This year, as we celebrate CX Day, we wanted to hear from the experience professionals themselves across industries about their most significant learnings from 2020 and their expectations for 2021 regarding customer expectations and CX efforts.

As we compiled all the insights they’ve shared, there were important topics that all leaders shared. One of the common learnings was that companies that were flexible, fast to adapt and took rapid action were the ones who got ahead. Regarding expectations, it looks like digital transformation will continue to be prioritized. The importance of investment in technology and becoming digital savvy are some topics that are being prioritized in 2021.

Here are the insights from experience leaders in their own words.

Enjoy!

Emre Çelik, Customer Experience Manager, Enerjisa

“During this pandemic, those who foreseen change early on and took

necessary action has gotten ahead.”

We anticipate that the actions we have taken during the epidemic will move us forward in the new normal. The Covid-19 pandemic created unexpected effects in an unexpected time. Specifically, in terms of digitalization, we’ve seen an acceleration in changes that we anticipated to occur in the long term. The new normal has mostly shifted payment habits and increased digital potential in our industry. It seems clear that analyzing all these changes and defining channel strategies will determine both competition and customer experience.

Along with technology, companies and customers are also changing. Analyzing the digital potential and creating channel strategies accordingly will be the priority of today and the near future. Along with technological and demographic changes, customer behavior and needs are also changing. The expectations and needs of each of our 25 million customers we serve as Enerjisa differ from each other. By analyzing the data and the in-depth interviews we’ve conducted with our customers, we identified different customer groups that differ in channel preferences, service expectations, and needs. We will continue to develop different journeys and strategies for our current and future customer segments.

Melih Özgül, Head of Customer Experience and Continuous Improvement, Metro Turkey

We have seen that the customers’ definition of “a good experience” has changed, and clear expectations have been formed from the companies with which they interact. 1- Safety and Personal Health 2- Willingness to Help
For most businesses, online/digital services have now turned into a “must-have”, from “nice to have.” Finally, we learned that employee experience is an essential part of the customer experience. The perception that companies that take of their employees in terms of health and trust take of their customers’ health have made the companies more preferred.

“In 2021, customers expect more trust-based relationships, transparency,

personalized services and omnichannel experiences.”

To achieve this, companies will need to regularly listen to the voices of their customers and implement their actions in a structured way for a better experience. Customer experience will be the “north star” for companies that can achieve this transformation.

Vipul Kothari, Senior Customer Experience Manager, Sharekhan

With COVID -19 pandemic hitting the entire globe, the year 2020 has been the most challenging and difficult year.
At one end, we were in an entirely challenging situation in the initial period of the pandemic outbreak. Having to remain indoors, follow social distancing norms, quickly set up the business from office to home, and ensure the continued uninterrupted service to our customers.
With all these challenges, we also sensed an opportunity. Our priority was to give all our customers the same if not improved customer experience. The immediate steps we took were On-board customers on digital platforms, improving digital UI/UX, prioritizing customer feedback; the front end was trained and reskilled to prioritize the customer’s wellbeing and concerns first; the business will follow. This effort not only helped us fight the pandemic, but it resulted in higher customer satisfaction.

“If the organization is open to adaptation and transform its business by keeping

customer priority first, customers and employees to respond positively to the new change”

So for 2021, two things will play a significant role in shaping the futures of the companies.
Digital transformation and customer experience

The organization which will invest more in technology and CX will sustain over a long period.
With all the IOT’s, AI’s, Data Analytics, 5G penetration – Digital Transformation is the way ahead for any organization. The organization will need to service and predict their customer experience much before the customer says it. CX will play a significant role in the organization as there will be less physical connect and higher access to social media. Organization brand image can be tarnished in social media with one poor customer experience. CX manager’s role will be important in giving the organization the right direction to be the industry they operate.

Abdulkadir Demirtas, Customer Experience and Service Design Manager, IGA Istanbul Airport

For years, we have used many tools to understand and make sense of customer expectations. Assuming that there is a fixed customer expectation, we thought that if we discovered this expectation and designed all our services accordingly, everything would be solved. Our most significant learning during this period was that needs can be utterly shifted at unexpected times. We were and still are flexible, fast, and completely solution-oriented to adapt to this change.

I predict that human needs will turn into a basic level of existence, ie, survival. But on the other hand, the technology that has overtaken our everyday lives by making our lives easier. Hence, I see that customer expectations will swirl in this direction.

“Companies that invest in technology become flexible, transform, and implement rapid solutions

will be the ones that provide exceptional customer experiences.”

Tolga Güllü, Owner, Energama, and CMO of SecureComputing 

One of the most significant learnings is the capacity of human beings to rapid adaption to change. After the initial surprise, people started a rapid adaptation process by accepting and learning from each other through social media and visual media. Experience in many areas of daily life has rapidly shifted to digital format. This inevitably affected the corporate life and the lives of the companies and initiated the rapid transformation. The shifting of customer preferences to digital caused many traditional and big brands to start e-commerce and review all their workflows according to customer experiences and competition. In times of crisis, we create opportunities and trigger rapid transformations and accelerate development, thanks to today’s advancing technology and consumer awareness.

What happened in 2020 has produced irreversible consequences for the years to come. 

“I think that the new preferences and habits that emerge after the Pandemic will be permanent in

our lives, at least with a hybrid method.

Companies that cannot grasp this and are not ready for transformation

will disappear in a short time”

In the last ten years, speed and convenience have become prioritized in customer experience. With the intensive digitalization, the attention and success of brands in cybersecurity and personal information protection were among the reasons to be preferred. With the Pandemic, priority has shifted to hygiene and healthy shopping standards in customers’ preferences. Especially in contact and sit-down shopping at retail, consumer perception has become too high regarding whether hygiene measures are taken or not. While many brands prioritized this, they also made extra technological and digital investments in the customer shopping experience and could get ahead of the competition. 

Betül Yılmaz, Customer Experience Coach and Consultant, Co-Founder, Elephant

Customer Experience management is at a different maturity level in every organization. For 2020, we have seen how well-matured organizations with advanced levels showcase excellent management by approaching the experience through customers, employees, and business partners’ eyes by producing agile solutions.

“In the face of the pandemic, organizations that capture micro-moments for their customers and take

fast action, and take quick actions for their employees, got one step ahead”

Instant listening to the customers and employees showed the importance of quickly taking the right steps while responding to the crisis. I think this year has differentiated the perception of improving both the customer and employee experience. Our job is to enable our organizations to take a holistic view of the experience to grow and get ahead of the competition.

The year ahead of us to enter the experience management, above all, with a more mature intellect. We are entering a year with organizations with more mature experience management. The increased awareness during the pandemic, consumption, communication, and sense of belonging also led to permanent behavioral changes in customers and employees seeking value and meaning. Today, we instinctively experience many issues that we refer to as the new normal part of our lives. I think 2021 will be a year for companies to visit their reasons for the existence once again and present renewed value proposals for customers, employees, and business partners, taking into account the rapidly changing persona habits. Happy CX day to all of us!

Related Resources

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