‘It’s the most wonderful time of the year’ and what that brings is a plethora of predictions – the ascent of algorithms, the domination of data, the list of soon-to-be deceased businesses due to digital disruption, and of course the unrelenting upwardly mobile trend of mobile adoption. So in the spirit of the season, here goes the obligatory customer experience 2016 trends blog.
Looking ahead, 2016 portends a few fundamental shifts in the customer experience landscape.
- Customer Strategy Is The Business Strategy: In a world that will simply not stand still, the one constant for businesses, is offering value to the customer. Customer strategy will become central to corporate strategy as companies start to move away from traditional strategic models and planning processes.
- Effort And Responsiveness Emerge As Key Customer Metrics: In an increasingly digital world, driven by online interactions and self-service, the focus of customer experience design will transition from customer delight to simplicity. Customer Effort Score (CES) will emerge as the key customer metric. The speed of the customer is now. Due to rising customer expectations related to responsiveness, the CES score will be complemented by metrics that track time(s)-to-respond to customers across all channels.
- Shift To Proactive And Pre-emptive Engagement: As corporations become more ‘intelligent’ with greater understanding of customer context and customer behaviors, customer experience will be designed with a ‘proactive first’ approach. Using customer data (online activities, interactions, transactions, and connected devices) combined with algorithms, companies with advanced analytical capabilities will begin to explore pre-emptive engagement.
- Contact Centre Is The Customer Retention Centre: As companies and customers shift to digital channels for transactional interactions, customers will only call if they cannot resolve an issue through self-service or if they have a problem. As the only human face of the company, the contact center will need to evolve and address these issues with efficiency, empathy, and emotional engagement. The Contact Center will reinvent itself to become a Customer Retention Center and the perception of the Contact Centre will quickly shift from a cost center to a strategic asset.
- Virtual And Augmented Realty Come Of Age: The drive to compete on differentiated customer experience will fuel the adoption of Virtual and Augmented Reality. As the technology matures and becomes more accessible, early adopters will gain substantial first mover advantage in the market. Virtual and Augmented Reality is to multi-media what multi-media is to text and has the potential to radically change digital experience.
These are exciting times in the Customer Experience Universe.
A very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Successful New Year to all.