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Why it is so important for business success in 2021 – eCommerce magazine

The way people live, work together and network has changed fundamentally in the corona pandemic. The topic of customer experience has not lost its importance, but has even become more and more important for business success. This is shown by the new “Customer Experience Trends Report 2021” from Zendesk, which is published annually.

For 41 percent of customers in Germany, the customer experience is more important today than it was a year ago. 60 percent of the companies state Customer Experience (CX) to give it a higher priority than twelve months ago. For the report, trends from more than 90,000 company data were evaluated and 8,000 consumers, customer service employees and IT decision-makers in 15 countries worldwide were surveyed.

Customer experience as a goal of digital transformation

According to the latest data, the most successful companies have adopted new technologies at record speeds during this period. 64 percent of German tech decision-makers say that Covid-19 is the Introduction of new technologies has accelerated in their company. A survey by Gartner from 2020 also confirms the importance of a good customer experience in the face of technological change: According to this, for 91 percent of companies, the customer experience is one of or the main goal of their digital corporate transformation.

“In 2020 there have been so many such profound changes – socially, technologically and economically that companies have had to adapt faster than ever before. During their transformation, however, the most successful companies never lost sight of their customers and their expectations – even when things had to be done quickly, “explains Ulrich Hoffmann, Head of Central EMEA at Zendesk. “A strong customer focus and good management, also when dealing with their own employees, can help companies cope with the change that is necessary for their business success.”

Whether it is about changing behavior, introducing new contact channels or redesigning the working world: the Zendesk CX Trends Report 2021 helps companies to find their way around this new CX landscape so that they can offer good customer service at all levels. The most important results of the report are:

Customers make purchasing decisions easier with a focus on CX

The recent and enormous boom in online channels is putting companies under pressure to meet rising expectations and has placed the customer experience even more center stage. As the CX Trends Report shows, 55 percent of German customers make their purchasing decisions based on whether a company is a good customer experience offers or not. In addition, according to the report, more than three-quarters of all Germans (76 percent) said they would switch to another company after more than one bad experience – a value that has remained at a consistently high level for years.

In order to offer a good experience, it is important for companies to know exactly their customers and their preferences and regional characteristics. According to the report, only around a third of German customers attach importance to empathic customer service agents. This is well below the European average (54 percent). The report also shows that the average weekly ticket volumes that were solved with the use of artificial intelligence have risen the most in Germany since the end of February 2020, at 113 percent. This leads to the conclusion that German customers are primarily looking for quick, simple and efficient solutions to their concerns, even if this means that they sometimes forego personal contact with service employees.

Customer experience: Communicate with customers through new channels

The new behaviors of customers and the increasing popularity of messaging apps open the door to a conversation-intensive customer experience. According to the report, 40 percent of customers in Germany tried a new channel in the past year to get in touch with a company’s customer service. For many, this included Messaging via apps, like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, for support inquiries.

With an increase in inquiries by 140 percent compared to the previous year, social messaging has gained significantly in importance during the pandemic. The proportion of German consumers who prefer social messaging apps as a contact channel for customer service issues over all other channels has also doubled from 4 to 8 percent compared to last year.

Be ahead of the digital development

In the past year, many companies have adopted new technologies at record pace. 64 percent of the companies in Germany surveyed for the report said that the pandemic had accelerated their technology introduction. 43 percent of these companies say it sped up by one to three years. Another 21 percent even feel that the introduction of new technologies has accelerated by four to seven years due to the pandemic. Companies that invest in customer relationships focused on seamless omnichannel service, higher IT security, agile technologies, tools for collaboration and on the digital workplace.

Empowering employees in a (digital) working environment

In an increasingly decentralized (working) world, companies have to rethink the way in which they can intelligently organize the collaboration of distributed teams. Regardless of whether it is a matter of keeping an eye on their performance indicators, staying in contact with their colleagues or feeling supported by their company: Many employees still lack the right tools to work in this new and often spatially dispersed world of work to be succesfull.

For the report, for example, 49 percent of German customer support employees said they didn’t have the right tools to work successfully from home. In addition, the proportion of support employees who want better management to do their job well has increased by 76 percent compared to the previous year. At the same time, 40 percent of managers said they didn’t have the right analytics tools to measure the success of remote teams.

With ongoing volatility, service and support teams need to find ways to keep up with their customers. The ability to quickly adapt to changing customer needs has been cited by European customer experience executives as the biggest challenge in 2020 and a top priority for years to come.

Via the Customer Experience Trends Report

The study with insights into the most important Trends in customer experience combines the results of the Zendesk benchmark, in which the data from more than 90,000 companies on the use of their support solutions, with the results of surveys that the views of over 8,000 consumers, customer service employees and managers and IT decision-makers in 15 countries. These include the USA, the United Kingdom, Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Spain, Japan, Mexico, India, Singapore, Korea, Italy, Scandinavia and the Benelux countries. Zendesk develops software for support, sales and customer loyalty designed to strengthen customer relationships and create innovative customer experiences. (sg)

Also read: Communication strategy: Fulfilling customer requirements with a multi-channel approach