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Empathy-Driven CX Experiences to Drive Businesses in 2022

The future of CX will revolve around individualised, personalised, authentic customer advocacy that allows businesses to grow and scale in a way that’s sustainable, profitable, and works for their customers.

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It’s been two years since the word normal was replaced with “the new normal” and in that short period of time trends have come and gone; technology has been touted as the saviour of the future and organizations have realized that being customer-centric is the way forward. Businesses have completely transformed the path when it comes to customer experience (CX), focusing on care and connection; meeting customers where they are today; reimagining CX for a post-COVID-19 world; and building capabilities for a fast-changing environment. From distributed workforces to consumers growing their digital maturity, to businesses realising the value of the contact centre, we’ve unpacked the five things we predict for 2022 and beyond:

Employees will drive excellent Customer Experience 

In 2022, employee experience (EX) will become the deciding factor in providing outstanding customer experiences. Over the years, organisations have had a haphazard focus on the two, swinging from customers to employees. But if recent times have taught us anything, it’s that the two are intrinsically linked, and one cannot exist without the other. With many organisations adopting remote workforces since the pandemic, coupled with challenges brought about by ‘The Great Resignation’, the onus is on businesses to establish robust employee engagement strategies moving forwards. By providing greater flexibility on how employees want to work, encouraging collaboration through the availability of digital platforms, and employing modern technologies such as AI to increase productivity, businesses can successfully reinvent employee experiences. According to IDC survey, an improved employee experience and higher employee engagement translate to a better customer experience, higher customer satisfaction, and higher revenues for their organization. By focusing on the engagement and satisfaction of their own employees, businesses will find this becomes a leading indicator for differentiated customer satisfaction by default.

Contact Centres as a Service will be on the rise 
During the uncertain times of the past few years, customers have turned to the contact centre for help, guidance, and reassurance. In 2022, we’ll see this continue with many companies looking to shift their customer experience (CX) infrastructure to the cloud to better support remote agents. Businesses are increasingly seeing CX as a main driver of customer trust and loyalty and has become a board-level priority for more than half (58%) of companies, according to a latest study from Genesys. Cloud-based contact centre tools and capabilities will enable businesses to propagate more satisfying interactions for customers and make the processes more efficient for agents. We will see a rise in omnichannel cloud contact centre capabilities with the aid of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). This will allow contact centres to design automated experiences and conversational interfaces that can be integrated into any cloud-based application or agent tool. By encouraging cross-functional collaboration and breaking down silos, businesses will quickly realise the value of the contact centre as the source of truth, and its overall impact to the bottom line.

Elevated Customer Experience will be the norm amongst Indian consumers
The pandemic has transformed how Indian businesses interact with their customer base and has revolutionized the meaning and delivery of customer experience (CX).  Consumers are now accustomed to best-in-class user experiences both online and offline. A customer-centric organisational culture is no longer just a good thing — it is a necessity for survival. With this, the high benchmark of premium CX is expected across all channels to the point of being channel-agnostic. While voice remains the most frequently used channel in 2021, the number of consumers interacting with customer service through messaging, mobile apps, chatbots, social media, and video calling has more than doubled between 2017 and 2021, and is predicted to continue to rise. By investing in a unified contact centre platform, businesses can meet customers in the channel of their choice, through a channel-agnostic approach – offering a consistent experience throughout the customer journey.

Empathy will be the epicentre 
During COVID, Indian consumers professed to prioritize an empathetic experience over a quick resolution of their query and gave it the highest importance (58%) when interacting with an organisation. When businesses create engagements based on empathy, customers feel remembered, heard, and understood. This in turn leads to better connections, customer loyalty, and ultimately hits the bottom line. However, to get there it’s important to strike the balance between the right combination of technologies, and human touch, to deliver customer empathy at scale. Enabled by cloud, AI, data, and engagement channels, it has become possible for organisations today to better orchestrate customer journeys to lead a culture shift towards empathy.

Customers will be more receptive to sustainable and ethical businesses
Empathy doesn’t start and end with CX, it is something that a business needs to embody from the inside out. It’s no longer enough to just focus on customer engagement- consumer expectations are changing, and quality and affordability aren’t all that matter.We are seeing an increase in customers switching to brands that they believe to have an honest, authentic, and empathetic approach to business. Our research found that nearly half (46%) of consumers aged 18-34 said they prefer to buy from companies that are aligned with their social, ethical, and environmental values — even if that means paying more for goods or services. Data protection, animal welfare, health and wellness, human rights, and environmental protection ranked as the top five consumer values, respectively. By shifting mindsets from viewing CX as a siloed function, to viewing the bigger picture of the overall reputation and image of a business, leaders will gain the perspective they need to make changes for the better.

The future of CX will revolve around individualised, personalised, authentic customer advocacy that allows businesses to grow and scale in a way that’s sustainable, profitable, and works for their customers. While the future of CX for an organisation will depend on things like the industry, digital maturity, and competitive landscape, by aligning the CX strategy towards a unified channel-agnostic experience, prioritising the employee on the same level as the customer, and harnessing cloud-based technologies, organisations will find themselves winning over competitors in 2022.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Assaf Tarnopolsky

The author is Senior Vice President and General Manager, APAC, Genesys

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