Ecosystm Predicts: The Top 5 Customer Experience Trends for 2021

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In 2020, much of the focus for organisations were on business continuity, and on empowering their employees to work remotely. Their primary focus in managing customer experience was on re-inventing their product and service delivery to their customers as regular modes were disrupted. As they emerge from the crisis, organisations will realise that it is not only their customer experience delivery models that have changed – but customer expectations have also evolved in the last few months. They are more open to digital interactions and in many cases the concept of brand loyalty has been diluted. This will change everything for organisations’ customer strategies. And digital technology will play a significant role as they continue to pivot to succeed in 2021 – across regions, industries and organisations.

Ecosystm Advisors Audrey William, Niloy Mukherjee and Tim Sheedy present the top 5 Ecosystm predictions for Customer Experience in 2021. This is a summary of the predictions – the full report (including the implications) is available to download for free on the Ecosystm platform.

The Top 5 Customer Experience Trends for 2021

  1. Customer Experience Will Go Truly Digital

COVID-19 made the few businesses that did not have an online presence acutely aware that they need one – yesterday! We have seen at least 4 years of digital growth squeezed into six months of 2020. And this is only the beginning. While in 2020, the focus was primarily on eCommerce and digital payments, there will now be a huge demand for new platforms to be able to interact digitally with the customer, not just to be able to sell something online.

Digital customer interactions with brands and products – through social media, online influencers, interactive AI-driven apps, online marketplaces and the like will accelerate dramatically in 2021. The organisations that will be successful will be the ones that are able to interact with their customers and connect with them at multiple touchpoints across the customer journey. Companies unable to do that will struggle.

  1. Digital Engagement Will Expand Beyond the Traditional Customer-focused Industries

One of the biggest changes in 2020 has been the increase in digital engagement by industries that have not traditionally had a strong eye on CX. This trend is likely to accelerate and be further enhanced in 2021.

Healthcare has traditionally been focused on improving clinical outcomes – and patient experience has been a byproduct of that focus. Many remote care initiatives have the core objective of keeping patients out of the already over-crowded healthcare provider organisations. These initiatives will now have a strong CX element to them. The need to disseminate information to citizens has also heightened expectations on how people want their healthcare organisations and Public Health to interact with them. The public sector will dramatically increase digital interactions with citizens, having been forced to look at digital solutions during the pandemic.  

Other industries that have not had a traditional focus on CX will not be far behind. The Primary & Resources industries are showing an interest in Digital CX almost for the first time. Most of these businesses are looking to transform how they manage their supply chains from mine/farm to the end customer. Energy and Utilities and Manufacturing industries will also begin to benefit from a customer focus – primarily looking at technology – including 3D printing – to customise their products and services for better CX and a larger share of the market.

  1. Brands that Establish a Trusted Relationship Can Start Having Fun Again

Building trust was at the core of most businesses’ CX strategies in 2020 as they attempted to provide certainty in a world generally devoid of it. But in the struggle to build a trusted experience and brand, most businesses lost the “fun”. In fact, for many businesses, fun was off the agenda entirely. Soft drink brands, travel providers, clothing retailers and many other brands typically known for their fun or cheeky experiences moved the needle to “trust” and dialed it up to 11. But with a number of vaccines on the horizon, many CX professionals will look to return to pre-pandemic experiences, that look to delight and sometimes even surprise customers.

However, many companies will get this wrong. Customers will not be looking for just fun or just great experiences. Trust still needs to be at the core of the experience. Customers will not return to pre-pandemic thinking – not immediately anyway. You can create a fun experience only if you have earned their trust first. And trust is earned by not only providing easy and effective experiences, but by being authentic.

  1. Customer Data Platforms Will See Increased Adoption

Enterprises continue to struggle to have a single view of the customer. There is an immense interest in making better sense of data across every touchpoint – from mobile apps, websites, social media, in-store interactions and the calls to the contact centre – to be able to create deeper customer profiles. CRM systems have been the traditional repositories of customer data, helping build a sales pipeline, and providing Marketing teams with the information they need for lead generation and marketing campaigns. However, CRM systems have an incomplete view of the customer journey. They often collect and store the same data from limited touchpoints – getting richer insights and targeted action recommendations from the same datasets is not possible in today’s world. And organisations struggled to pivot their customer strategies during COVID-19.  Data residing in silos was an obstacle to driving better customer experience.

We are living in an age where customer journeys and preferences are becoming complex to decipher. An API-based CDP can ingest data from any channel of interaction across multiple journeys and create unique and detailed customer profiles. A complete overhaul of how data can be segregated based on a more accurate and targeted profile of the customer from multiple sources will be the way forward in order to drive a more proactive CX engagement. 

  1. Voice of the Customer Programs Will be Transformed

Designing surveys and Voice of Customer programs can be time-consuming and many organisations that have a routine of running these surveys use a fixed pattern for the data they collect and analyse. However, some organisations understand that just analysing results from a survey or CSAT score does not say much about what customers’ next plan of action will be. While it may give an idea of whether particular interactions were satisfactory, it gives no indication of whether they are likely to move to another brand; if they needed more assistance; if there was an opportunity to upsell or cross sell; or even what new products and services need to be introduced. Some customers will just tick the box as a way of closing off a feedback form or survey. Leading organisations realise that this may not be a good enough indication of a brand’s health.

Organisations will look beyond CSAT to other parameters and attributes. It is the time to pay greater attention to the Voice of the Customer – and old methods alone will not suffice. They want a 360-degree view of their customers’ opinions.


Ecosystm Predicts: The Top 5 Customer Experience Trends for 2021

The full findings and implications of The Top 5 Customer Experience Trends for 2021 are available for download from the Ecosystm platform. Create your free account to access more from the Ecosystm Predicts Series, and many other reports, on the Ecosystm platform

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New Zealand announces Agritech Industry Transformation Plan

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5/5 (1) Agriculture is significant to New Zealand’s economy and the Government aims to create more efficient land usage, better environmental outcomes, and to drive sustainability for food and supply chain across domestic and international markets.

In an effort to grow the agritech sector into an even stronger economic contributor, increase agritech exports and advance sustainable production in New Zealand and globally, the Government of New Zealand has committed to spend USD 7.6 million on the implementation of an Agritech Industry Transformation Plan as part of a strategy for the food and fibre industry. The plan is the culmination of views and insights representing a cross-section of more than 130 members of New Zealand’s agritech ecosystem – the Government, industry, and the Māori and wider community – providing their collective vision to focus attention on the sector for a competitive edge.

Roadmap to Accelerate New Zealand’s Agritech

To further boost the innovation in agritech and upscale the Sustainable Food & Fibre Futures (SFF Futures), an additional USD 56 million has been earmarked for smaller grassroots community projects to large-scale industry development. This will support the Government’s Fit for a better world Roadmap – a 10-year roadmap for the primary industry; and add value across the agriculture, horticulture, fisheries and marine, and forestry sectors.

The Roadmap includes objectives such as:

  • Adding USD 29 billion in export earnings over the next decade (2020 to 2030) through a focus on creating value
  • Reducing the biogenic methane emissions to below 10% by 2030 and restoring New Zealand’s freshwater environments
  • Employing 10% more New Zealanders in the food and fibres sector by 2030, and 10,000 more by 2024

Ecosystm Principal Advisor, Jannat Maqbool says, “In addition to the current environment with COVID-19, a new generation of consumers across the globe is becoming considerate that they buy what is good for the world in the face of climate change, biodiversity loss and the degradation of waterways. The ability to manage and assure quality and safety from ‘farm to fork’ is now more important than ever, leveraging technology for traceability, risk management, and rapid response capability to meet consumer demands and relevant legislative requirements.”

Through this Industry Transformation Plan (ITP), the Government seeks to attract investments in New Zealand’s agritech intellectual property (IP), develop the necessary infrastructure, focus on export opportunities, address current concerns related to connectivity and data, and ensure a skilled workforce that is able to both develop and effectively leverage agritech.

Maqbool says, “The success of the plan will depend on how well relevant stakeholders engage and ongoing support from government to help create the conditions required for the sector to realise its potential.”

Key Milestones

The Government of New Zealand is working to retain competitiveness in global agriculture. Some key initiatives include:

Farm 2050 Country Partnership. New Zealand became the first country partner of Farm2050- a global agritech initiative that brings together farmers, researchers, the market and investors to collaborate effectively.

Western Growers partnership. Western Growers and New Zealand signed a partnership agreement to develop agritech. It also opened doors for New Zealand’s agritech researchers and companies working in the robotics and automation space to enter the US Market.

The Australia New Zealand Agritech Council. The Australia New Zealand Agritech Council was launched to help the countries work closely on agricultural practices and to cooperate on agritech.

 

New Zealand is fast becoming an example of how technology providers and food producers can collaborate on improving yields, optimising production methods and reducing waste, predicting demand, and safeguarding supply chains.

 


Continuing the conversation around Agritech, we discussed the role of technology for improving yields, optimising production methods and reducing waste, predicting demand, and safeguarding supply chains.👇
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This virtual event was a part of Techweek NZ, and in partnership with the Singapore FinTech Festival.


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