Increasingly organisations are looking to improve customer and employee experience over other traditional metrics such as growing revenue or reducing costs. Organisations are transitioning from business metrics to customer experience (CX) ones, and employing CX leaders. 2020 will see many businesses make significant breakthroughs in improving the CX.
The top 5 Customer Experience trends for 2020
Here are the top 5 CX trends and the related technology markets in 2020. It draws on the latest data from the global Ecosystm CX Study that is live and ongoing on the Ecosystm platform and based on qualitative analyses by Ecosystm Principal Advisors Tim Sheedy and Audrey William.
Asia will Catch up with North America and ANZ in Customer Obsession
Many Asian economies – particularly those in Southeast Asia – have not needed to focus too much on CX. The proportion of businesses starting to map customer journeys is accelerating, and there is a growing focus on making those journeys easier, more effective and more enjoyable. We are seeing this play out in the levels of interest in – and deployment of – cloud contact centres. Australia and New Zealand have been leading the deployments in the last two years. Deploying cloud and using machine learning and AI at the core to understand how to deliver personalised CX is part of a wider CX strategy for several organisations.
In 2020 we expect large organisations in Southeast Asia and North Asia to transform their CX and contact centre capabilities and make the move to cloud-based contact centre environments.
CX Initiatives will Dovetail with Broader Digital Ones
Many businesses have taken a bimodal IT approach to their technology platforms – driving customer-centric changes at pace while keeping their back-end systems slow. In the drive to make the entire business fast and innovative, these back-end systems are being modernised. But over 90% of businesses have not yet seen a customer or business benefit from this digital agenda.
This will change in 2020 as more businesses get some competitive advantage from the digital initiatives they are driving inside of their business. This will be driven by the linking of the customer-centric technology initiatives with the back-end ones. This means that customer applications will be infused with data and analytics from other systems, making them smarter and increasing the potential for automation and AI to drive down costs and increase personalisation and customisation.
Hyper-personalisation will Move from Concept to Reality – Powered by Customer Journey Analytics
The idea of creating unique experiences for each customer has been discussed for years – but few businesses are really doing it today. 2020 will see businesses outside of the top 5% experiment and deploy hyper-personalised CX. It will move from the top web brands to mass market as more companies invest in automation, predictive analytics and AI.
But hyper-personalisation is not possible without Customer Journey Analytics. Businesses need to understand the end-to-end journey of each customer to understand how to personalise it. Therefore, Customer Journey Analytics will take centre-stage in 2020. The challenge for years has been that customer teams have focused on the traditional inbound and outbound interaction with the customer. Brands now need to understand and personalise the experience before the customer interacts with the brand and after they are done interacting with the brand. The ability to apply machine learning and AI to offer insights to predict the movement and journey of the customer will be a significant focus – and challenge – for customer teams. Customer Journey Analytics will allow brands to deliver that “frictionless” service.
There will be a Renewed Focus on Compliance and Security in CX
With the recent banking royal commission hearings in Australia to GDPR and other global regulations around privacy and customer data handling, customer teams will now have to make sure that all forms of voice and non-voice interactions are monitored close to 100% of the time. Very few customer teams do that today and are at risk of non-compliance. As monitoring can be labour intensive, there will be a need for organisations to invest in analytics and AI applications around compliance and monitoring.
The recording of customer calls means that highly sensitive information could be stored for years and the risk of the contact centre breaching regulatory compliance requirements enhances. Solutions today have various ways to block the recording of key phrases or sections and some solutions apply APIs to the flow of the recording. As soon as the agent enters sensitive information such as credit card details, the recording stops to resume after the sensitive data is blocked or deleted. That way the sensitive conversation is not recorded or heard by anyone monitoring the call. Contact centres must adhere to this strictly, but few do. Businesses also need to know real time if an agent is misinforming the customer. Contact Centre Outsourcers will also have to re-look at how compliant they are and how much they have invested in securing customer data. There will be greater pressure on them to take on greater risks and share the risk burden with their clients.
Businesses will Use AI and Analytics to Measure CX
The drive to improve CX has every business and government department measuring the experience at every opportunity. A one-minute transaction in a store can prompt a five-minute survey asking for feedback. As a consequence, customers are experiencing survey fatigue. Surveys are also not the best way to measure how customers feel after they have interacted with a brand. Already, many will not participate unless there is a discount or incentive, which eats into future margins. Smart businesses will begin to use AI to detect emotions and mood, and analytics to measure experiences.
Download Report: The top 5 Customer Experience trends for 2020
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