Strap yourself in for the new ride of 2019 - what’s ahead for experience leaders?
What will we experience as experience leaders in 2019?
The trends that we will continue to see dominate the customer experience landscape include a further influx of artificial intelligence. You know, the convenience of the other person knowing who you are just by computers identifying who you are by analysing your voice based on your customer profile? Creepy or convenient, we all have our opinions. But the early adopters are enjoying the benefits of time saving and convenience. Queues are starting to become a thing of the past with self-service technology becoming the norm for many retailers.
While small businesses and some in the not-for-profit sector may see these as luxuries, they are starting to become a necessity. We as customers are coming to expect these conveniences that enhance our experience. The price of such ‘luxuries’ which some might call ‘gimmicks’ will continue to drop as new players enter the technology space and aim to further disrupt industries.
Some commentators believe we may also see a resurgence of full service industries, where you are made to feel extra special with that human touch. There’s talks of gas/service stations beginning to return to full service with a pump attendant, but the challenge here will be how to price such a convenience and retain business. Well, until electric cars with wireless charging ability become the norm.
With a projected slow down in the global economy, there will be a dramatic shift from acquiring new customers to retaining existing customers in saturated markets. The need to generate loyalty and spread positive word of mouth will be key to having a following of customers that support your organization. Organizations will need to be savvy if they are to compete as consumers tighten their purse strings. As customer experience leaders, that’s where we come into play.
While online marketing continues to grow, many industries are finding their online channels are becoming prohibitively expensive to compete for advertising space in a demand-led pricing market. Marketers and customer experiences leaders will need to consider that tipping point when they are better off investing the funds into experience differentiation and better service to increase the recommendations.
When was the last time you checked a review before enjoying a new restaurant or choosing a service provider? Online peer recommendation and reviews are becoming increasingly important with customers turning to Facebook, Google, Yelp, Trip Advisor and service apps like ZocDoc before they make a decision. And they are all too forward to posting on such outlets if things don’t go their way.
Organisations need to focus on their consistency of experience as well as the empowerment of team members to make those exceptions needed to win over a customer situation.
As customer experience leaders we usually have a team behind us that helps us make the cogs tick like clockwork. If we are to see our customer experience teams prosper the importance of their employee experience is key. If we expect our team to provide a world class experience, their employee experience must too be world class. Particularly if we want to attract and retain millennials.
These are just a few of the continued trends and changes we will see and who knows what else could unfold over the next 12 months. Most importantly we must continue to be nimble, open and courageous in our pursuits of the ultimate experience. Well to you, my fellow experience leaders, strap yourself in to the ride of 2019. We’re going to be a busy lot.