By Shep Hyken
Happy New Year! What’s 2024 going to be like? I recently wrote two articles in my weekly Forbes column with my top predictions and trends for customer service and customer experience. I’ve taken five of my favorites from the list to share here in The Shepard Letter. Here are my top predictions for 2024. You can simply read these predictions or take action on them. (I hope you choose to take action!) So, here are my top predictions for 2024.
1. Smarter Customers
This is the same prediction I’ve started with for several years. Our customers are smarter than they were last year (again). They no longer compare us only to our direct competition but also to the best service they’ve had from any company.
TAKE ACTION: Sit down with your team and discuss their favorite companies to do business with inside and outside your industry. Discuss why they love them and determine if there’s anything these other companies are doing that you can do as well.
2. EX Is As Important As CX
If you’ve been following my articles and videos, you know this is one I’ve been talking about for several years. The employee experience (EX) drives a better customer experience (CX). Employee retention is just as necessary as customer retention.
TAKE ACTION: Just as you focus on ways to get and keep customers, do the same for your employees. If you want some direction on this, check out my article on The Employee Hierarchy of Needs.
3. Social Cause Increases Customer Satisfaction
Earlier this year, my customer experience research found that 43% of consumers believe it’s important that a company has a social cause that resonates with them versus just 24% who said that it wasn’t important. This is especially important to the Gen-Z and Millennial generations. Companies from all industries recognize the power of giving back and supporting causes like sustainability, poverty, and more.
TAKE ACTION: If you are not already involved with a cause, sit down with your team and find one that is meaningful to you, your employees, and your customers. Giving back is now a part of the customer experience.
4. Customers Want It Now
Customers will be less patient next year because of what is referred to as the Amazonation of the customer. Amazon has set the bar for fast delivery, and now customers expect similar “speed experiences” from most companies they do business with.
TAKE ACTION: Where can you increase speed in your business? It’s not just about delivery. It can be how fast you return a phone call or an email – or any opportunity to accelerate part of the experience as long as it doesn’t take away from an amazing customer experience.
5. Convenience Rules
I’ve written an entire book about this topic, The Convenience Revolution. Prior to the pandemic, convenience was an option. Today, it’s expected. This is a competitive differentiator. Eliminate friction. The companies that are most convenient will consistently win.
TAKE ACTION: Sit down with your team and find ways to eliminate friction for your customers. Look at every interaction point your customers have with you and ask, “Is there a way to make this easier or more efficient for our customers?”
My hope is that you will take action on at least one of these predictions. When you do, you’ll have a better 2024 – and so will your customers! Happy New Year!