across multiple channels for better customer and user experience resulting in increased customer loyalty and satisfaction.

  • Effective, Continuous Feedback Loop

While the future claims to be customer-centric, gaining customer feedback should be a part of sustainable business strategies. 1 out of 26 unhappy customers complain. Today’s tech-savvy customers wouldn’t think twice before venting out their frustration about your product on social media. Rather, providing them a continuous and responsive feedback loop system adds more value, credibility and integrity to your brand as customers easily connect with companies that listen and are willing to quickly respond to their needs.

The key is to take advantage of advanced analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in order to generate insights in real-time and also ensuring to act upon those insights so that your products and strategies are in close proximity to your customer expectation.

Final Words

By 2020, customer experience will surpass price and product as the key brand differentiator. There’s no ideal strategy for delivering excellent customer experience. Regardless of the techniques, true customer experience is all about building meaningful relationship with your customers by allowing them to experience your service at the best. In simple words, it’s all about treating your customers rightly and royally.