They are in the books, the new normal or a brand-new beginning, regardless of how you think about the last twelve months—it’s done. It’s already time to start speculating about 2022 and how you purpose to unite an urgency for customer experience into everything you do.

Here’s how you should prepare for 2022:

In every initiative your brand promises, explicitly outline how it will influence your customers and the way they communicate with your brand. This involves employee experience, in-market promotion, a new HR portal, etc. It’s all knitted, and it all affects how customers see your brand. Don’t overlook the most crucial question: Will our customers mind if we do this initiative?

Organizations talk about being customer-obsessed—but you can’t be until you become data-obsessed. Dropping all your legacy systems is difficult. But, it will never get more straightforward than today. The longer you wait to streamline your data compilation and practice, the more difficult it will be. And the longer it will take you to shift to customer-obsessed. It only takes one opponent in your industry to make a giant stride forward to disrupt your business and cost you market share. Don’t let the worry of change hold you back.

Employee experience (EX) is the most significant driver of customer experience (CX). It should be the prime CX tactic you execute. If your employees aren’t staying with your business, with apparent upticks in return, then your EX is split. A great employee program will both restrict turnover and boost sales. Plus, happy, competent employees are just better. Almost every “obstacle” with customers results from some other difficulty further upstream entering into the lower funnel and exhibiting low engagement, low content, and attrition. Start with employees, supported by distributors, channel sales, then pull the customer trigger if required once all of that is straightened. Concentrating on EX first is more affordable, and it will likely answer a lot of your down-channel issues.

Classify and approach the most prominent gaps in your customers’ journey. Almost every brand has the plan and purchase stages, but what are you leaving on the table? Unused data, including uncaptured leads, unworked qualified leads, and customers, could be monetized.

Approach significant customer behaviors that complement the investment. Almost every brand with a loyalty program has the reflection and investment phases of the journey locked up. It’s the pauses on the trip outside of purchase that fall short. Much of that work is behavioral, making it more difficult to understand or quantify the critical benefits.

The pandemic has formed new customer types, new methods to consume, and new brand expectations. Suppose you haven’t read up on this foundational market research. In that case, you are possibly missing new consumer types, or at least not communicating to them the way they want you to.