Based on a research from PWC, 86% of customers are willing to pay a premium for a better shopping experience. That’s why companies these days care deeply about the product experience for their customers. They know that no matter how wonderful a product they have built, if it doesn’t provide a great experience for the customer, then there is a lot to worry. After all, your customers are the ones who will decide the fate of the business.
If you provide a terrific product user experience, then your customers will be happy to stay with you. They will even be recommending your product to others. Good UX is a non-negotiable these days. Gone are the days when you could pass off clunky products for a premium. The product user experience is also an important element of your overall brand. When your customers talk about your product’s user experience to others, you are guaranteed to keep getting more clients from it. Why? Because more often than not, your customers are bothered if the product that they use offers good UX or not.
What are the benefits of offering a great product user experience?
It is difficult to measure the product experience that your customers had. The user experience has a huge impact on how many of them will stay with you as customers and how they will be open to recommending your products to their friends and family. By providing a terrific product user experience, you will be able to satisfy your existing customers and put yourself in a position where you will get more of them.
Technology is a great leveler. While it keeps changing rapidly at paces that might almost be impossible for the average human mind to fathom, it does affect us in so many ways every day. Thanks to a wide variety of channels present, it is easy for customers to engage with businesses using them. If a customer is looking to get in touch with you through a social media platform because they are comfortable doing so, instead of getting on a phone call, then ensure that you provide the option to customers. They will thank you for it.
Product user experience goes beyond the banalities of just places where you can make a sale. The expectations that the average customer has is much higher than what it was earlier. If their product user experience is not par with what they had expected, they are more likely to air their grievances publicly. It puts you under even more pressure because social media can be disastrous for brands when they are outed publicly for their mistakes. The power of providing a good UX can never be discounted.
Let us look at Product Experience Trends for 2021:
Product Experience Trend #1. Transparency
There is nothing like a business that is transparent about how it conducts its operations. Not only in terms of the product quality and make, but also about certain things like its business practices, policies, pricing, ads, etc. People love brands that do not take them for a ride. Your customers don’t expect the moon, even things as simple as being true to what your brand stands for is important to them.
If you manage to break the trust that your customers had on you, it will be extremely difficult to right the wrong. You will not only see your sales plummet, but you will also find it hard to bring it back on track.
Product Experience Trend #2. Hyper-personalization
Your customers want a product user experience where they feel that your solution is specifically prepared for them. They are also used to brands providing them with a hyper-personalized experience based on their browsing, spending habits, and so on.
You also can use technology to understand their likes and dislikes, find out how their browsing patterns have been, the landing pages that they spent the most time on, previous spending patterns, etc., to offer them a hyper-personalized experience too. Your customers will love you for it.
Product Experience Trend #3. Omni-channel customer service
The hallmark of a great company is its ability to take care of its customers no matter how difficult the challenge can be. Customer success is all about building a relationship with your customer that will last for a long time. One of the key methods that you can apply to become a business that customers love is by offering omnichannel customer service. This is exactly why brands try to be present on all digital channels so that they don’t miss out on customer’s messages when they reach out to them.
Since customers spend a lot of time online, their expectations from brands for each channel will be equally high. When you are operating on different channels to give an omnichannel experience for your customers, make sure that you have a consistent voice across all platforms. If one of your reps says something completely different from what a customer heard in a different platform, it can lead to confusion. One wise decision is to use an omnichannel customer feedback platform like SurveySparrow. Here’s a customer feedback survey created using the online survey tool…
To create similar customer feedback surveys or to check customer pulse and sentiments, you can create a FREE account on SurveySparrow
Product Experience Trend #4. Chatbots
Artificial Intelligence will dominate the world of technology and that of consumer culture for the foreseeable future. Businesses are using chatbots as a customer service platform as well as to automate sales and marketing tasks. AI for customer service is a trend that will only get more effective as the AI system becomes smarter with each interaction. Even a non-AI chatbot helps customers find an effective way for consumers to answer their problems quickly. It helps save the time of the customer rep who could be solving more complex problems for its customers.
Product Experience Trend #5. Predictive Analytics
Brands have truckloads of data about its customers. Starting from browsing patterns to buying patterns, the amount of data with brands is unimaginable. If brands do not use this data, then it is a shame. Companies should employ this data to improve the customer’s experience by investing in predictive analytics. Starting from predicting inventory levels and sales during a particular season, it is a great addition that will help the end customer. The best part about it is that with the help of predictive analytics, businesses can acquire more customers, provide personalized experiences, and cut costs. You can be proactive instead of having to react to every situation.
Product Experience Trend #6. Data Protection
Every business is at risk of losing its customer’s data to hackers. It can be disastrous to the reputation of the company, no matter how big or small the organization is when people realize that their data has been compromised because of a security lapse on your side. It will not only erode trust in the minds of your customers, but it will also make it difficult for them to recommend you to anyone else. In 2021, people will be more careful of their data being misused. It is best not to put your customers in the way of harm.
Product Experience Trend #7. Customer-Centered Messaging
Websites with bad UX/UI are a thing of the past. No matter what you sell on the Internet, your customers want to have a good experience while on it. If your website is not updated to the current design trends, your customers will find it odd while accessing it. Apart from the design, the messaging also should be similar to what customers like. Put across the information on the website in an easy-to-consume manner. Your website visitors will appreciate you for it.
Product Experience Trend #8. Being empathetic
Most companies are known only for having a transactional relationship with their customers. If your company culture doesn’t encourage you to go the extra mile for its customers, then there is something inherently wrong with it. The year 2021 won’t be kind to you if that is the case, especially since the world is reeling because of the effects of a pandemic. Companies can still make money despite being empathetic by giving away things for free or at a discounted rate. Remember that it is your customer who makes you successful.
Product Experience Trend #9. Creating a customer experience strategy
Organizations should go out of their way to create delightful experiences for its customers. It is possible to create a successful one only when you have a strategy in place. There are playbooks, especially for creating a customer experience strategy. For businesses to survive, it is imperative that they establish a set of guidelines to ensure that they concentrate on the welfare of customers at every point.
Product Experience Trend #10. Contactless service
Contactless and self-service have become a norm these days because of safety reasons. No one wants to contract the virus, of course, duh! One of the best ways to stay safe is to avoid contact with people and things that were handled by people. That’s exactly why you see business establishments boast about providing contactless service everywhere.
From restaurants to malls, you will see contactless service being advertised. In fact, customers do not consider it a hassle, although it might have been considered “too much” just a year ago. Providing your offering via contactless service is an aspect that businesses need to keep in mind, at least until humanity gets rid of the virus.
Product Experience Trend #11. Servitization
Businesses do not want their offerings to become commoditized. Once commoditization happens, it becomes difficult to differentiate what you offer, and the only way to compete would be on price, not on value. What can be done for that? You should add value by bundling services with the products that you sell. By offering value-added services on top of your products, you can generate more revenue and also come across as a company that cares about its customers.
Product Experience Trend #12. Removing the retailer
Since the pandemic began, there are many brands who have become retailers themselves by directly selling to the customers, instead of using retailers like Amazon or Costco. If brands can connect directly with their customers (assuming it is B2C), then it is a win-win for both the parties. Customers will be able to buy directly at a cheaper rate since the commission for a retailer is not relevant anymore.
One of the major reasons why a lot of B2C brands were averse to it was because they were afraid of such a move affecting their relationship with their current retail vendors. Thanks to the pandemic, it was a make or break move for most brands.
Product Experience Trend #13. Data-driven marketing
There is no doubt about the fact that we are going to see a lot of data-driven marketing tactics being played out. In fact, it will come to such a stage where not using data to chart one’s marketing plan can be extremely bad for the business. They will not be able to provide personalization, nor will the company be able to define a marketing strategy that is closer to what their customers are looking for from them. With the help of data, businesses can target, engage and connect with them in a way that will appeal to the senses of the target market.
Product Experience Trend #14. Better sales process
No matter how many social media channels or tools come up, the importance of a dedicated sales team cannot be discounted at all. Your sales team is the ambassador for your business. How well are they trained? Do they understand your prospect’s pain points before they offer a solution for them? Do they concentrate only on selling? This and many more questions will tell you whether your sales strategy is effective.
Sales is not only about numbers. Even if your sales team cannot close a prospect immediately, based on the level of advice offered, they should come back to you once they have the requisite budget or need. Creating effective sales processes will make it easy for your sales team and your prospects would also love the experience.
Product Experience Trend #15. Real-time visual engagement
Use visual engagement tools to help agents and prospects have a better understanding of each other. By using visual tools like video chatting and co-browsing, you will be able to figure out the problems of your customers quickly and provide them with the right solutions. With the help of visual tools, you can find out the issue effectively, provide quicker resolutions to specific problems and decrease the time taken for issues to get resolved. Your customers will thank you for saving their time.
Product Experience Trend #16. Augmented Reality
Real estate companies are known to use augmented reality a lot these days. Instead of making its clients go from one place to the other, spending precious amounts of time, businesses can instead use augmented reality to show them houses. Since every nook and corner can be covered in it, it becomes a win-win for both the parties.
AR can also be used to make training programs more effective; customer service agents can use it to explain things, replicate a real product to train employees, and so on.
Product Experience Trend #17. Voice commerce
More than 90 million US adults have smart speakers. It means that the market for voice-based services is only going to grow. Starting from customer engagement to finding products online, voice-enabled assistants will be a game-changer. There will be technology created especially for that. Since customers tend to interact a lot with these personal devices, they are more likely in a position to personalize the experience for the customer and even suggest the best options.
Product Experience Trend #18. Internet of Things
The Fitbit that you have on your arm which takes data from your body, that’s the best example for the Internet of Things. Businesses can capture real-time data about how customers are utilizing their products and services, based on this; they can better their offerings by modifying them wherever it is necessary.
IoT helps to understand customer behaviour and generates data that can be used to personalize communication with your customers. IoT sensors are so advanced that it will even predict when a system will stop working.
Product Experience Trend #19. Loyalty Programs
The loyalty of customers cannot be taken for granted, and they should be nurtured and respected. Do remember that your customers have a lot of choices. Existing customers are more likely to purchase your future products, that too at a premium while getting new customers is going to be costlier for you.
Businesses need to focus on keeping their existing customers happy. One of the best ways to get them onboard with you as a customer for a long time is to have loyalty programs. You can offer them incentives, discounts, or anything that they will consider attractive in lieu of each referral that they bring in.
Product Experience Trend #20. Robotic Process Automation
Thankfully, 2021 will not be the year when the robots will take over the world. But robots will gain importance in helping us complete repetitive tasks with ease. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) helps in various areas, including drip campaigns, support chatbots, product delivery management, completing repeatable tasks, etc. It gets these tasks done at a significantly reduced period of time, and more importantly, the employee can be used to work at something more complex. RPA is known to work best with rule-based tasks.
Wrapping it up..
The difference between a good company and a great one is that the latter will do everything in its power to satisfy its customers. Great companies will always be looking for ways to improve the experience that it currently offers for their customers. They prioritize the customer experience with your brand over most things because they know that if a prospect doesn’t have a great time while interacting with your brand through any of the channels that you use, then it means that the system there hasn’t been properly implemented.
If you want to provide a brilliant experience for your customers, then following some of the product experience trends that we have listed here would be a start. Businesses that are looking for an online survey tool, you can get in touch with SurveySparrow’s customer success team.