Now is the perfect time to reflect and improve on your customer experiences. We asked CEOs, business leaders, and CX experts to share their plans on how to make 2022 the best year ever for customer (and employee) experience.
- Every business decision in 2022 needs to put the customer first.
- Customers aren’t just comparing you to competitors, but their last best experience.
- Engaging with customers emotionally is the fastest way to gain loyalty.
Liz Glagowski: Hi everyone, Liz Glagowski here. Hope you're having a great holiday season. As we head into the new year, many people think about what their New Year's resolutions might be, and that's the same for some of the brands you do business with.
We asked CEOs, CX experts, and others about what their customer experience New Year's resolutions might be for 2022.
You're only as good as your last best experience. Several leaders we spoke with recognize that authentic, genuine customer interactions often should take precedence over price to deliver a great experience for customers.
Dan Gingiss: Hi, my name is Dan Gingiss author of The Experience Maker: How to Create Remarkable Experiences That Your Customers Can't Wait to Share, and this is my CX New Year's resolution. My resolution is to make 2022 the year of the customer. What do I mean by that? Every business decision that we make in 2022 should make sure that it takes the customer into consideration. Yeah, we have to make decisions for financial reasons, but if we don't consider the customer's point of view, we risk sacrificing their loyalty and retention in order to make an extra dollar somewhere else.
By wearing the customer hat in every single company meeting and making sure that the customer is represented at the table, we can make decisions that are win/win for both of us, that make the company money, but also keep the customer coming back for more. Make 2022 the year of the customer in your organization and increase retention, increase sales from existing customers, and increase the number of referrals that they make to their friends, family, and coworkers.
Don Peppers: Hello, I'm Don Peppers, and my customer New Year's resolution is to help companies re-humanize their customer experiences. Now that COVID is receding, engaging with a customer emotionally is the fastest way to increase that customer's loyalty and value for a company, but this kind of emotional engagement requires human to human interaction. You cannot get there with a bot or an algorithm.
Shep Hyken: Hi, this is Shep Hyken, Customer Service and Experience Expert, and the chief Amazement Officer at Shepherd Presentations. And my customer experience New Year's resolution is to continue to offer our clients the best experience they could possibly have when dealing with a company like ours.
Now here's my point, every year I do predictions as to what the year is going to look like ahead, so as we look ahead to 2022, I always start off with, it seems like the same prediction that I've been giving for the last oh, probably five or six years, and that is our customers are getting smarter and smarter in each and every year, and they've been continuing to do so. They understand and know what a great customer service experience is all about, and the reason they know is because they no longer compare us to direct competitors, they're comparing us to the best experience they've had from anyone, companies that are rockstars in their industry, companies like Amazon or Disney or a high end hotel chain, if they stay at a place like the Ritz Carlton or the Four Seasons.
The point is there's there's commercials that are out there that are saying we've got great service and our customers have learned what it is and now they're starting to expect it from every company they do business with, not just the rock stars. So as I mentioned, I believe customers are getting smarter and smarter each and every year because they are learning more and more about what great customer experience is from these rockstar companies. They expect it from everyone, they compare you not just to your competitor, but maybe even the shoe repair store just down the street.
The question is, and this is my question to myself, am I willing to step up and try to deliver the experience? Not the same exact process, but deliver an experience where people will say, "They're as good as [whoever that great rockstar company is]." That's my New Year's resolution to not just meet, but exceed my customers expectations, to meet them where they are in their mindset when it comes to customer experience, to be compared not just to competition, but to the world's best companies, and I hope you'll consider doing the same.
LG: We also learned that technology needs purpose, context, and humans behind it. New channels and gadgets only work if they improve the quality of experiences and brand perception, something to look for in 2022.
Steven Van Belleghem: My name is Steven Van Belleghem. I'm the author of a CX book called The Offer You Cannot Refuse, and my CX resolution for 2022 is to learn more about the impact that NFTs and the Metaverse will have on customer experience. I think we're going to see a huge opportunity that will rise for a number of brands to rethink customer loyalty. A lot of people see NFTs as a technical thing or something that only happens in the world of art or in the world of creators, I think it could really turn customer loyalty upside down. Because if you work with NFTs, it means that your customers become part of your company almost, and it's a way to increase engagement. It creates a loyalty system of shared interest. I think if you look today to customer loyalty, there is no shared interest. The value for the brand and the company is usually higher than the value for the customer. With NFTs, you create a shared playing field. If the company performs well, my NFT will increase in value so I benefit from that as a customer, which is a totally different philosophy.
So this could really change the way that we look at loyalty. I think customer loyalty programs have been the same since the 1980s. I mean, you buy 10 breads and then you get the 11th for free, or you have these cards and all these points and all those things. They've been around for 30 years now, and they're at their limit. I truly believe that with new technologies that are popping up, we can turn customer loyalty upside down and brands that understand that will be the winners of the next couple of years.
LG: And finally, don't forget that a great employee experience is critical to developing and providing a great customer experience now and in the future.
Tim Keefe: Hi, good morning. This is Tim Keefe. I'm a Partner in Customer Experience Design with TTEC and my customer experience resolution for 2022 is to make 2022 the year of the employee. Recognizing all of the challenges that employees have faced in 2021 and 2020, the pandemic, and in many cases, opportunities and challenges that have been burning for a very long time. And I think the pandemic really just took a set of burning embers and turned them into a roaring fire. But there's no question that in order for us to be successful in 2022 and beyond, we need to find ways to make work easier for our employees, to make them more successful in delivering quality for their customers, to allow them to feel that they have a voice in the work that they do and the tools that they use to get their work done.
So I think we've been talking about some of this stuff for many years, but now it's no longer a conversation. We have no time, but other than now to make these differences happen, whether they're in the way we hire, the way we train, the way we support people, and recognizing that human beings are not numbers on an Excel spreadsheet. Every one of our employees is on their own journey and we have to find the ways to make those journeys successful that align their goals and achievements with our goals and achievements as their employers, so 2022 needs to be the year the employee. Thanks for listening. Thank you.
LG: We look forward to keeping up with brands throughout 2022, to make sure they're sticking to these very important New Year's resolutions for the customer experience. Well, we've hope you've learned some new ways to make 2022 the best year yet for customer experience. So happy holidays from all of us at TTEC and the Customer Strategist Journal.