Top 5 Predictions for Customer Insights in 2021

Published May 18, 2021

customer insights

Times are a-changing. Businesses should constantly be ‘woke’ to new ways to improve their customer experience. Find out the top predictions for customer insights in 2021.



Over 60% of companies worldwide are staffed with Chief Data Officers. 76% of customers expect companies to understand their needs in 2021. Not to mention, a whopping 90% of global executives who leverage customer insights report said that it improved their ability to deliver a great customer experience.

With that said, we want to highlight the dawn of a new age for modern businesses by sharing these key statistics. Particularly for the customer experience (CX) and customer insights (CI) teams.

Times are a-changing. If 2020 or COVID-19 taught firms anything, it is that they must compete more rigorously than ever before to stand out in the increasingly commoditized field of consumer analytics technology. Businesses should constantly be ‘woke’ to new ways to improve their customer insights.

So, in this article, we identify the top five predictions for customer insights in 2021. Although, most, if not all are already in play.   

Top 5 Predictions for Customer Insights in 2021

In no particular order, here are the five (most accurate) predictions for customer insights in 2021. 

1.  Experience, Experience, Experience – The Whole Talk of the Town

After nearly two decades of mainly focusing on lead generations and increasing click-throughs to landing pages, marketers learned that customers care more about their post-purchase experience. So, the seemingly chirpy gang of creatives is predicted to collaborate even more with their number-crunching colleagues from the customer insights team.

Both marketing and insights experts will need to ensure a fully immersive omnichannel strategy to capture the best customer experience. That is, making sure now that those (full) online carts make their way successfully through checkout and to the customer’s doorstep. 

In particular, there’s high pressure on e-commerce brands in 2021 to successfully deliver on the customer experience while differentiating themselves in the overcrowded marketplace. In other words, online brands will become very well-rehearsed in answering popular concerns like “will I get my package in time?” “What’s the update in real-time regarding my package?” “Is this item even in (out of) stock?”

2. Less Zombie-like But More Conversational Approaches

With or without COVID-19, it was inevitable that consumers will transform into digital shoppers. So, as customer-insights pros continuously try to understand the buyer’s changing expectations, the shift toward a pull (vs. push) distribution strategy is predicted to occur. Rather than “pushing” products toward the customers, customers will increasingly have control in “pulling” the products through the brand’s supply or retail chain toward them. 

Moreover, the ‘pull’ tactics make it possible for online brands to take a more conversational stance in their B2C interactions. For example, Forbes captured a CEO’s 2021 predictions in an interview over remote customer engagement. 

By completely eliminating the “[email protected]” email types and, instead, creating private online channels for strictly B2C interactions, this is one key strategy expected to make remote customer engagement more interactive. Also, the customer-centric digital channels would be promoted as a place where customers can directly contact brand ambassadors about anything to better address concerns and find solutions. 

Customers will essentially feel that they are part of one conversation focused on their specific needs rather than multiple individual chats. Meanwhile, benefits for the brand include a better overview of the interactions and management of their customer relationships. 

In 2021, more and more tools will increasingly become available to deliver conversational and humanistic touches to service.   

3. Emotional Intelligence Analytics: Shifting from the ‘What’ to the ‘Why’

Ever wonder why a customer does something, not just ‘what’ they did? In the first half of the 21st century, analytics professionals have found it more challenging to quantify the area of emotion than big data analytics. 

Now with rapid technological advancements, specifically AI-based text analytics tools (e.g., Clarabridge, IBM Watson, Wonderflow), this has led to significant improvements in the accuracy of sentiment analysis software. Companies are predicted to shift 10% of their customer insights budget to emotion analytics. 

In fact, in our recently covered topic on how emotional intelligence is changing digital marketing, we explained how brands can now leverage data to better position themselves by identifying and analyzing the ‘emotional drivers’ of a customer’s purchase decision.   

4. Reinforcement Learning as an Emerging Opportunity 

As a result of COVID-19, the drastic change in customer behavior led data-driven companies to find their predictive model more or less burning. Consequently, it led them to look more into reinforcement learning as an optimistic way out. 

Reinforcement learning is a category of machine learning algorithms involving robotics and machines against humans in solving sequential decision-making problems. It also observes interactions with the natural world and learns from it. 

Traditionally, it has always been the case that machine learning just analyzes past data sets. But now, reinforcement learning strays a bit from this notion. So, through its understanding of real-world simulation, reinforcement learning can offer different experiences to different buyers. Essentially, targeting the next ideal customer experience for each individual. 

Customer insights professionals, who want to catch up with the ever-changing consumer behaviors in real-time, are predicted to apply reinforcement learning in their enterprise practices. 

5. CX Meets CI More (and Not Just for Coffee) 

Besides marketing members, customer insights pros are expected to join the customer experience pros in more business meetings for 2021. Whether it be online or offline, both teams are expected to collaborate more than ever to improve the entire customer journey and understand their stakeholders. 

Not to mention, both internal powerhouses will see more value in one another as they work together to get more data into one place. The shift of focus toward a more unification strategy will grant the firm a better overview of the business processes, capture better storytelling, and make more precise predictions of the customer’s next move. 

Predict Success in 2021 with Wonderflow

As an AI-based Voice of the Customer (VoC) analytics solution, Wonderflow honors all the five predictions for customer insights in 2021. From CX to CI, to marketing professionals (among more), they will benefit from our tool in the following ways:

  1. Empowered to optimize CX: As the world’s first predictive and prescriptive-based model in VoC analytics, our text analysis tool helps companies easily find out what customers are saying or thinking during the entire customer journey. It detects both the ‘bad’ and ‘good’ in your customer’s written feedback, pinpointing the exact location of where things are said. Ultimately, your team can quickly react to customers’ pain points.
  2. Ability to analyze the effectiveness of conversational approaches: Wonderflow sources data from over 200 (public and private) online channels, including where B2C interactions occur. Find out whether your customers feel truly connected to your brand by seeing all collected feedback data in one aesthetically appealing dashboard (the Wonderboard). Plus, allowing your brand to be an active and deep social listener
  3. Capture how customers feel about your products/brand: The unmatched accuracy of our natural-language-processing technology scans thousands of (feedback) texts and identifies the ‘hits’ and ‘misses’ of your product designs. It also lets you arrive at an impactful business decision with personalized suggestions.



What are you waiting for? 2022 predictions? Get a free demo today. 


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