What should be on the Forrester CX Insight agenda for 2017

It may be planning ahead, but Forrester has already announced their CX Europe conference for November 2017. The complete agenda has yet to be announced, but I took a quick look back at the recent event in November 2016 to see what they featured there. The recent conference was broken into five sections:

  • The CX Mindset
  • Customer Understanding
  • The Rise of CX Experience Design
  • Building a Customer-Centric Culture
  • How to Upgrade CX Measurement Programmes

There were some interesting talks, but I think we can add a couple of new themes to the 2017 event; so here are my suggestions to Forrester for some new themes they might want to think about when scheduling speakers for the 2017 event.

How CX is Shaping Corporate Structure

I’ve written before about the way that companies need to entirely change their structure, to break down internal silos so that every department with a customer-facing role is working together. Now some new research from Forrester backs up my view. Forrester predicts that in 2017 at least a third of all marketing heads will be fired – that’s right, the CMOs will be out! Why is this? Because smart companies are getting their marketing, sales, and customer service teams to work together as a single team.

Some marketing heads will fight the change, or they will be unable to manage a more diverse team that focuses not just on marketing campaigns, but on building customer relationships. CX is going to redefine how every company looks – just watch what happens in 2017.

Only A Focus on CX Can Prevent Digital Disruption To Your Brand

Companies have always seen markets change over time. Products are evolved or retired and new ones are launched. Managers used to be able to plan a few years in advance with some certainty of how their industry would look.

But look at so many industries today where this is no longer true. Media, publishing, automobiles, financial services. I honestly don’t believe that the world has seen such a disruptive time in history and most of the change is coming from digitally active consumers. Executives in these industries don’t even know where their business will be in a year, let alone five years.

Look at retail banking as a good example of change. McKinsey research suggests that inside the next decade around two thirds of the entire retail banking business will move from the banks we know today to new FinTech startups. Two thirds inside a few years? That’s like a complete collapse of the banking sector.

What’s the answer for the banks and other companies faced with similar disruption? Focus entirely on the customer. Those FinTechs building financial apps have a big advantage because they don’t need to subsidise and expensive branch network, but the biggest advantage they have is that they are designing services from a clean sheet of paper – everything is built exactly how a customer would want it to work, not the way the bank has always done it.

The only way to take on the new competition is to behave like them and to offer services to customers that are entirely designed around offering a great CX. This will be the same story across every industry that is being digitally disrupted.

CX Experts are in demand

The customer journey has become so complicated that delivering service to customers is no longer about expertise in contact centres. People working on the customer experience today need expertise in data analysis, multiple communication channels, and social networks. Customer expectations are changing so fast that a good understanding of innovation and digital disruption is also important – this is not an environment for anyone who wants to just keep on doing the same thing day after day. If you have knowledge of customer service processes and other related areas, like Big Data, then you are in demand!

I believe that all these topics are enormous and should be on the next Forrester agenda. I’m always available if they need a good speaker with insight in how these trends are shaping boards across the whole of Europe!

Please leave your own thoughts on what should be on the Forrester CX Insight agenda in a comment here or get in touch via my LinkedIn.

Photo by Josh Hallett licensed under Creative Commons.

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