What are the 5 CX trends you need to know about for 2021?

by Matt Sims | February 11, 2021

 

Our Sales Consultant Matt Sims was invited to speak this week at the Nordic launch of Zendesk’s 2021 CX trends report, part of its global survey based on data from 90,000 businesses across 175 countries. Here Matt shares his take on the five CX trends that everyone needs to know about in 2021.

1. Great CX is your secret weapon

Here’s the good news – there’s never been a better time to invest in your CX. Zendesk’s survey reports that 75% of customers will spend more if they can buy from a company with good CX. There’s also a demographic shift happening in customer behaviour, with the 65+ market of older shoppers starting to order groceries online.

The flipside of that good news is that customers are not becoming more forgiving, and nowadays all it takes to lose them is one bad experience. Channel availability is becoming much more important to consumers too.

What we’re seeing from a CX perspective is not just that customers want availability on the channels of their choice – increasingly digital channels like messaging and chat – but that they also want much more agile and fluid customer experiences in established, traditional channels. Organizations will need to come up with new ways to service customers in more effective ways.

2. We live in a conversational world

While email and phone remain the top two preferred channels for customers, we’re starting to see a 2-channel average quickly become 3-4 channels, with 61% of customers trying new ways to get in touch with customer service.

Nearly three-quarters of consumers still prefer telephone as their channel of choice, alongside a preference for human-to-human social interaction in their channel choice. The report shows an increase in growth in the popularity of digital channels, with messaging (whether live chat, social platform or SMS) just 5% behind the phone in popularity now and gaining ground.

3. It pays to be agile

Perhaps understandably given the global events of the last year, Zendesk’s survey shows that being able to adapt quickly and easily is now more important than any other CX priority for CX leaders and agents. The need to have blended agents who are able to work across multiple channels is up a third YoY too, with 75% of companies using two or more channels daily for their CX.

4. What is the future of work?

The global pandemic has forced many companies to undergo seismic changes to how they work, practically overnight. For many employees this has seen them adopting new tools and processes. Half of the companies Zendesk surveyed have switched to remote work (without necessarily having the right tools in place to succeed at WFH in a way that’s sustainable.)

In our experience at 5CA, there’s no single set of tools and capabilities that companies can equip themselves with in order to create best-in-class remote working. It’s not a single solution answer, it’s a strategy. For us it’s a way to change the game when it comes to industry challenges like the war for talent. Not being bound by geographical proximity to bricks-and-mortar offices when hiring CX agents, means we can hire from an infinitely larger global talent pool.

We’re able to hire agents who are already fans of our clients’ brands, so they already know and love their products and services. All of this enables us to get agents onboarded and operational within weeks, not months.

5. Have we reached the digital tipping point?

Half of all decision-makers say that COVID-19 has quickened the pace at which new tech adoption is occurring, with companies prioritizing a number of big digital bets in 2021.

Leading the field for many companies is the ability to execute omnichannel CX, with better infosec, more agile tech, better internal collaboration tools and digital employee workspaces all next on the list for 2021. More than half of the leaders Zendesk spoke to reported that they were expecting bigger budgets in 2021 to invest in a ramp-up of digital tech.

 

Get in touch

If you’d like to talk more about any of the trends here and how your business can handle them, or you’d simply like to talk about future-proofing your organization’s CX for whatever this new decade is going to throw at us, get in touch and let’s have a conversation.

 

Matt Sims