After the chaos of 2020 and the uncertainty that 2021 brought at many points, I think it’s pretty safe to say that many of us are hoping 2022 will be a bit more predictable. Predictability isn’t always a bad thing, after all — especially when juxtaposed against the unplottable madness of the pandemic.
While 2020 was often about snap reactions, and 2021 largely shaped up to be a year of the “new normal” becoming just, well, normal, I think 2022 is bringing business leaders the opportunity to step back and examine their businesses and how they’re operating. With everything from hybrid-working structures to staff mental well-being to consider, the typical business leader will have plenty to consider — which is why I believe that remembering to focus on one core component is crucial.
The experience you offer a customer is invaluable. Whether those customers are first encountering your business or they’re a seasoned client, there’s never any reason to consider the customer experience — from user experience (UX) design to sales service — with complacency.
A 2015 Nielsen report found that 83% of respondents trust the recommendations of friends and family. So if you hear from a colleague or an aunt that a business gave them a poor experience, you’re more likely to never want to try that business for yourself.
With that in mind, I firmly believe that 2022 is the ideal opportunity to give your customer experience — from that very first interaction they have with your brand all the way through to the close-of-sale — a closer look. Whether that means you pick up the magnifying glass, start a collaborative cross-team effort or hire the services of an external company, it’s important to evaluate:
• The experience your customer is receiving
• The impression customers are getting of your brand and service at every exchange
• The elements of the customer experience that were once cutting-edge but are now convoluted
Whatever industry your business sits in, how you operate will likely have changed over the last 18 months. Whether that’s due to shop floor staff needing to wear face masks and stick to strict hygiene rules or to your team now working remotely, how your business operates is different. Equally, it figures that how your customer operates is different too.
For one thing, their customer journey will most likely look significantly different today than it did at the start of March 2020. While they might have previously browsed your website on either mobile or desktop, time spent working from home might mean they now prefer the other option. While a non-personal approach to communications might have once seemed most efficient, reaching out to customers for real-life, non-templated conversation could add a personal touch that other organizations lack.
Examining the way you do things with a post-Covid-19 lens is crucial for allowing your organization to continue growing and developing. We’ve all adapted hard, and fast, over the last 18 months. Now it’s time to step back and see the bigger picture.