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Diving Deep into Consumer-Focused Technologies Based on Personal Experiences The demand for an excellent customer experience is increasing as new technologies emerge. Today, if a business wants to stand out, it must also have a personalized, data-driven, and customer-focused approach.

By Andrei Kasyanau Edited by Chelsea Brown

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The demand for an excellent customer experience is increasing as new technologies emerge. Nowadays, it's not enough to have an outstanding piece of software that works seamlessly without a hiccup. Today, if a business wants to stand out, it must also have a personalized, data-driven, and customer-focused approach. So, let's dive deep into consumer-focused technologies based on personal experiences:

Happiness and comfort as markers of a great customer experience

People all over the world have higher levels of stress and a general sense of uncertainty after the pandemic. Just as Forrester predicted for 2022, customers tend to choose brands that deliver comfort and positive emotions. We think the reason for this is that humans tend to seek general stability and comfort to feel safe and secure and to know what tomorrow holds. Thus, businesses should use this innate human desire to satisfy the needs of their customers.

And there are various ways to do so, depending on your niche. For instance, one can use augmented reality (AR), allowing customers to see the end result. Architects and furniture brands can use AR to lower levels of uncertainty and stress by showing how an apartment will look after renovation or what a room's space will feel like with new furniture. Such experiences allow customers to become more certain about a purchase and make the buying decision right away.

Related: 12 Golden Rules for Customer Experience Strategy

Emotionally empower customers as a brand, or get lost

It may strike you as fiction, but products or services that are delivered without any emotional resonance get left behind in the competitive market. In May 2021, a report from Gartner claimed that 46% of consumers don't distinguish one digital experience from another. That's especially relevant for people who are not familiar with technological trends. The only experience people are interested in is a successful experience. But here's the thing: Everyone has feelings and emotions. If your business can make a person happier and feel good about themselves, it's a win — simply because humans tend to seek pleasure and avoid struggle.

Acting on brand values to acquire customer loyalty

Keeping the focus on brand values can be extremely rewarding. According to Microsoft, 96% of customers claimed that smooth customer service is vital to their choice of loyalty to a brand. For instance, those who position themselves as a sustainable brand must not only produce good quality products but also attract customers who support their mission — the sustainable production of goods. For example, Taylor Stitch, an ethically-produced menswear label, offers 20% off a new customer's purchase and rewards brand advocates with a voucher. Shoppers who were referred by a friend have a 3-5 times higher conversion rate.

Accepting the new reality

Gartner predicts that 25% of people will spend at least 1 hour per day in a metaverse by 2026. Whether you're running a small company or enterprise, we'll eventually have to admit that the future has arrived. And if you still don't have a metaverse strategy, start thinking about developing one, as it's the next battleground for the best customer experience. Brands will soon be communicating with customers directly, and whoever has that customer-focused approach, will win the game.

Team collaboration for the sake of a delightful customer experience

As a business, we are willing to go the extra mile for customer satisfaction. That's why teams from different departments will need to collaborate to get that global picture of a successful customer experience. What does it actually mean? For instance, when building custom CRMs in Glorium, we're supporting and encouraging cross-functional team collaboration, as that's the only way our clients get the CRM that'll satisfy their needs and deliver joy when using it. Eventually, according to Gartner's report, a quarter of companies will bring customer experience, marketing, sales and customer service teams all under one umbrella. So, it's clear that times are changing in this space, and in order to see success, it's important to keep an eye on emerging trends. Here are five customer experience trends to be aware of:

Related: Why World-Class Customer Experience Will Be One of the Most Important Aspects of Your Business

1. A digital-first mindset

In recent years, the customer culture of "want-it-now" has become a trend that dictates how businesses should communicate with their customers. According to Business Wire, 95% of people find customer experience a crucial factor that impacts a brand's loyalty. The pandemic forcefully moved customers from offline purchases to coming to terms with digital channels. Since then, the demand for a fast and delightful online experience has only grown. Companies are forced to develop a digital-first mindset to keep and grow their customer base.

2. Personalized experiences

Today, having the ability to use big data is another crucial metric for business success. According to Salesforce, the report showed that 57% of people are ready to give up their personal data to get a personalized experience. Thus, analyzing big data in order to provide better service is a go-to strategy for this year and the years to follow.

3. Mobile-first conversations

Easy access to a company's services via smartphone messengers, such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and others, continues to thrive. That's the trend forecasted by Forrester, which is going to stay with us for a long time, and there's no going back. The convenience of usage and familiarity of the workflows — that's what companies should strive to achieve.

4. Increase productivity to avoid burnout

The immense number of queries that customer and sales teams get each day can be overwhelming, leading to anxiety and inevitable burnout. For example, according to MaxContact findings, 88% of respondents claim their responsibilities have grown tremendously without a pay raise, and 72% said they're burned out or will be very soon. Thus, to prevent teams from falling into mental exhaustion, there's a pressing need to invest in technology that helps improve work efficiency, such as custom CRMs.

5. Moving on from automation to AI

Not so long ago, automated workflows seemed like the next big thing. However, AI technology has taken over, particularly AI-powered bots that have shown themselves as great tools to improve customer experience satisfaction. Automation might not be enough — prediction is what people need nowadays. According to Intercom's research, chatbots increased sales by 67% and improved customer support satisfaction by 24%.

Related: 4 Ways to Use AI to Enhance the Customer Experience

The bottom line is: Adapting and adjusting is how businesses must operate to satisfy customers' needs and deliver a delightful customer experience. However hard or fragile it may seem, the businesses that find a way to make their customers happier and their staff more content will gracefully enter the new era of ever-changing possibilities.

Andrei Kasyanau

CEO and Co-Founder of Glorium Technologies

Andrei Kasyanau is a Senior Executive and advisor with more than 20 years of success in software, technology, healthcare and real estate. Under his leadership, Glorium Technologies has seen consistent growth between 20% - 30% YOY and made the Inc. 5000 list in 2020 and 2021.

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