- Preparing a long-term customer experience strategy requires a strong understanding of how customers are changing.
- In the future, experience will matter more than product. Customers will have the power to choose the experience they want.
- Sustainability, authenticity, and personalization will be foundational for future customer experience efforts
In a constantly changing world, customer experience teams need to keep an eye on the future to see what’s coming down the pipeline. Waiting to react until something is right in front of you is a surefire way to become obsolete and irrelevant.
But is it possible to create a future-proof customer experience strategy when the technology, trends, and customer demands are evolving so rapidly?
Yes, if you are in tune with your customers.
Brands Must Stay Connected To Customers’ Changing Demands
Customer priorities and demands are constantly changing. In the next 10-15 years, customers will gain even more power. Customers won’t choose a brand simply on product or price—it will be about the entire experience, especially around what the brand stands for and the good the company does in the world. Brands have an incredible responsibility (and opportunity) to change the world through sustainable efforts, getting involved in their communities, and standing up and raising awareness for critical social issues. In the future, brands that don’t showcase transparency or authenticity will be overlooked.
Sustainability and community involvement are huge to customers. These are no longer nice aspects of a company—they are essential going forward. We’ve already seen that customers connect with and are incredibly loyal to brands like Rothy’s, Trader Joe’s, and ThredUp that make a difference in the world. Standing up for social issues, using sustainable materials and manufacturing, and embracing diversity are no longer optional. That must become table stakes in the future.
Personalization And Convenience Will Be More Important Than Ever
Customers also increasingly prioritize customization and convenience, and that need will only grow. Customers will want products and services designed to meet their exact needs, and they won’t want the same experience or product as their neighbors. Brands will have to deliver items and experiences that are uniquely personalized to each customer, down to every detail, which will require a deep understanding of customers and the ability to translate that into a unique experience nearly instantly.
Customers Want Transparency And Authenticity
Customers are becoming more aware of brands’ tactics to get a sale. That means the traditional approaches to sales and marketing won’t work in the future. Customers won’t want to be sold to. Instead, brands will need to recommend products and experiences customers don’t yet know they want or need but that are perfect for their lives.
To match the new approach, companies will need to tone down their mass marketing efforts and focus on data and personalized outreach. It will be less about being everywhere and more about being where your target customers already are to provide a personalized sales experience. Leveraging data and building individual relationships will be crucial to establishing trust and providing tailor-made recommendations and experiences.
There’s no one-size-fits-all secret to creating a future-proof customer experience strategy. The key is to know your customers and be willing to adapt and evolve. Focusing on authenticity, establishing trust, and building personal relationships will go far in connecting with customers today and in the future.
Blake Morgan is a customer experience futurist and the author of The Customer Of The Future. Sign up for her weekly email here.