CX has long since become one of the decisive differentiating features of top companies, which explains why every provider wants to push CX projects forward at full speed. According to Gartner, more than 80% of executives believe that in the not-too-distant future, they will compete based on CX alone, rather than price. In the context of the growing importance of artificial intelligence (AI), predictions like these suggest that there will be an enormous need for experience experts in C-level management for the following reasons:
Faster communication through AI
The modern age has created a hyper-connected world of real-time experiences and instant feedback with its smart speakers and home appliances. So, to no surprise, consumers demand and expect constantly better service from companies and instant reactions: they want to conveniently interact with customer services around the clock in the event of problems and receive instant answers. To meet these requirements, companies are increasingly relying on AI. Gartner even predicts that CX will have the largest share of the AI market this year.
Currently, chatbots are the most customer-friendly technological development: available 24/7, they can solve almost any problem in the blink of an eye. This means that limited call center service times and queue music should soon be a thing of the past.
Companies will also increasingly rely on social media such as Facebook Messenger, Twitter, and Instagram to close the speed gap. By connecting to various communication channels and using chatbots, it is possible to easily automate and personalize answers, so that human employees need to invest less time to be more productive. In the future, the focus will also be on processes that can recognize when a customer cannot cope with a chatbot and employees made of flesh and blood must intervene. In any case, from the customer's perspective, everything should be smooth and effortless.
X and O data ensure a dynamic experience economy
Companies will be more and more successful in generating concrete measures from experience (X) and operational (O) data by integrating X and O data into customer interactions. Thanks to previous communications, relevant information about a customer can be called up quickly and precisely. Researching the experiences of buyers and acting on these findings is the factor of success weapon for a dynamic experience economy. Due to the large amount of data available, companies will continue to invest in predictive analyzes in the future and thus optimize their marketing campaigns.
Continuous personalization instead of one-off actions
The CX industry clearly got out of its infancy. By now, customers got used to companies approaching them in a personalized way and companies started to focus on offering personalized interactions. It is not about scoring points with one-off campaigns, rather becoming an organization that meets the expectations of its customers - always.
However, to support the growing demand for personalization, companies need to collect more and more customer data, which starts to become a problem. The fact that so much personal data is stored leads to the fact that customers value transparency and honesty more than anything else and that storage and processing of personal data got more strictly regulated (GDPR). These developments will be powerful drivers for the experience management space.
Particularly, companies in the finance, technology, media, and health sectors need to learn how to reach and understand customers and employees, while effectively protecting their personal data. For example, they could strengthen their security protocols, introduce two-factor authentication, or switch to a cloud-based infrastructure that enables more comprehensive data management. Biometric technologies such as facial recognition and fingerprint ID are also increasingly used to make customers' lives safer and more convenient.
Augmented Reality (AR) as an essential part of CX
Augmented Reality (AR) superimposes information and images on a real environment and opens that way a whole range of new possibilities for product demonstrations and support. With the prospect of the new 5G cellular standard, for which speeds of up to ten gigabytes per second and barely noticeable latency times are predicted, more companies are likely to experiment with the provisioning of AR experiences. Especially in decision-making and CX optimization, AR will play an important role: e.g., customers can try different make-up colors and looks without having to put on the cosmetics, or plan the set-up of furniture conveniently in a virtual way, before buying what suites them. AR technology makes shopping easier, more convenient, more attractive, and more individual.
The future belongs to CX professionals
As always, all-rounders who cover many essential tasks of CX management will be in high demand in the future: specialists in advanced data analysis, experience design, culture change management or even individual technologies that support the customer journey. Generally, CX managers will cover the three main CX activities: collecting data, managing, and implementing them. These pioneers of the new discipline that is often called "analytics-supported CX-design" will develop competencies with which they can completely redesign the customer experience based on data-driven decisions.
By Daniela La Marca