The recent series of blogs I have been writing have focused on the customer experience of the future. When I saw that Forbes magazine just ran a feature on the customer experience in 2016 I thought it would be interesting to comment on what they see as the important trends for next year. These are the headlines for the five top trends as predicted in Forbes:
- Video customer service
- CRM gets better on mobile
- On demand contact centres become a reality
- Internet of Things
- Big Data becomes useful
I tend to agree, although I think that in all these areas there are existing examples. This is not a prediction of the future; merely an indication of what we are already seeing and which areas of the business might become more important.
I think that to really predict where the customer experience is going next year – and beyond – it is necessary to look beyond the technological change alone. These five trends from Forbes are all technology driven. I could add the Facebook investment in Virtual Reality or the Google investment in Augmented Reality to this list – they are not yet commonly used in the customer experience, but are going to be very important too.
However, I see all these customer experience technologies just at the core of a wide series of changes. Wrapped around these immediate CX changes are changes in the way that companies operate. I wrote in a previous blog about the idea of a Customer Experience Hub. This changes every business in every industry and is a much more far reaching change that the introduction of a single piece of technology. I believe that companies will need to build their service around the customer – just like all the new FinTech players entering the banking market and shaking up that business.
Then wrapped around how companies are working is the way that individuals in society are behaving. Take a look at how you communicate with your own family and compare it to a decade ago. I’m sure it has changed. But every area of human communication has changed because of the mobile Internet and social networks. Any organization that does not plan their customer experience with this in mind will fail.
I liked the Forbes predictions, although I believe there are probably ten important CX technologies that will be important next year, but the real change is coming from the fact that the customers themselves are behaving differently. The CX systems need to reflect how customers want to communicate – that’s the bottom line for 2016.
Photo by William Beem licensed under Creative Commons