Emerging CX trends to avoid

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Written by Editor



By Zain Patel, Managing Director, Merchants 


As product offerings and price continue to converge across industries, customer experience (CX) has emerged as the most important differentiator for businesses looking to remain relevant in 2022 and beyond. 

As one would expect, there have been several CX trends emerging, particularly aimed at creating a more personalised experience for the consumer – as consumers are faced with more choice than ever, and a growing number of channels to use their voice. 

One such trend has seen businesses grouping consumers based on perceived potential – measured through specific behavioural patterns, such as spend for instance – and then providing each group with a different experience. 

Using a bank as an example, high net worth individuals might be given access to a team of private bankers who can provide a personalised experience 24 hours a day. This is aimed at ensuring positive CX, making the customer feel valued, and ultimately retaining their business. Lower income clients however may not have access to a team of bankers. This is an interesting concept, since they are more likely to be interacting with the business frequently – whether they are looking at ways to get more value out of their products, finding out about new offers or logging queries. This also means they are then more likely to switch providers based on unsatisfactory CX. 

Merchants’ consumer research carried out in Q2 2021 found that South African consumers are likely to switch providers based on unsatisfactory CX – usually switching after an average of 2 – 5 negative experiences. 

Another related trend which is emerging incredibly quickly is the digitisation of customer touchpoints – for customers across segments. It is imperative to ensure that investment in digital CX tools is not at the detriment to investment in people. As a BPO provider, our 2021 research also showed that 87% of respondents want to speak with an agent when contacting a call centre, and problem solving remains the number one outcome they are wanting to achieve. While digital channels like chat, for example, definitely have their place in providing positive CX, our research over the last two years gives us strong evidence that human connection remains incredibly important to all consumers.

Businesses looking to remain relevant need to ensure they are focusing on creating a personalised, positive experience for all consumers, regardless of their perceived potential. 


Zain is the Managing Director of Merchants SA and has spent more than 20  years in Contact Centres driving and delivering CX solutions. He has led several important customer experiences transformational programmes for recognisable and reputable local South African and Global businesses. He is a hands-on leader that is passionate about making a difference in the lives of his people and the customers they serve.



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