22 Communication Trends for 2022

Elizabeth Allen    July 15th, 2019      Last Updated February 20th, 2022 

22 Communication Trends for 2022 Banner

Bootcut jeans are on their way back in. Skinny jeans are yesterday’s news. It seems that trends make the world go ‘round. What we are looking for as a society is constantly changing and evolving, communicating important information about the state of the world at the time and how the culture is shifting. And the communications world is not immune to revolving trends. We’ve seen an overwhelming (and sometimes exhausting) number of changes in how we experience the world over the past few years. And that has inarguably impacted how organizations and customers interact with each other.

As a proven leader in the customer communication management space, MHC is very interested in where the future of communication is guiding companies and customers alike. As our president and CEO, Gina Armada, was recently honored with Aragon Research’s Women in Technology Award for 2021, MHC is looking to the future of the communication space and how we can help positively provide solutions that will keep your organization in-step with these emerging trends.

“We’ve seen a lot of change over the last several years. How organizations operate and how customers interact with those organizations has changed significantly – in ways we never could’ve imagined a mere five years ago. But as the smoke begins to clear and we get greater insight into how this unprecedented time in history will change behavior going forward, one thing has become crystal clear. Automation, in its many forms, is undeniably the foundation to enable successful communication in 2022 and beyond. At MHC, we believe the organizations that leverage flexible, scalable and reliable automation functionality to engage in tailored, one-to-one customer communications will quickly leapfrog their competition.”

INFOGRAPHIC

Discover the 22 Trends in our Infographic

Sometimes you need a visual to really drive a point home. Learn about the 22 communications trends we’ve identified in 2022 with this handy, aesthetically-pleasing infographic. Scroll through the biggest developments in communications we anticipate this year!

1. Automate Your Communications

Keeping regular, open communications with your customers can be an overwhelming task and unless you can dedicate someone to it full-time, you’re guaranteed to miss opportunities to engage meaningfully. 

It has never been more important to communicate with your customers based on their individual preferences, according to current trends in communications. Or to deliver those communications to any device via an omnichannel distribution method. 

Lastly, it’s crucial to be able to leverage the vital insight gained about how your customer interacts with your communication with customer journey mapping and analytics. 

Automate Your Communications illustration

The inarguable impact of these functions and what they can say about your company is what makes automating your communications the number one trend for 2022. And a customer communications management (CCM) system is how you get there.

MHC EngageCX is a proven CCM platform that allows you to prioritize how you engage with your customers and how they view your company. Generate all the content you need within the system and then schedule that content to be delivered at a specific time via multiple different communications platforms. This cuts down the time and hassle involved with creating and sharing content for individual platforms.

Gina Armada, MHC Automation CEO Illustration

“Automating your communications enables consistent, impactful interactions with your customers, yet in a personalized way. Never again overlook a chance to truly engage with your customers in memorable ways that confirm for them why they chose you.”

WHAT WE’VE LEARNED IN 2020 & 2021

Very few organizations were prepared to turn on a dime when COVID-19 hit and businesses had to become digital overnight.  This moment taught so many the importance of automation. We do not know what the future will bring, but it’s pretty obvious that it won’t bring more paper and manual processes. Automation is how your organization will feel prepared for whatever is in store.

WHAT TO DO IN 2022

It’s becoming increasingly apparent that customer experience is vitally important. Organizations are learning that it doesn’t matter how good their product or service is, if the customer doesn’t have a positive experience with your company, they’re likely to take their money elsewhere. Using a communication automation system, you can upgrade document production, offer omnichannel distribution for the convenience of your customer, and enhance their overall view of the benefits your company provides to them.

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2. AI Is Shaping Customer Service

Artificial Intelligence (AI) was the top communication trend in 2020 and in the intervening years, a growing number of companies have started to use this technology to empower customer service agents. By 2024, chatbots are expected to facilitate $142 billion in consumer retail spend, up more than 400% from $2.8 billion in 2019. Not too long ago, AI and chatbots were perceived as a threat to the job stability of customer service reps. That mentality has changed, evolving with the times and circumstances of now.

Today’s CX professionals believe that chatbots will empower, not replace, agents. It is an additional element that simply enhances a stellar customer service experience. 64% of customer care agents with AI are able to spend most of their time solving complex problems for customers, as the utilization of chatbots frees them up from being inundated with simpler requests. 

AI Customer Service illustration

Letting the chatbot field easier customer service tickets gives customer care representatives more space to create highly personalized experiences. This opens up the ability to identify opportunities for upsells and provide a level of assistance that will leave your customer with an excellent feeling toward your organization.

More than half of buyers believe that using this technology can increase interaction success and speed, and given the surge in call volume many customer service teams experienced during the pandemic, taking the simple requests off of your employee’s plates will only serve to improve their performance for more customers’ more complicated needs.

By using AI, your company will be able to handle customer requests faster and with greater accuracy. In addition, you’ll be open to your customers 24/7, meeting them where they are by being able to answer quick questions as they have them instead of being beholden to typical office hours. In all ways, your customer’s experience is enhanced with this AI technology.

Although not the top communication trend of 2022, AI continues to be crucial to organizations as customer experience is prioritized. The COVID-19 pandemic has taught companies that we need to meet customers where they are, and adopting AI is a critical step in that process. Efficiency has become a growing concern for both companies and customers, and this technology allows for processes that reduce legwork for all parties involved. And with the expansion of AI technology, the future will present even more functionality that will allow you to serve your customers in the way they deserve. It’s clear that AI is here to stay and will remain an integral part of customer service.

WHAT WE’VE LEARNED IN 2020 & 2021

As will be a consistent theme so many communications trends in 2022, COVID-19 changed the landscape. While many offices were closed and employees were working remotely, it became clear that there needed to be an alternative way to give customers quick and accurate access to information. As COVID-19 fast-forwarded us into a better understanding of customer behavior and needs, chatbots and AI have increasingly become the center of many customer service teams.

WHAT TO DO IN 2022

It’s time to take a step forward. Chatbots are now an expectation many customers have for organizations. In fact, it’s been discovered that only 38% of customers want to speak to a live person when engaging with a brand. They prefer to have their questions answered quickly, without being forced into a social interaction. Simply put, if you don’t currently have a chatbot, get one. If you do have one, enhance the functionality so that the chatbot is doing even more for your customers and continues to give your employees the freedom for more value-added work.

3. Customers Expect More Personalized Experiences

The need for personalized customer experiences isn’t new, but it’s a digital communication trend that is here to stay in 2022 and beyond. The same goes for personalized communication. Before the pandemic, a staggering 80 percent of customers preferred to buy from brands that offer highly personalized experiences. Furthermore, nearly half of buyers have made impulse purchases after receiving personalized recommendations from a brand.

In 2022, two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, personalizing customer experience has become more important than ever. Customization in customer communications has entirely changed how customers relate to businesses, enhancing engagement and often resulting in repeat business. Customers have learned to demand more from the interactions they have with companies and companies need to be ready to meet those needs.

Personalized customer experience illustration

As a marketer or business owner, you need to learn about your customers so you can personalize each interaction. Using a tone that matches the client’s personality goes a long way to making your customer feel seen and heard. A customer who enjoys sharing opinions and having longer conversations is different in personality and buying preferences than one who prefers short, formal conversations. So why communicate with them in the same way?

In 2022, it’s time to level-up your customer’s experience with your organization, deliver highly personalized content, and track customers’ preferences across all channels using customer communications management software like MHC EngageCX. 

Wyatt Steere MHC Automation Illustration

“As personalization for experiences on mobile devices is expected to be a dominant trend well into 2025, gain valuable insight into your target audience now while giving them an experience they’ll not soon forget.”

Wyatt Steere, Senior Account Executive at MHC

WHAT WE’VE LEARNED IN 2020 & 2021

As we’ve seen a decline in social interactions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, personalization of communications has become even more important to consumers. By the end of 2025, the Global Personalization Software Market is expected to grow from $620.57 million USD in 2020 to $1,723.25 million USD. Companies need to understand now that their consumers want to feel understood by the companies with which they choose to do business. Organizations have leveraged this to engage more completely with their customer base, building closer relationships that go a long way to ensure continued business.

WHAT TO DO IN 2022

In 2022, the name of the game is more personalization. Strengthen your relationship with your customers by continuing to show them that you understand who they are, their needs, their wants, and how you will accomplish those for them.

4. Self-Service Is Gaining Momentum

Before the pandemic, about 81 percent of customers tried to solve things on their own before reaching out to a live representative. Therefore, it’s not surprising that a growing number of organizations are investing in self-service technologies. And COVID-19 has only increased consumers’ desire to have a self-service option when it comes to customer service. Self-service doesn’t just make customer service convenient for the customer and agent, it also helps to reduce expenses.

Phone call, emails, and live chat require equipment, applications, and employees to deploy. Self-service functionality grants your customers 24/7 assistance while reducing overhead costs for your organization. On top of that, it can take many forms.

Self service communications illustration

And self-service can take many forms. One way to integrate this model into customer service communications is to set up a knowledge base. Think videos, how-to guides, step-by-step instructions, and so on. Another option is to enable buyers to track their order status. This way, they won’t have to reach out to customer service agents to inquire about shipments and arrivals.

The self-service component of our customer communications management solution, MHC EngageCX, accounts for this particular 2022 communication trend. The functionality generates multiple auto-populated documents given existing customer information.

As we all experienced when the pandemic arrived, so many in-person demands had to be digitalized overnight. Self-service functionality was a boon to all organizations and the customers they interact with. Customers no longer had to spend precious minutes calling customer service (often waiting on hold).

And agents no longer had to spend time on calls with customers to answer simple requests- giving them more time to deal with more complex demands that require more specialized attention. And due to this knowledge, the trend in 2022 is to include even more functionality in the self-service functionality available to customers, allowing them to do even more on their own without having to engage a customer service agent.

Wyatt Steere MHC Automation Illustration

“The ability to produce these types of documents for your consumers gives them that self-service ability so many people crave in 2022.”

Wyatt Steere, Senior Account Executive at MHC

WHAT WE’VE LEARNED IN 2020 & 2021

“Isolation” was the big word in 2020 and 2021. If it wasn’t perfecting a sourdough recipe or finally teaching yourself what cryptocurrency is all about, self-service became vital to people all over the globe. We wanted to be self-sufficient and to have the information we needed at our fingertips.

WHAT TO DO IN 2022

The exposure to self-service functionality truly taught many customers how they prefer to interact with companies. Therefore, in 2022, the addition of even more self-service options will be seen. Customers now expect this type of service and will not return to a pre-pandemic state. Customers learned how they want to engage with companies, and they won’t likely be returning to listening to on-hold music as they wait an hour to speak to a customer service agent for what should be a simple question. In 2022, organizations need to embrace self-service functionality more than they ever have before… it’s not going away.

5. Focus on Omnichannel Communication

A successful customer communications plan is all about meeting your customers where they are in a customer journey and understanding the optimal ways to seize their attention”, according to Gina Armada, President and CEO of MHC.

In 2022, your customers have multiple channels through with you can communicate with them. And the advent of the pandemic just heightened that as a current trend in communication. People are now clamoring for convenience and don’t want to have to change devices to access content. Just take into consideration the fact that the average person has a minimum of five different social media accounts. Of course, some of your customers may not have any social media accounts at all. 

Omnichannel communications illustration

Instead, they’d much prefer to be contacted by telephone, through email, or even by good old-fashioned snail mail. Others will want your company to send them texts about their order progress, upcoming sales, and more. You need to be able to communicate with customers across multiple platforms, whether that’s in print, online, or over the telephone.

A major trend in marketing communication is switching to omnichannel communication. Give your customers the ability to interact with your company on their terms, using their preferred devices. Provide seamless delivery methods, allowing for receipt of communications via traditional methods, electronic channels, or a personalized combination of both. With MHC EngageCX, continuity of conversation and customizable communications enhance how you interact with your customers a priority for your business, allowing you to connect with them in the way they want to hear from you.

Gina Armada, MHC Automation CEO Illustration

“Companies that prioritized seamless omnichannel communications were able to keep in more consistent contact with their customers while also building the customer’s trust in the organization.”

WHAT CHANGED IN 2020 & 2021

The ability to keep the conversation going with your customers was essential during COVID-19. To offer your consumers a good customer experience, they had to felt seen and heard, knowing that you understood their preferred communication method and respected their preferences.

WHAT TO DO IN 2022

Omnichannel communication technology is not going anywhere. Customers will no longer accept receiving communications in a way that isn’t of the utmost convenience to them. And this advancement in technology isn’t utilized, your communications run the risk of being overlooked or ignored. In 2022, organizations need to continue to invest in omnichannel communication technology for the sake of their relationship with their customers how the world as a whole views their place in a particular industry.

6. Give Customers a Real Feel with Augmented Reality

Many businesses in many industries have adapted to the latest trends in communication and are now using augmented reality (AR) to interact with their customers. And during the pandemic, this technology became even more important. People weren’t able to be physically present for various activities- looking at real estate, shopping, etc. But through the advancement of Augmented Reality and Remote Assistance, consumers were provided a 3D experience without being forced into a one-on-one interaction with a stranger.

Augmented reality allows them to get a real feel of the products or services they’re interested in without the need for face-to-face interactions. And as an important technological trend in 2022, with AR you’ll finally be able to reach those customers who never find the time to visit your store or who still feel unsafe in public places.

AR illustration

This way, you’ll not only give your clients a true sense of the space and make their experience more interactive, you’ll give them space to interact with your company on their terms and in a way they feel safest. Thus, building trust in your organization and confirming how much you care for your consumers.

WHAT WE’VE LEARNED IN 2020 & 2021

As the pandemic had us isolated in our homes, AR became more relevant. The need to access a physical space without physically being there increased. AR was a necessity during the pandemic but consumers quickly learned about all the conveniences of the technology. This tells us that AR and Remote Assistance aren’t pandemic fads but are technologies that customers will come to expect.

WHAT TO DO IN 2022

As Augmented Reality advances in technology, it’s important to keep up with its developments. Discussions of “The Metaverse” have shown us that we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this technology and all it has to offer. Now is the time to leverage AR to create a memorable experience for your customers and a reputation for your organization as one that embraces technology.

7. Virtual Reality Isn’t Just for Video Games Anymore

At the start of 2020, giants like Walmart and General Electric implemented groundbreaking training programs that relied completely on VR . These training programs allowed employees to do hands-on trainings from their home offices rather than sending them to on-location training.

Anecdotal evidence shows that VR training programs are an emerging trend in communication, helping employees absorb information better, leading to better outcomes early on in an employee’s career.

As virtual reality can also be used to improve communication with your customers, it made it to our list of trends in communication. In 2022, VR can be used to provide customers an immersive view of a product or implementation that isn’t yet complete. 

VR illustration

You can show off the best your business has to offer without having to commit to the build, and it can help narrow down requirements for a big project. If your business is real estate, commercial or residential, the applications of VR are clear – show a property without scheduling an open house and all the logistics that come with it. While VR may seem like a steep investment, it could fundamentally change the way you do business for the better.

Although it is obvious that VR will increasingly become important to the future of many businesses, the need for this technology only accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. People were isolated in their homes and had no option but to rely on a technology, which to many, was brand new and completely unfamiliar. Users began to embrace VR as they understood the experience they could have will sitting in the comfort of their own homes.

The future of VR technology was solidified when news hit the market that Facebook had become Meta. Suddenly, talks of how “the metaverse” would change how people shopped and consumed services surfaced. This has turned everything we know about advertising and customer communications on its head. If we need to meet our customers where they are, where will they be in a few years’ time?

WHAT WE’VE LEARNED IN 2020 & 2021

COVID-19 secured the future for virtual reality and its place in our everyday world. We learned that in a moment, we could be confined to our houses, yet still need to make purchases or house hunt. And while typical ecommerce shopping is sufficient for many purchases, several require a more physical component to the experience. In 2020 and 2021, we learned the importance of virtual reality and what role newly-formed Meta and the metaverse will likely have in our future as consumers, businesses, and employees.

WHAT TO DO IN 2022

As society more fully embraces VR technology, the functionality and opportunities to expand it to other areas of your business will open up. Explore chances to use VR in customer communications to extend a unique experience to your customers, making your company memorable in the process.

8. Offer Help Throughout the Customer Journey

The importance of being able to adapt to customer behavior has never been more apparent than in 2022. The past few years and our experience with how a global pandemic impacts customers have taught us that customer behavior can change and that your organization needs to be able to adjust accordingly.

Gina Armada, MHC Automation CEO Illustration

“Agility is crucial for any enterprise. Mapping a customer’s journey is a great first step, yet the effort can’t stop there. Organizations need to continuously refine and adapt customer journeys.”

Paying close attention to how your customer moves is important when understanding marketing communication trends in 2022. If your goal is to increase your conversions and your customer satisfaction at the same time, then you need to be available to assist your customers when they’re struggling to understand what to do next, which products to choose, or even how to fill out forms.

To make this happen and to make communication with your customers even stronger, you’ll need to identify the pain points within the overall customer journey. In order to figure out where customers are abandoning your site or experiencing other obstacles, you need to put yourself in the shoes of the customer and analyze what the resulting data is telling you.

Customer Journey Mapping illustration

Can you allow them to use autofill features in order to eliminate the need for them to manually enter data on your site? If customers leave your site without scheduling a demo, requesting content, or completing any call-to-action, would sending a follow-up email reminding them of what they’ve missed out on be the incentive they need to further engage with your company?

Customer journey mapping makes this possible — and helps you to determine the kinds of solutions you need to implement, making it a top communication trend in 2022. Could adding a live customer support chat or even a chatbot help your customers to learn more about a particular product or even guide them towards the specific services that best suit their needs? MHC EngageCX utilizes advanced customer journey mapping to help you better understand customer behavior, while also helping you to leverage that information to motivate engagement at important points in the buying cycle. Identify and resolve barriers to take your customer from a simple user to a cheerleader for your company.

WHAT CHANGED IN 2020 & 2021

Existential questions during COVID-19 have made a lot of people demand their needs be met in certain ways. They are no longer willing to compromise on their experience with companies. Customer expectations have increased and with that, the need for organizations to forecast and fulfill those expectations.

WHAT TO DO IN 2022

Excellent customer experience remains a key trend in 2022. But that’s not something you just happen upon. The right tools are necessary to predict and meet the ever-growing standards of customers. Tools like MHC EngageCX will prepare you for how to engage with this new breed of consumer.

9. Livestreaming is Here to Stay

Businesses have long known the value of recording their communications with both employees and customers and posting that content on the Internet. Throughout the past few years, live streaming has become the basis of virtual events as companies sought to grapple with the realities of COVID-19 and remote employees. 

Livestreaming is a technological communication trend offering all the same benefits to in-person events but in real-time. Hosting a conference or training but don’t want to foot the bill and deal with the logistics to have everyone in the same space?

Livestream the event so that everyone can “be there” simultaneously. Hosting an event that you wish all your customers could attend but there are concerns regarding health and safety? Livestream the event so they can attend from the comfort of their own homes.

Livestreaming communications illustration

Livestream technology hasn’t always been the most reliable, but in 2022, new technologies have been created due to necessity and better Internet infrastructure is in place, making for a seamless experience for everyone involved. Conferences, awards shows, and all in-person events suddenly moved to a livestream format.

The Golden Globes, once a night of elegant dress in a star-studded theater, suddenly gave us a glimpse into actors’ private homes often in what would come to be known as “Zoom Casual” – formal up top, pajama pants, and slippers below. The increase of livestream events allowed corporations, awards shows, and conference hosts to communicate with both employees and customers in real-time and share experiences that were previously limited to physical, in-person interactions.

As we continue to experience new variants of the COVID-19 virus, livestreaming continues to be a mainstay of previously in-person events. Many events have been scheduled as in-person only to force organizers to move to a virtual format, as we’ve learned that epidemiological restrictions can change at a moment’s notice. Livestream technology gives your organization the ability to turn on a dime and remain agile as so much about the future of events remains up in the air, making it one of the key emerging trends in communication for 2022.

WHAT CHANGED IN 2020 & 2021

Livestreaming is simply the new normal for in-person events. Even events like the Sundance film festival occurred entirely via livestream in 2022, showing event organizers and attendees a simpler, more convenient way to interact real-time. Reduce COVID spreads, your carbon footprint, and overhead costs with livestream events.

WHAT TO DO IN 2022

As we continue to feel out how society will likely live with COVID-19, it continues to be seen as a strong alternative for typical in-person events. Some events have continued as if we were in a pre-pandemic world- compiling large numbers of people in a room together. But as the virus potentially mutates and restrictions change, organizations need to have a solid Plan B in their pocket when it comes to hosting events for employees or customers. Livestreaming will continue to be a cost effective and safe way to do that in 2022 and beyond.

10. Take Video Conferences to a New Level

Video conferencing has long been an essential tool for business communication, and the same players – Skype and GoToMeeting – have dominated the game since the inception of the video conference. While both solutions have worked well for years, they both have their glitches and they both require users to download programs to their computers in order to access the service.

Their mobile solutions haven’t kept up with the times either, making it hard for on the move employees and customers to make the meetings you want them to attend. The newest trends in communication bring new solutions that enable your business to take video conferencing to a new level. Applications like WebRTC provide internet-based video conferencing solutions that don’t require a download. Just send a link and your employees or customer can access the video conference anywhere anytime.

Video conferences illustration

Applications like Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams have gone from nice-to-haves to essential tools for corporations practically overnight. The pandemic set us all off into a new frontier of what the future of work would look like, and so much of that entails the extensive use of video conferencing.

Yet, the importance of video conferencing became apparent even outside of the corporate sphere. During COVID-imposed isolations, friends and family began to communicate on regular video conference calls, catching up and even hosting game nights to keep everyone socializing during a difficult and lonely time for many.

Bridal and baby showers, birthday parties, retirement parties- all have seen a move to video conferencing apps over the past few years, allowing people to continue to interact and experience rites of passage when nothing else feels normal. And aside from social interactions, the world saw an uptick in telemed visits, as patients were forced to attend appointments with their doctors via video conference. We learned to experience so much of the world through video conferencing apps.

And as we continue deeper into 2022 and into more uncertainty about COVID-19, many employees have expressed the desire to continue to work from home or work in a hybrid format. In those situations, video conferencing technology has never been relied on more, securing its place as one of the most important trends in internal communication for 2022.

WHAT CHANGED IN 2020 & 2021

We don’t know what the future will bring, but we know the ways in which COVID-19 has likely changed things permanently. One of those changes comes in the form of reliance on video conferencing technology. Between work and socializing, we’ve discovered and excellent and efficient way of interacting with coworkers, employees, customers, friends, and family members without having to put ourselves at risk.

WHAT TO DO IN 2022

Video conferencing has become a pillar of working and socializing in 2022 and will continue to have an important impact on communication in society going forward. Along with employees continuing to work from home, lots of organizations have discovered the value in hiring employees regardless of location. These companies realized that they no longer have to be confined to the limitations of geography to hire the best talent available. These changes to the overall structure of corporations has secured video conferencing as a permanent tool in our daily work lives.

11. Investing in Cloud Storage Solutions

Today’s cloud storage solutions are an important technological trend in communication and provides businesses with more benefits than ever before. If you’re looking for new ways to store, share, and collaborate, cloud solutions can help you do that by offering:

  • MORE STORAGE SPACE: When it comes to sharing a large amount of data with a lot of people in various locations, the cloud offers more storage capacity than any on-the-ground solution your business could buy. And best of all, it’s cheaper!
  • EASIER ACCESS FOR EMPLOYEES: Cloud storage allows your employees to securely access information from anywhere without the hassle of a VPN.
  • EASIER ACCESS FOR CUSTOMERS: Instead of requiring your customers to sign onto a website or going through the hassle of sending multiple large documents via email, cloud solutions allow you to send your customers a direct link to the information they need.
  • CLEANER COLLABORATION: If you have remote teams collaborating on big projects, cloud-based solutions allow your teams to see edits in real-time and better track how changes are made.
Cloud storage illustration

About 65 percent would rate their experience with chatbots as “friendly.” Approximately 58 percent of them say that chatbot technology is best for simple to moderate requests. By using AI, your company will be able to handle customer requests faster and with greater accuracy. Your agents, on the other hand, will more time to handle complex situations.

MHC EngageCX is a customer communication and customer experience tech stack solution that allows you to store your most critical document in the cloud without dealing with Google doc access and security issues inherent in free third-party software. In 2022, cloud-based storage has fairly earned its spot as a crucial technological trend in corporate and business communication.

Gina Armada, MHC Automation CEO Illustration

“Cloud-native SaaS solutions are the future. Remote employees, global teams, and time zone differences make on-premises platforms more difficult to manage effectively. Enhance the ability for your teams to collaborate with platforms that give them access to documents and communications from anywhere on the planet.”

WHAT CHANGED IN 2020 & 2021

It’s obvious why cloud-based solutions have become dominant over the past few years. Employees scattered to the winds by a global pandemic, companies needed to quickly and securely get their employees access to all the documents needed to do their job. Companies started to realize the liability inherent in on-prem solutions and how they can severely limit your organization’s agility.

WHAT TO DO IN 2022

It’s 2022 and your music is in the cloud, your movies are in the cloud, your emails are in the cloud. So why continue to work with outdated technology that requires in-person access or dealing with VPNs? As we become a truly global economy, cloud-native solutions are the only way to future-proof your organization.

12. Commit to Mobile Solutions

The best way to move your business forward into this mobile landscape is to follow the latest trends in communication. In 2022, monetization of this channel will be the focus as 5G subscriptions are expected to reach 3 billion by 2025. Building a communication application that runs well without WiFi is the way forward into this mostly-mobile world.

Committing to mobile communications with your customers means investing in web solutions that are as accessible on mobile as they are on a computer screen. And if your customers are reaching out to your company in a less-limiting way, it’s vital that you have employees accessible at all times to assist.  Investing in company cell phones with excellent data plans, preferably with 5G, gives employees the space to provide an enhanced level of customer service without being chained to a desk.

Mobile communications illustration

Your website should be built specifically for mobile responsiveness and all your contact us tools – forms, phone numbers, email links – should easily work from any mobile device. Any valuable website solution will offer mobile accessibility as part of their base package.

On top of creating a better experience for your users with a mobile-responsive application, Google has forced the hands of many organizations to move toward this goal. Most people will remember pre-2019 what it was like to access a website on their mobile device, only to be served up a very small, hard-to-navigate version of the desktop site. That all changed with Google’s first mobile-first indexing update. This made companies and webmasters prioritize good user experience on mobile devices, or else they’d see hits to their position on the search engine results page. Combined with Google’s page experience update, it has become apparent that mobile-friendly content a driving focus for the search engine.

To enhance the dive into mobile-friendly user experiences, smart documents have become another way to provide customers a positive interaction with your company. Smart documents allow companies to send fully responsive complex documents, providing ease-of-use on all mobile devices. In the end, to make a customer or user happy, you must allow them to engage with your company easily and completely with the convenience of a mobile device.

WHAT CHANGED IN 2020 & 2021

Mobile, by definition, originally referred to the state of movement. Mobile device users were often seen as people constantly “on the move”- sales representative, event hosts, etc. But as mobile devices became more prevalent and they became more accessible for most people, that understanding has changed. Now the name of the mobile game is summed up in one word… convenience. Customers want to be able to easily deal with your company regardless of where they are sitting. The quality of experience of mobile interactions has made or broken many companies over the past few years.

WHAT TO DO IN 2022

We’re not going to suddenly return to desktop computers. Mobile devices are how your customers will engage with you going forward. Improve mobile experience for your customers and open the lines of communication. Whether it be interactions via WhatsApp, smart documents, or simply a mobile-friendly website, your customers are now fully mobile. And as it is a prominent trend in communication for 2022, you should be too.

13. Show your Organization’s Intelligence with
Smart Documents

We’re constantly inundated from all sides with information, content, entertainment. What does your company need to do to rise above the static created by all the other companies in a time where potential customers are constantly being marketed to? Ensure a memorable and positive customer experience through smart document technology.

Highly-interactive documents fully engage your customers and users while telling them you value their experience. Include pdf forms, audio/video files, photo galleries, buttons, and hyperlinks to make communications more informative and convenient for your customers.

To meet current communications trends, let your documents express your brand voice by showing consumers that you are eager to harness technology and use it to their benefit.

Smart Documents illustration

Transforming standard invoices into an entire, mobile-responsive experience that gives your customers a better understanding of how they consume your services, complete with interactive graphs and eye-catching ads for additional products and services, makes your company stand out amongst the many invoices they receive all month long.

WHAT CHANGED IN 2020 & 2021

Customers have come to not only expect, but to demand more in terms of experience and convenience when it comes to how they interact with your brand. Don’t be in danger of falling behind while other businesses took off running with the lessons, we learned about consumer behavior during the pandemic. Smart documents are a smart and efficient way to immerse your customers into your business culture from any device they prefer.

WHAT TO DO IN 2022

Smart documents continue to be a crucial way to upgrade your customer’s experience. Take the boring documents they are used to and add an element that will not only delight the user, but will gift them information and insight that other companies simply aren’t providing.

14. Invest in High-quality Content

Having a website with informative content about your business and your products is no longer enough when it comes to communicating with your current and potential customers.

And with the advancement of entertainment and technological trends in communication, there is even more competition for your customers’ precious attention. You have to invest in content that stands out- focusing on creative campaigns and making your organization stand out against the white noise created by so much content constantly being served up to your consumers. In this current landscape, people want to see more authenticity from brands and to be made better aware of their personality.

If you want to enhance your customer communications and generate leads, then you need to keep up with the latest trends and expand your online content strategy to include an active, engaging blog and a strong presence on all the major social media platforms.

High Quality Content illustration

In the past, these content platforms may have seemed extraneous, but now they’re expected. And it’s not something you can just have the intern do part-time. The content you share via all your online platforms is what separates you from the competition, so you need to make sure it’s top-notch. The digital communication in 2022 is to eEither hire an expert in online content to work for your business directly, or outsource to a high-quality content company that will produce professional, impactful content for you.

WHAT CHANGED IN 2020 & 2021

During the pandemic, content took a more empathetic tone. People were seeking comfort and genuine interaction with other people during a time everyone felt so isolated. Consumers also looked for entertainment and humor while everything felt so unsure. Really harnessing that move toward authenticity and a more human voice became a vital way to get customer’s attention.

WHAT TO DO IN 2022

As they say, content is king. Content tells consumers who you are as a brand, the benefits to the service you provide, and makes them realize exactly why they need you that service. Not only is good content beneficial to you in the moment, but truly well-written, engaging content will stand the test of time and will remain an asset to your company to which you can refer back and use in future campaigns.

15. Get to Know Who Your Customer Is

As we worked through the pandemic, it became increasingly apparent how vital relationships are. Not only those relationships with friends and family members. But we found that establishing a relationship with customers is more essential to businesses than it ever has been in the past. A few years of uncertainty and discomfort has led to customers’ desire to feel truly cared for. This can be a tall order for a lot of organizations, too bogged down in processes and procedures to give the personalized touch that so many customers crave. 

With the creation of virtual spaces, newspapers’ appeals to social outreach – communities have never felt more vital to every place in our society. And with the ability to casually recommend another product a customer might be interested on an ecommerce site- companies started working diligently at understanding who their customer is and how they’re currently feeling in unprecedented times.

Know customers illustration

Did you know that the average consumer is willing to pay approximately 16% more if it means they get exceptional, personalized customer service? As inflation increases while wages stay stagnant, if you want to justify higher prices (even if those prices are competitive in the marketplace)— you need to keep up with the trends in communication and do everything you can to tailor your customer’s experience to their newly-evolved expectations.

Before engaging with a customer, make sure you have their order history and customer account readily available. When you speak with these customers, note their preference of tone, language, and the kind of problem they’re calling about. You can save these preferences in your customer file and generate documents and future communications based on what you now know the customer wants.

Note down details like their age, the amount they usually spend with you, (so you can make suggestions in their budget) and additional demographics. The more personalized you can make your communications, the higher the number of loyal customers you’ll have. This communication trend is not only important to note, but will pay dividends for your company’s reputation in the future and how your customers feel about you.

Discover 63 Customer Service Statistics in our Infographic

WHAT CHANGED IN 2020 & 2021

Let’s be honest, in 2020, business quickly became personal. Lines were blurred and the intimacy of working out of your house created unusual expectations of having a legitimate relationship with the companies customers previously saw as giant, faceless corporations. In an unknown time, customers wanted to feel taken care of and to have a sense of community. Displaying knowledge of your customer, their personality, how they prefer to communicate, showed customers that you not only understood them, but that you were eager to meet them exactly where they were.

WHAT TO DO IN 2022

Understanding your customers is an often overlooked vital first step of realizing a vision for your organization’s future. And while there were many downsides to the previous few years, it did give companies a better understanding of the importance of knowing who is purchasing your products and services.

Now that the conversation has begun, let’s continue it. Take what your company learned during the pandemic about your customers and leverage it to a better experience that will keep customers engaged and loyal to your company.

16. How Times Have Changed – Updated Delivery Channels

Even if customers prefer a variety of mediums (email, fax, SMS) we have more than enough reason to believe that the trend in communication for 2022 is to go digital. Businesses require a digital foundation to support omnichannel delivery of communications in order to be competitive. This is actually where your relationship to the individual customer starts. The technology feeds into your wealth of information so that you can know who wants what, and when.

Going digital is what helps you become versatile and positions you as a tech-forward company. You’re not abandoning print because of a massive change in customer taste- people simply like options. If you value customer engagement (as you should), the true communication trend in 2022 is to keep all of your lines open.

Communication Delivery Channels illustration

While email remains an important channel for internal communication, companies are increasingly shifting to messaging apps and moving away from traditional email clients. Omnichannel communication is becoming standard phraseology in business- consisting of a choice between print and digital (including fax, email, and SMS). The current workforce employs a diverse generational pool, translating to a colorful and disparate range of communication preferences.

Print is not entirely dead. Regardless of age, some people prefer to hold a paper document in their hand, and then to ship a response in the same way. But those people are dwindling in numbers as technology advances and people understand the convenience and entertainment of purely snappy, instantaneous customer experience. Nothing to print, nothing to hold, nothing to mail back. It’s liberating!

In the end the name of the game is not fast and easy, but versatile. The goal in current communication trends today is being everything to everyone. And, with the right technology and vision toward the future, you can do this.

Find out more about Personalized Communications

WHAT CHANGED IN 2020 & 2021

Print didn’t die in 2020, but it was definitely put on life support. SMS and email became and remain the main pillars of communication between organizations and customers. However, the power of the messaging app was placed in a spotlight when the entire working world instantaneously went remote. The convenience and efficiency of messaging apps is something that will become more vital in the years to come.

WHAT TO DO IN 2022

As always, it’s vital to keep the lines of communication going. If you are not communicating with your customers, you have no idea of who they are, what they need- and no way of offering those things. Making sure all communications options are available, you ensure that you remain in contact with all customers, regardless of generation, preference, or accessibility.

17. There’s No Place for Paper or Cash in 2022

It’s a fact, for an economy so thoroughly reliant on digital resources, it was odd that we had remained so married to paper and cash when it comes to transactions. Corporations felt they simply couldn’t exist without reams of paper and rows of filing cabinets (nevermind the manpower needed to manage all that paper).

It only took an unexpected global pandemic to prove the importance for companies to go digital. When everything we knew about doing business changed overnight, organizations suddenly realized the breadth of inaccessibility to their customer communication and internal documents. Suddenly, the working world had to revise the very structure of the way we do business. For some organizations, it was an excellent opportunity to progress with the technology available for so long. 

Paperless communications illustration

For others, growing pains were severe, causing disruption to their workforce, their supply chain, and their ability to provide products and services. But one thing was certain, companies never wanted to be caught flat-footed again. 

Although it’s only been a few years, customers have come to expect fully digital services at the touch of a button. And on top of meeting the evolving needs of customers, going completely digital has positive impacts on the environment- reducing paper waste and eliminating the carbon emissions associated with mail delivery. Given the fact that, when we weren’t talking about COVID-19, we were talking about climate change- this has increasingly become a driving reason for customers as they make purchase decisions.

Lastly, digital payments became a necessity in 2022 with the changing landscape. Paperless and cashless… it’s a trend in business and corporate communication we simply cannot ignore. Any companies that do are in danger of repeating history at the peril of their bottom line and their relationships with customers.

WHAT CHANGED IN 2020 & 2021

So much of the way we experience the world was altered starting in March 2020. Suddenly, people were quarantined, stuck in isolation, and had no access to the traditional methods of interactions with companies- reams of paper and stacks of cash. We unexpectedly had to go digital- moving to paperless and cashless interactions simply to survive. But it turns out, that’s where we all should’ve been years ago and COVID-19 just pushed us into the future.

WHAT TO DO IN 2022

As we further prioritize the need for convenience, paperless and cashless transactions are the way to go. And as we continue to hear more heartbreaking statistics on the state of climate change and industry’s impact on the planet, reducing paper use and vehicle emissions is a benefit most people can support.

18. Be Where Your Customers Are – Leveraging Blended Channels

People tend to think that Millennials are in their early 20s, but the reality is that the eldest Millennials will be turning 41 years old this year. Being the first generation that grew up with a foot in both the physical and digital world, Millennials now make up the majority of most customer bases.

Consequently, being available on multiple platforms is critical to a company’s ability to effectively do business. Platforms like WhatsApp have become a major source of communication, and customers can be confused when they can’t easily communicate with companies on their platforms of choice. Social media has been an important part of interacting with customers for many years now.

Blended Communication Channels illustration

However, the advent of COVID-19 exposed just how vital it is for companies to be completely visible to customers on a variety of social media platforms. Complaints, positive reviews, experiences with products, real-time issues- customers turned to companies’ social media pages to interact.

And with more time at home, the use of social media predictably ramped up. 40% of consumers reported spending much longer on messaging services and social media applications (like Instagram and TikTok), as a way to cure the boredom of isolation. And with that, they became far more aware of which companies had social media accounts and how they were using them to engage with consumers.

In addition to social media, the existence of smart homes (including smart speakers, smart fridges, etc) adds another element to current trends in how customers are expecting to communicate with organizations. And as we find society accelerating to interaction within the Metaverse, the ability to meet customers on various platforms through various devices will only become more imperative to doing business.

WHAT CHANGED IN 2020 & 2021

The more social media platforms that pop up, the more companies vying for the attention of your customers. Making sure you stay in front of them as well means having a strong presence on their preferred platform. 2020 and 2021 proved you need to find where your customers are spending their time and be there too!

WHAT TO DO IN 2022

As corporations, we tend to go right toward very stilted, professional language when interacting with consumers. We think they can’t possibly take us seriously unless our voice is very serious, building walls between organization and customer. But it turns out, that’s not at all what customers want. They want to feel like they know your brand, that they understand the voices behind the social media content. Opening up conversations and encouraging engagement where your customers reside on social media is something not to be overlooked in 2022.

19. Secure Your Communications and Build Trust

It has always been necessary to keep customer communications secure. Your customers deserve for their information to remain confidential. And when they decide to interact with you, it’s saying that they’ve chosen to place their trust in you and how your organization handles their information.

However, with the increase in cyberattacks seen in 2020 and 2021, the topic of security has come to the forefront. Companies have come to understand the importance of investing in communication security as an investment in the very future of their company.

Customers will willingly abandon a company for good if they feel like their information isn’t guarded. 

Secure communications illustration

According to a McKinsey survey, 71% of respondents said that putting their information at risk or sharing data without permission would stop them from doing business with a company. Prioritizing the security of customer communications informs your current and potential customers that their information is always safe with you.

And some industries have strict regulations on the security of their customers’ information (think healthcare) that can seriously impact their ability to continue doing business. As organizations understand the risk inherent in ignoring security, they are starting to invest in solutions that will ensure the safety of their consumers’ information.

WHAT CHANGED IN 2020 & 2021

Communication and information security became a point of contention over the past few years, as cyberattacks and cyberattack attempts increased, both in volume and in sophistication. To beat cyberterrorists at their own games, companies saw the need for increased security measures.

WHAT TO DO IN 2022

Security remains a dealbreaker for customers- refusing to work with companies they can’t be confident are protecting their information. Keeping systems up-to-date with security requirements is a never-ending process and one that takes a commitment of time, manpower, and money. Customers will continue to select the organizations willing to make those commitments so their customers aren’t exposed to the dangers of cyberattacks.

20. We’re Living in an Influencer Marketing World

As the first days of the pandemic turned into weeks… and then months… people turned to entertainment like never before. YouTube and TikTok saw an influx of viewers, especially viewers from generations that had not previously heavily engaged with those platforms.

So it stands to reason that influencer marketing began to take off during this time. Influencer marketing was an important and valid form of product and service promotion prior to COVID-19, but nobody would see how it would launch into one of the most important digital communication trends of 2022.

It began with makeup and skincare brands, but eventually companies in all industries saw the benefit to incorporating influencer marketing into their strategy.

Influencer marketing illustration

However, with the saturation of influencer marketing, we did see pushback from consumers. They no longer wanted to feel like they were constantly being sold to by content creators they had previously enjoyed. So, companies are learning that if they’re going to participate in influencer marketing- they have to make it count.

Authentic and memorable campaigns from an influencer can truly change how a customer feels about your brand. In 2022, it’s not just about having the right people. The right people have to be saying the right things, in a way that feels both genuine and exciting.

WHAT CHANGED IN 2020 & 2021

More time spent on social media during the pandemic equaled an uptick in customers experiencing influencer marketing. It caught people’s attention and really became a central tenant of digital marketing across the board. Customers came to expect their favorite content creators to pop up in influencer marketing campaigns.

WHAT TO DO IN 2022

In 2022, we should continue to invest in influencer marketing… but do it smarter. Don’t underestimate the intelligence of your customer base. They know when they’re simply being pandered to and when an influencer is a true proponent of your product. Continue to utilize influencer marketing where it makes sense to and in situations where you can remain sincere and honest.

21. The Rise of Short-Video Content for Our Limited Attention Spans

It’s no mystery that attention spans seemed to shrink during the pandemic. At first, everyone was excited about learning a language or mastering the piano. A few months in, we were staring at hours of YouTube videos, desperate for entertainment. And not long after that, many people moved to TikTok, as 60 seconds seemed to be the maximum amount of time we could spend focused on any one thing while smack-dab in the middle of a scary, unprecedented event.

That’s where short-video content comes in as an emerging trend in communication for 2022. Short-video content is not only great for entertainment purposes (like seeing if it’s a Bones or No Bones Day on TikTok), but it can pack a lot of eye-catching and interesting information into a brief amount of time.

Short video communications illustration

Consumers are not only more likely to watch it, but they’re increasingly likely to share to their own followers and audiences. And with all those noise that can go on when it comes to social media- links, text, gifs, images- a video (short enough so it doesn’t feel like a big commitment) truly captures users’ attention.

WHAT CHANGED IN 2020 & 2021

TikTok has shown us that the wave of the future is short video. The 60-second to 3-minute format is just long enough to entertain, convey important information, share a call-to-action, and entice people to share the video themselves. There’s no long-term obligation- people know they can watch your video as they switch the laundry to the dryer or while they wait for their coffee to brew. TikTok and short-video content is a perfect example of a marketing strategy meeting human beings where they are – physically, mentally, and emotionally.

WHAT TO DO IN 2022

It would simply be a mistake to overlook the impact of short videos as am essential marketing tool. Your competitors are likely doing it. And your customers are seeing it, engaging with it, and being motivated by it. Relying on copy-heavy marketing assets just doesn’t account for real-life customer behavior. Short video is here to stay. Adopt it early and reap the benefits.

22. SMS.2 – Communicating Bigger and Better in with RCS

SMS created a secure place for itself as a viable communication outlet in 2020 and 2021. People were more likely to interact via their phones as opposed to sitting at a desk. Promotions and exclusive deals were pushed right to consumer’s phones via SMS technology, making the information stand out amongst a sea of competitors.

But then on the horizon appeared, Rich Communication Services (RCS). Within the next few years, more businesses will leverage this trend in communication and add the ability to add their logo, brand name, videos, images, and carousels to messages.

Making the messages more eye-catching and increasing conversion with every interaction, consumers will know precisely who is engaging with them as they receive high quality content directly to their phones.

SMS RCS illustration

While uptake in RCS technology has been slower than anticipated in recent years, MobileSquared anticipates that by 2025, 176 networks will have launched person-to-person (P2P) RCS services over their own messaging platform. This accounts for a 100% increase in usage from 2019.

WHAT CHANGED IN 2020 & 2021

SMS became a communication format consumers and companies alike began to rely on while isolated in their homes. The convenience and direct access to information and interaction was seen as highly valuable during a time when customers started protecting their time and energy.

WHAT TO DO IN 2022

RCS will be something we see creep into customer communication in 2022 and will only expand from there. Consumers’ desire to have enhanced experiences, even within their text messages, is pushing technology forward at a rapid pace and companies would do well to follow that trend.

Keep On Track with the Latest Communication Trends with MHC

Like we’ve seen the move from landlines to flip-phones to smartphones in our lifetime, trends in communication are constantly changing to meet the needs of the people. And while we don’t know what the future will bring us in the form of global pandemics, climate change, or financial stability, you can rely on MHC to provide solutions that will connect you with your customers in a meaningful and memorable way. Invest in your company’s relationship with its customers by scheduling a demo of MHC EngageCX today. And feel prepared for whatever tomorrow may have in store.

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