If you’re like me, and I’m assuming many of you reading this are — you think about customer experience (CX) all the time and how it impacts our organizations, especially this time of year as we gear up for the new year. Whether it’s high-level strategy and direction or technical and AI and analytics related, CX lives and breathes in all corners of our organizations. I’m excited as we head into a new decade to see where CX takes us and how advancements in technology will make CX more accurate and insightful. We’re already living in a world where CX insights can drive CRM programs and enable Sales executives to better manage relationships, either upselling or resolving issues a customer might be facing. So I can only imagine where we’ll be by the end of this year and the changes we’ll embrace.
Companies Will Increasingly Focus on the Employee Experience in Order to Drive Customer Experience.
As we head into the new year, here are my top predictions as CX continues to evolve the way we interact with our customers, whether on the retail Sales floor or in B2B.
2020 Is the Year of Integration
Enterprises will finally stop harping on how siloed they are and instead unite the data. Further, brands will look to increase the value of their tech stack by working on interoperability. Large scale, one-stop-shop customer support centers will start to lose their sticky grip on customers as brands fight for SaaS agility. This is because it’s not just about extracting customer data from solutions as a back-end resource but rather using solutions to trigger a series of actions. For example, Marketing can trigger CRM which can, in turn, trigger experience management and then onto ticketing.
This daisy-chaining is delivering truly powerful journeys within customer experience and can automate fairly complex experiences to something that customers can actually enjoy. In the world of CX, agility is king if you wish to be a leader and interoperability combined with slick processes, empowered employees and creative service design will prove to be a powerful mix.
AI-Powered Experiences Will Predict the Next Best Action, Not Just Insights
Gartner predicts that by 2020, more than 40% of all data analytics projects will touch CX. While this number may look daunting, rapidly evolving technology, specifically Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), will make this wealth of data more easily actionable, by analyzing experiences at a fraction of the cost and at an accelerated rate. Expanded AI capabilities will better predict how customers will act, giving businesses the ability to know better what customers think, before they even think it.
But as we turn the corner into a new decade, the big story for 2020 will be the ability to move beyond just predicting customer actions to proactively suggesting improvements. It’s one thing to see the problem coming, it’s another to act fast with the customer’s best interest in mind. Knowing the next best action will create better outcomes and predictably greater experiences.
A real power of transformational customer experience is the combination of Artificial and Human Intelligence. AI will suggest actions based on customer feedback, which employees can evaluate to implement the best ideas. Companies in 2020 will look to these techniques in order to repurpose the time and energy traditionally spent on manual analysis to make near-real-time decisions that improve CX and the bottom line.
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Companies Will Increasingly Focus on the Employee Experience in Order to Drive Customer Experience
Improving customer experience has long been a top-3 priority of senior executives, but companies are realizing that to address customer experience better, they also need to focus on the employee experience. Companies will transition away from traditional employee satisfaction surveys to more continuous employee engagement and action in order to drive motivation and performance. For example, rather than annual surveys, consider leaving surveys live for 24/7 accessibility to encourage real-time feedback.