15 Customer Service Predictions for 2015 & Beyond

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iStock_000028935470Medium“The trouble with the future is that is usually arrives before we’re ready for it.” ~ Arnold H. Glasow

Customer expectations are changing and growing just as rapidly as the channels and technology consumers are empowered with to engage, encouraging (if not demanding) that brands and organizations embrace a strategy of non-stop, customer-centric adaptation.



Here is a collection of 15 expert predictions affecting the near future of customer service and the customer experience. It’s time to get ready…

  1.  In 2015, organizations will extend the power of predictive analytics to offer service tailored to the customer’s profile, historical data of past interactions and transactions, and current situational data such as geographic location, device, and browser. ~ Forrester’s Top Trends For Customer Service In 2015
  2. Mobile search will generate 27.8 billion more queries than desktop search by 2016 ~ BIA/Kelsey Report, 2012
  3. By 2016, more than half of the dollars spent in U.S. retail will be influenced by the web. ~Forrester U.S. Cross-channel Retail Forecast, 2011 – 2016
  4. By 2017, the global social network audience will total 2.55 billion. ~eMarketer Worldwide Social Network Users: 2013 Forecast and Comparative Estimates 
  5. By 2017, more than half of consumer product and service R&D investments will be redirected to customer experience innovations. ~ Gartner Top 10 Strategic Predictions for 2015 and Beyond
  6. Through 2018, the lack of in-line contextual knowledge or support in mobile applications will lower customer satisfaction by 5%, undermining the enterprise’s mobile strategy. ~ Michael Maoz, Gartner, Knowledge Management will Transform CRM Customer Service
  7. By 2017, one third of all customer service interactions will still require the support of a human intermediary (compared to 60% in 2014). ~ Gartner Predicts 2015: Weak Mobile Customer Service Is Harming Customer Engagement
  8. By 2018, the rapid creation and retrieval of relevant content (KM) will be a key attribute of leading enterprises. ~ Michael Maoz, Gartner, Knowledge Management will Transform CRM Customer Service
  9. By 2018, 50% of agent interactions will be influenced by real-time analytics.~ Gartner Predicts 2015: Weak Mobile Customer Service Is Harming Customer Engagement
  10. By 2018, 5% of customer service cases will be initiated by Internet-connected devices. ~ Predicts 2015: Weak Mobile Customer Service Is Harming Customer Engagement
  11. The customer of 2020 will be more informed and in charge of the experience they receive. They will expect companies to know their individual needs and personalize the experience. Immediate resolution will not be fast enough as customers will expect companies to proactively address their current and future needs. ~ Customers 2020 Report
  12. There will be 25 billion connected things (network or internet-enabled devices) – or three for every person on the planet – by the end of 2020. ~ Gartner Predicts 2015: Weak Mobile Customer Service Is Harming Customer Engagement
  13. By 2020, the need for a unified consumer omni-channel experience will be complicated by the need for nearly perfect execution. However, expert use of business intelligence tools, coupled with a profound understanding of shoppers‘ needs and experiences in real time, may make omni-channel a realistic goal. ~ PwC Retailing 2020: Winning in a Polarized World
  14. By 2020, smart phone applications will proactively inform a shopper regarding specific issues with products or retailers upon entering a retailer‘s brick-and-mortar store or using its website. Brand management by 2020 will need to develop a host of new skills, tools, and communication modes, both nimble and innovative, than are typical today. ~ PwC Retailing 2020: Winning in a Polarized World
  15. By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. ~ Customers 2020 Report


“For tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.”

3 COMMENTS

  1. Great post, Tricia, and I agree that innovation, customer experience and conversations with people will be critical. But I couldn’t help but notice two issues:

    1 The prevalence of predictions that relate to the use of technology and the internet. Maybe I am too old at 57 to have caught the wave of modern technology, but as a customer I am resentful that I have to jump through hoops to actually talk to an employee, and, in many cases, I am punished by fees to do so, (banks, for example.) I agree that technology can offer convenience and speed in routine transactions, but still believe that it is people who make for true experiences.

    2 The price versus experience dilemma is one which I have really been unable to resolve. Will 2015 become a year of more and more “Black Fridays” with customers scrambling to get their hands on better and better deals? I agree completely with your last prediction, and promote the principle whenever I can, but maybe the recession has changed the way people feel about brands.

    Well done!

  2. Thanks for this article. Customer experience is becoming an important factor for organizations to succeed this year. And one of the best ways to deliver it is through what customers now hold in their hands.

    Recently, I booked a resort using an app from my smart phone (Of course, I had to do some background research on the web). I was doubtful in the beginning, but I tried it. The customer service confirmed my reservation through a phone call and an email. I thought having to call a reservations call center is the first thing to do to make my request official, but not anymore. Contact center agents are no longer limited to taking calls; they can process and confirm requests online. It’s amazing that a mobile app is now a customer channel and this, together with the other established ones, can work to give customers the best experience.

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