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2020 was a pivotal year for contact centers. The changes which occurred in the last twelve months will set customer experience trends for years to come. Read on to discover the 10 customer experience stats from 2020 that reveal the new landscape.
To understand the present, you have to know the past. Numerous predictions have already been made for 2021, but before following the trends, it is worth taking a step back to understand the consequential changes which occurred in the last twelve months. In a year when face-to-face interactions became difficult or impossible, contact center agents rose to the occasion. The key CX stats of 2020 highlight three areas where customer experience evolved:
Study after study indicates support for working from home, and demand for cloud solutions that make remote work possible. Gartner recently asked a group of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) to rank the technologies they’re using now or plan to use in the next year. Digital workplace technologies to support working from home come out in first place. These are the technologies that enabled telecoms such as VOO to switch their entire staff to remote work in just one week. Cloud adoption soared in 2020, as illustrated by the first stat: leading cloud providers experienced an average of 47% growth in the 2nd and 3rd quarters. A McKinsey study found working from home and cloud migration to be the #1 most cost-effective change brought about by COVID-19. Little wonder then, that 52% of CIOs expect working from home to not only continue, but increase in 2021. 2020 was the year when cloud became the norm.
Customers have higher expectations today than ever before. Research shows that a typical customer in 2020 compared experiences across industries and between their private and professional lives. Therefore, the best CX customers have ever experienced anywhere is the standard they’re holding contact center managers to. Two more customer experience stats found that 51% of callers expected an answer in 5 minutes or less in 2020, and 28% expected the same for live chat. So how does personalization help contact center managers meet rising and sometimes seemingly contradictory expectations? Personalization means meeting customers where they are in their journeys, keeping their requests organized and immediately available to any agent, understanding and prioritizing customers’ specific needs – all the actions which center customers’ experience and treat them as individuals, not as stats.
In 2020 the impact of personalization on brand reputation was significant. Salesforce found that 71% of consumers say that businesses that showed empathy during the pandemic have earned their loyalty. However, a report by Oracle found that “only 15% of respondents had any faith that brands would actually deliver personalized experiences to them.” Personalization isn’t easy. But as the stats clearly show, the average customer in 2020 came to expect a personalized experience.
The upsides of a strong channel strategy are clear: Zendesk found that service is 300% faster for companies offering omnichannel support. However, omnichannel also poses a risk as customers’ data and requests are shared across multiple channels. 76% of customers expect companies to understand their needs, but what happens when a contact center agent is unaware of previous requests? Of our ten stats, the final, most important customer experience number from 2020 is: ONE. One conversation, fed by multiple channels. A channel-less approach prioritizes customers and their conversations. Multiple channels all feed data into one central stream, available to any agent at any point in the customer journey. The end result is one seamless conversation between one customer and one brand.
The trends which endure beyond 2020 will not be about COVID-19, lockdowns and isolation; they will be about people’s and organizations’ innovative solutions and drive for the best CX possible. Is your contact center ready for the challenges of 2021?
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