There is no doubt that customer experience (CX) is a key brand differentiator, and will continue to be a driving force for company success in 2022 and beyond. What workforce trends do brand leaders need to plan for and take action to retain employees and increase customer loyalty?
My Workplace Trend Predictions:
Closer Partnerships Between Customer Experience and Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Departments.
It’s no secret that when employees feel valued, appreciated, and accepted, customers see and feel it too. One fuels the other. The more customer experience and human resource / D&I teams work together, the higher the likelihood company goals will be achieved.
More Workplace (office vs home) Options.
The global pandemic changed the way we think, work, and collaborate. Company policies are getting flexible and allowing employee choices with less FOMO (Fear of missing out), which in turn drives more loyalty and engagement to deliver customer excellence.
Increased Empathy and Communications.
Employees are getting better trained to “put themselves in the customer’s shoes,” and gaining soft skills, like active listening. This is a good trend for business benefits and society too. Call center reps reading from a script will become less tolerable to customers. They want personalized service, which means company leaders need to empower their staff to take care of customer needs without delay.
Better Time Management.
People are embracing a “less is more” mindset. Traditional hour-long meetings are becoming half the time and more focused. Also, people are gaining more efficiency by managing their energy to get daily tasks done versus clock watching. I’m a firm believer in a crawl, walk, run approach to life, and “listening with our eyes.” Listen to my podcast episode with guest, Neen James, about WHO deserves your attention, WHAT matters most, and HOW to increase productivity, accountability, and profitability.
Deeper Understanding of Customer Needs.
Many managers have solely relied on surveys to gain insights about how well they are meeting customer expectations. Going forward, this will not be enough. Aggregating and centralizing all sources of Voice of Customer (VoC) feedback (i.e. social media, ratings and reviews, website LIVE chat, focus groups, etc) combined with surveys will be the new game-changer.
Expanded Business Metrics and Key Performance Indicators.
Customer questionnaires are expanding to include more than the traditional Net Promoter (NPS) rating. Level of Effort and Sentiment scores are increasing in importance to gauge customer satisfaction and future behaviors (i.e. buy again, tell others, etc). Listen to DoingCXRight® podcast about creating Frictionless experiences
Higher Digital Adoption With Caution.
Technology is changing the way we live and service customers. The key is to not lose the human touch. The brands that win customer hearts and wallets will be the ones that deepen relationships and trust, not replace fully with automation.
A Rise In Customer Experience Officer (CXO) positions.
You can see a workplace trend happening already. McDonald’s, for example, hired its first CXO, Manu Steijaert, to advocate for customers in every business decision across the customer journey. Similarly, Walmart hired Janey Whiteside, Volkswagen did the same, and additional companies are following the path.
What workplace trends would you add to the list?
While none of us can predict 100% what the future will bring, I do know one thing for sure: Expect the unexpected. If you keep this mentality every day, it will help in remaining calm, resilient, and focused on delivering better experiences.