Customer Experience Trends: Getting the Essentials Right

In our 2018 CX Trends report, our research delved into some of the aspects that make experiences memorable, including how elements like staff, environment, technology, etc. impact the customer experience, and to what degree.

We also wanted to explore some of the new fangled ways brands are either delivering products and services (e.g. pop-up stores and pre-packaged cook-at-home meals), or pairing the experience with things like augmented reality. We evaluated these elements on whether and how much consumers said they valued these additions (basically an understanding of a customer’s initial response on whether or not they feel something’s useful), as well as how much of an impact these elements have on creating positive, memorable experiences.

The high-value factors included self-serve checkout, human interaction, and being treated with special consideration, where the low value factors included pre-packaged meals, pop-up stores, virtual reality, and facial recognition.

Then there were the memorable factors, which included human interaction and being treated with special consideration. On the other hand, self-serve checkout, mobile, and social were deemed to have low memorability,  

While brands, and even some consumers may think some of the newer elements of customer experiences (social, mobile, VR, etc.) as intriguing, almost none bubbled up as either being categorized as “valuable” by consumers, or having a significant impact on long-term memorability.

The one outlier was self-checkout. Consumers ranked it as a valuable service, but ranked it low when it came to its impact on making experiences memorable. Perhaps surprisingly, we saw consumers rank mobile and social low on their impact to memorability. One possible explanation is that we may be seeing cases where newer elements of customer experience emerge and quickly go from “shiny” to expected.

The two basics of “human interaction” and “being treated special” (exclusive offers, loyalty programs, etc.) came through again as being highly influential on memorability, emphasizing the critical nature of getting this part of the experience right.

With this revelation in mind, it shows that it pays off for brands to be thoughtful when rolling out new tech or delivery models. Though they are innovative and exciting, they should prioritize those that lead to long-term, positive memorability. Additionally, brands should ensure that those new additions align with brand aspirations, are presented with consistent messaging, and double check that they make a real impact.

In summary, nothing replaces the power of people making other people feel special. Hire, train, and coach to that end.

To learn more about the latest findings in customer experience, download our 2018 CX Trends Report!

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