Happy Friday! ‘This week in CX’ brings you the latest roundup of industry news. This week, we’re looking at retail reports ahead of the shopping season and which fashion retailers provide the best CX. Zoom have also launched their first Contact Centre, and Reputation have investigated hospitality reviews.

We also have the latest business updates from the cost-of-living crisis. This investigates the most recent actions and impacts on customers and organisations alike.

Key news

  • Cryptocurrency exchange FTX filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company’s valuation plunged from $32 billion to bankruptcy in a matter of days, dragging down founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried’s $16 billion net worth to near-zero.
  • Natural Language Processing (NLP), a type of AI used in customer experience (AI for CX), is invested in by 75% of European organisations. Most European business executives say NLP requires time to prove it works. Other challenges revealed include overcoming the fear that NLP will replace people (79%); software integration issues (79%); and proving ROI (78%). These findings come from Odigo.
  • Optimizely announced its content management, commerce, and personalisation solutions are now available on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace. Optimizely customers can now take advantage of the productive and trusted Azure cloud platform, with streamlined deployment and management. Optimizely DXP offers rich personalisation features, powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and benefitting from the scalability, reliability, performance, and security of Azure.
  • ClickUp, the productivity platform, and HubSpot, CRM platform for scaling companies, announced the launch of a highly-requested partnership. This will help customers create more efficient workflows and better collaborate across teams. By bringing together their capabilities, stakeholders throughout the customer lifecycle benefit from increased productivity and are better equipped with the knowledge they need to foster and grow customer relationships. 

Retail changed in 2022 — how consumers and retailers are adjusting 

Avalara and Censuswide surveyed 1,000 UK and US retail leaders and 2,026 consumers ahead of a busy holiday shopping season. 

45% of US shoppers and 58% of UK shoppers plan to spend less this year than last. Although a lot of shopping is still expected to happen Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend, retailers like Target and Amazon kicked off the holiday shopping season as early as October to give buyers more time to spread out their budgets. 

Another way holiday shoppers are adjusting their habits this year is by using Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) options. This includes Afterpay, PayPal, and Klarna. Less than 13% of UK shoppers surveyed plan to use BNPL (as opposed to the 73% of U.K. shoppers who plan to use credit and debit cards). 17% of US consumers surveyed are planning on using BNPL. A large number of BNPL shoppers are Gen Z and Millennials.

44% of shoppers in the US and 53% in the U.K. say they don’t anticipate buying from international retailers this year. 37% of US consumers said this is caused by concerns over long delivery times due to customs. 36% of UK shoppers stated they don’t want to incur additional shipping or customs charges. Nearly half of US and UK shoppers surveyed also plan to buy from marketplaces like eBay, Etsy, and Amazon.

A majority of shoppers surveyed (61% in the US and 53% in the UK) plan to buy gifts in-store this year. A surprising 13% of 35-to-45-year-old shoppers surveyed in the US also plan to shop in the metaverse. 14% of US respondents plan to buy from Instagram, and 12% are looking to TikTok to check gifts off their lists.

New customer data reveals which retail brands provide the best CX

Chattermill have analysed publicly available Trustpilot reviews registered from 1 January 2021 to 4 September 2022. This is to investigate which popular fashion retail brands have the best CX. 

ASOS has received consistently high scores over the past 12 months, while New Look is on an upward climb after a relatively low period. The data indicates a significant decline in customer loyalty across the retail industry as a whole.

Zara is the retailer with the lowest rating given by customers. The main reason for this is how they handle returns and refunds. The data shows Zara is consistent with the amount of negative feedback they are receiving while other retailers are seen to be making improvements. 

retailers in-person shopping

One of the biggest drivers for customer dissatisfaction is related to issues registered with size and fitting for the brand’s products. The top themes most negatively mentioned by retail customers include:

  1. Order accuracy and no delivery 
  2. Refunds 
  3. Quality 
  4. Returns and exchanges 
  5. Responsiveness 
  6. Contact methods 
  7. Problem resolution 
  8. Size and fit 
  9. Speed of delivery 
  10. Discounts and promotions 

Zoom have launched UK Contact Centre

Virtual video calls and meetings platform Zoom has announced the availability of its omnichannel contact centre-as-a-service (CCaaS) in the UK and Ireland. It will be coming soon to additional EMEA countries. With Zoom Contact Center, businesses are enabled to deliver prompt, accurate and personalised responses to their customers over a variety of channels, including voice, chat, SMS, and video. 

Some key features include: 

  •  A unique video waiting room experience. One that can be customised to display relevant content, such as promotional content, welcome videos or informational documents.
  • Increased collaboration for agents with peers, supervisors and other employees. using an all-in-one unified communications platform and features such as Zoom Team Chat and channels, removing the barriers that lead teams to work in silos and empowering them to be more productive from anywhere. 
  • Advanced skills-based routing with an intuitive flow designer to enhance the customer service experience. It integrates with CRMs and user call information to make an intelligent decision on how to best route them.  
  • Zoom Virtual Agent. This will help to offload the pressure of high call volumes with its conversational AI and chatbot solution, delivering instant, accurate resolutions.
  • Increased efficiency and less toggle time with integrations for popular applications. These includes those like Salesforce, Zendesk, and Service Now to manage customer interactions on one platform.

Reputation’s UK Hospitality Trends investigation 

Reputation have analysed thousands of guest reviews on Google across more than 7,200 locations of some of the UK’s biggest hospitality brands.

pub industry

Customer sentiment is generally (81%) positive, despite ongoing disruptions due to the pandemic, staff shortages and the cost-of-living crisis.  Positive and negative review sentiment is up, but neutral reviews are down, suggesting customers are both more critical and vocal online about the guest experience.

Guests are incredibly sentimental about pubs. Pub operators can leverage consumer attitudes towards pubs to drive guest advocacy. Social media analysis reveals that Britions love of pubs is higher than ever, and people are incredibly concerned about the survival of local pubs

Digital transformation is also continuing with the pub and restaurant business. Hospitality consumers are still willing to splash out on dining and drinking experiences. However, their expectations are higher than ever. 

More than anything, guests care the most about:

  • Staff courtesy 
  • Food 
  • Taste/temperature

You can read more about the progression of the UK pub industry throughout the pandemic and its fallout in a piece by Greene King’s Head of Insight for CX, David Pickersgill. You can find this in our digital magazine, CXM Review, pages 14 to 16.

Cost-of-living crisis business and customer updates

Here’s the latest updates of the cost-of-living crisis on businesses and customers, how they are being impacted and predictions of the impact.

Marketers face huge budget cuts and drops in customer loyalty if they don’t optimise now

74% of CMOs have already – or expect to – face cuts to marketing budget or team due to recession. 40% of respondents said they still struggle to prove the ROI of marketing to the CEO. 63% think marketing could be leaner (more optimised). A worrying prospect when 42% of marketers simultaneously think customer loyalty will drop in the next 12 months. 

When asked which areas would be most impacted if budgets are cut in 2023, 68% of marketers say advertising/campaigns will be most impacted. This was followed by customer engagement (30%) and headcount (26%).  

70% of marketers have changed their Black Friday plans due to recent economic turmoil

Optimizely surveyed 100 in-house marketing professionals across the UK. They found that 35% of those taking part in Black Friday have reduced the deals they will be offering in order to save on costs and boost profits.

40% agree that Black Friday will be “even more vital” due to the possibility of an economic recession. 50% of those surveyed are actually increasing their Black Friday marketing budgets in response to the economic downturn. Of these, 36% have invested more due to concerns about tightening belts and reduced consumer spending power.

76% of marketers said that customer experience will be an ‘essential’ part of their marketing strategy in the year ahead — more than any other factor. Over half also agreed that personalisation technology will remain an essential element in their plans for reaching consumers. With these technologies to hand, a massive 97% of UK marketers say that — despite economic instability — they feel positive about their ability to deliver effective marketing in 2023.

Lost brand loyalty impacts more than a third of organisations 

Go Inspire has found over a third of senior marketers are already noticing a drop-off in brand loyalty as consumers shop around for deals to combat the cost-of-living crisis. A further 47% believe the changing behaviour of customers switching to rival items is price driven. 

55% of those who were polled say they expect their organisation will allocate most resource to shoring up retention and loyalty of existing customers in the next 12 months, while only around a fifth (21%) will mainly focus on new customer acquisition. 

Thanks for tuning into CXM’s weekly roundup of industry news. Check back next Friday for the latest updates of the week!

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