Alice asked the Cheshire Cat,
who was sitting in a tree,
“What road do I take?”
The cat asked,
“Where do you want to go?”
“I don’t know,” Alice answered.
“Then,” said the cat,
“it really doesn’t matter, does it?”

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What consumers want in 2022

Whiplash Team, 10th December 2021

What consumers want in 2022

Consumers want better shopping experiences, that companies and brands listen to their feedback and to feel that the companies whose goods and services they purchase treat them better. These are the main findings of the Global consumer Trend 2022 report by the technology consultancy specialized in experience management programmes Qualtrics XM.

In one of our previous posts, we commented on the results of the McKinsey personalization report 2021, which highlighted the need to improve personalization strategies as a driver for business growth. The centre of any personalization strategy is the consumer’s experience and their interaction with the brand. If this is good, it is very possible that the user will return, recommend the company and its products and, in general, act as a brand prescriber. If not, at best, he/she will most likely purchase a competing product or service.

Now, the results of the Global Consumer Trends 2022 report, from the company Qualtrics XM, delve into the need to improve the shopping experience for consumers and it reveals that 63% of consumers think that brands must improve in listening to the feedback they receive from their customers. Likewise, 62% think that companies should care more about their customers and 60% say that they would buy more if they felt better treated by the brands they purchase.

The study, for which 23,000 people were interviewed in 23 countries -Spain among them-, focused on how the customer experience with companies was, when buying a good or service in 2021.

The conclusion is that the relationship between clients and companies has changed forever and that in 2022, those in charge of CX (Customer Experience) face great challenges, derived from changes in the scenario. Although the objective remains the same, to attract and retain customers, generating commitment and loyalty along the way, the conditions are different.

The pandemic and lockdown generated changes in habits and consumption that have come to stay. On the other hand, the economic, supply and labour crisis derived from the global stoppage caused by Covid-19, has deepened the gap between what consumers expect from companies and what these actually deliver.

The Qualtrics XM study reveals that 8 out of 10 respondents think that the customer experience needs to be improved, and that there are many areas to do so. These include prices and rates, customer service, products, and ease-of-use. This requires deep-thinking work on the processes, from the design of products to their release to the market and after-sales service.

The pandemic triggered a gigantic leap in the use of digital media for everything: work, shopping, health and wellness services, entertainment, and leisure. This is here to stay and, as users flock to online channels to solve their daily affairs, it is important that companies and brands invest on improving their digital presence and services.

In this sense, the report reveals that many companies have not managed to be up to the task and that in the last 18 months they have not updated their products and services to meet the current needs of customers. This has generated frustrating experiences on the omnichannel customer journey, that is, at all points of contact between the customer and the company from physical stores to virtual channels.

Thoroughly reviewing customer support services to be able to recognize which options work best for which customer and when, in addition to avoiding cross-channel silos and examining end-to-end customer journey to identify what is working and what is not, are some of the Qualtrics XM recommendations.

The lack of interest that companies show in the feedback of their customers offer is another of the pain points that the report reveals. Users do not feel heard. In fact, two thirds of all those interviewed said that companies need to improve in this aspect. Customers expect the relationship with companies to be both ways and that these act on the feedback they receive. Companies need to demonstrate to their customers that their opinion matters, that they listen to them and act accordingly.

Last, and perhaps most importantly, customers want to be treated like people. They want companies to put them first, consider them as individuals, and build genuine and meaningful relationships with them. The good news is that they are willing to pay more for a personalized customer experience tailored to their every expectation and needs.