Embrace New Ways of Thinking in 2016


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We have had a significant increase in the number of organizations contacting us for help with their Customer Experience program. Their program has plateaued and now they don’t know what to do. In many cases the initial focus on Customer Experience and new customer measures, like Net Promoter, delivered some improvements but they have been short-lived.

We Need New Thinking

Why are the results short-lived? They are using old thinking to tackle new problems. The issue is not with the organization’s desire to improve but instead with the team’s understanding of the underlying concepts that influence a Customer Experience.

My Prediction

Results will continue to plateau as long as people only look at the rational parts (Product, Price, Promotion, and Placement) of a Customer Experience .

My Advice

You need new thinking to address the needs of your Customer Experience!

Emotions Will Be Accepted, Finally!

More organizations have embraced the emotional side of the Customer Experience. This is gratifying for me because when I wrote about emotions for Building Great Customer Experiences back in 2002, everybody acted like I was mad. Thirteen years is a long time to be considered a madman!

However, the Customer Experience movement has advanced. Whilst emotions are important and account for over 50% of a Customer Experience, understanding how to stimulate and evoke emotions at the subconscious and psychological level is the latest thought leadership in our field.

My Prediction 

In 2016, some organizations will focus on the superficial emotional side and will fall further behind more advanced organizations examining the deeper subconscious and psychological emotional influences in Customer Experience.

My Advice

Embrace the deeper influences of emotional aspects of the Customer Experience, not the superficial ones.

Behavioral Economics Meets Customer Experience

There is a new phrase in my field: Behavioral Economics, or how human behavior affects economics, i.e. money. Understanding how customer behavior affects revenue, market share, retention, acquisition, etc., is essential. I have written a new book along with Professor Ryan Hamilton, Consumer Psychology, Emory University (coming out in May 2016) where we outline seven imperatives any organization must undertake to improve the Customer Experience. Register now and we will let you know when the book will arrive.

My Prediction

In 2016, more organizations will now embrace the subconscious and psychological experience, thus embracing Behavioral Economics.

My Advice

In 2016, it is vital to educate your Customer Experience professionals about these deeper influences explained by Behavioral Economic concepts, and then subsequently other people in your organization, if you’re not to fall behind in future years.

Predictive Analytics Are Key

Understanding customers’ behavior using detailed understanding of the emotional, subconscious, and psychological aspects of the experience allows you to predict how customers will behave in the future. Big data can be used to research past behavior. However, the data must include the emotional influences as well to be accurate, at least for predicting how a Customer Experience can influence future behavior.

My prediction

Predictive analytics are key to improving Customer Experience in 2016.

My Advice

Look at your big data from an emotional perspective, identify the psychological aspects that are driving customer behavior, and use this to predict their future behavior. Then, build a Customer Experience model that uses these predictions to your benefit.

Employee Engagement and Customer Experience

We see the growth of employee engagement programs. This movement is great because happy people give you happy customers. However, employee engagement programs often run separately to the Customer Experience program. This approach is wrong!

My Prediction

One of the key outputs of any employee engagement program is an improvement in the Customer Experience.

My Advice

Merge your employee engagement and customer experience program together. Identify what drives and destroys value for your employees experience.

The Internet of Things

The Internet of things is essentially everything connected to the Internet. For example, a restaurant chair can have an Internet-connected chip placed in it that can tell when it is occupied (and even who is occupying it!). Your Internet-connected Fitbit device allows your insurance company to track how much exercise you get and therefore alter your Insurance policy rates based upon your activity.

My prediction

The Internet of things is going to have as big an impact upon our daily lives as the introduction of the Internet itself did.

My Advice

Whilst in 2016 the applications will be limited, get your head around where this is going.

It is a new year. Why not adopt a new way of thinking about Customer Experience to go with it? It’s undeniable that the emotional aspects of your experience have a
significant influence on your success. Understanding why this is and how to use this information to your advantage is the new thinking needed to keep up with Customer Experience discoveries.  I predict that the Customer Experience movement will continue to evolve. My advice is that you evolve with it – or be left behind with last year’s results.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Colin Shaw
Colin is an original pioneer of Customer Experience. LinkedIn has recognized Colin as one of the ‘World's Top 150 Business Influencers’ Colin is an official LinkedIn "Top Voice", with over 280,000 followers & 80,000 subscribed to his newsletter 'Why Customers Buy'. Colin's consulting company Beyond Philosophy, was recognized by the Financial Times as ‘one of the leading consultancies’. Colin is the co-host of the highly successful Intuitive Customer podcast, which is rated in the top 2% of podcasts.


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