At the edge of 2012 there is, luckily, still time to discuss the trends in Customer Experience for 2013.
Already in 2012 Customer Experience has been a major topic for every organization that is facing customers and interacting with them. Even this blog holds a couple of nice examples of discussing the topic as well as some nice thoughtleadership on the topic by our organization.
And it is on the radar of a couple of large software vendors as well: Oracle, Salesforce.com, IBM, to name a few, are all focusing on the topic, all with their own special flavour of focus, eg. Commerce, Social & Service or Supply Chain.
So how about the trends for customer experience? Well here they are!
1. Next Generation privacy Peoples privacy is not what it was in the past. People are willing to share their information with each other as well as with (commercial) organizations, if however they can benefit from sharing this information. For organizations this means that they can get to know their customers in far more detail and can be much more relevant in the interactions they have with these people. so in short: People are willing to share a lot of their personal information with organizations. What they ask in return and expect is simple: Security of the information shared, value add and true sensibility
2. The year of the CeXO As many organizations are starting to take the Customer Experience topic serious, many organizations are (planning) to appoint a person responsible for setting up and maintaining Customer Experience for their organization: the Chief customer eXperience Officer. Although there are some slight differences in maturity in countries around the globe, in 2013 we will definitely see a tremendous growth of the number of CeXO's. This will give the adoption of Customer Experience a great boost, since it will bring the focus and attention to the topic, it deserves. 2013 is the year of the CeXO, let's see who's on the cover of TIME next year...
3. The store of the future is here - In-store Digital Experience Stores are incorporating all kind of electronics to enhance your shopping experience: Near Field Communication (NFC) for payments and recognition, linkage of Mobile platforms with in-store kiosks, etc. 2013 will mean an uplift of the In-store Digital Experience, but probably more important to link it and combine it with other channels of interactions you are already used to now. Why? Just to make your life as a customer more convenient and easier, just shop till you drop!
4. Personalized Guidance Lot's of improvement in the overall Customer Experience can be found in the guidance of customers in all the information that is available. Examples are IPS, Indoor Positioning System for guidance towards the right spot within a store, Next Generation Search Engine Optimization and Online Search and Navigation Guidance on your Website or Webshop. Personalized Guidance will give customers the feeling they get easier access to the information of their relevance and give organizations the possibility to sell more and more accurate. Guide your customer to more revenue!
5. The end of websites as we know them As new platforms are rising and maturing, traditional websites are passing. At least the interactive functions available on websites are moving towards other platforms: think of examples of webshops on facebook, banking functions on mobile apps and customer service through twitter. This will not mean that we will not see websites anymore, but they will have a place among other (digital and social) channels that are equally important and need their attention too. 2013 will mean more focus on these aspects of websites lifecycles. The web will be a different place a year from now.
6. Federated Customer Service A lot has been written and said about 360 customer views and interconnected service experience, but until now this has always seemed a bridge to far for a lot of organizations. Well luckily ;-), a good customer experience cannot do without federated or interconnected customer service: an organization must know who I am, what I bought, which complaints I have how loyal I am, etc., etc. And it should not matter which means of interaction I choose: Telephone, Chat, Social, etc. The essence is the customer needs to experience the same service throughout all interactions, only then he or she will experience a good customer service. The good news: IT solutions have matured a lot in this area (Customer Master Data management, CRM Service) and is now offered in your data center as well as in the cloud, not only by Salesforce, but also by vendors like Oracle and Microsoft.
If these trends got you thinking about how your business can benefit from Customer Experience Management, feel free to reach out and discuss in more detail. Make sure you get started before your competition does!