With the beginning of a new year just days away, it’s a good time to look back at the previous year and ahead to the challenges in the coming months. Many of these challenges are likely to be related to improving the customer experience. In fact, a report released in mid-2015 said, "As a result of the survey findings, Gartner predicts that by 2018, more than 50% of organizations will implement significant business model changes in their efforts to improve customer experience."
Based on conversations with Cyara customers and reading what leading customer experience professionals are saying, here are four customer experience challenges most organizations will continue to address in 2016:
Consumers will continue to expect more. Micah Solomon, a customer experience consultant, and contributor for Forbes defined the ‘more' in an article as 24-7 service and an omnichannel customer experience. In conjunction with the Customer Engagement Summit in London last month, Cyara hosted a number of roundtable discussions with customers and prospects. One point of agreement at these sessions was that omnichannel is not just a reality; it is a game changer that is required to survive.The customer is king in today’s business environment and dictates how and when they want to engage. Customers are more likely than ever before to switch to a competitor for a better offer, and they will share their negative experiences over social media channels.
Companies will continue to increase their investment in the customer experience. Data will drive this increase. Forrester's 2014 Customer Experience Index showed a 45% increase in performance for customer-centric companies compared to a 33.9% decrease for companies who have neglected customer experience. Gartner research has found that digital marketers are spending almost as much to retain customers (45%) as they do to gain new ones (55%). This investment was made primarily to build a "more streamlined customer experience."
Looking at these numbers, in 2016 companies will continue to recognize that a better customer experience will improve customer satisfaction, increase loyalty, and improve retention. Cyara accelerates innovation in voice and digital channels at scale helping companies to deliver a better customer experience while reducing the cost and risk of customer-facing defects that could damage their brand.
Companies will continue to move to a mobile-first customer experience. This shift, referred to as a ‘mobile mind shift', is dramatically transforming customer expectations. It’s too early for numbers from the 2015 holiday shopping season, but in 2014 major retailers Amazon and Target both reported that 60% of all holiday shopping traffic was through mobile devices, according to industry publication Mobile Commerce Daily.
This shift means that your mobile customer experience via mobile phones, chat, and email, including self-service options, needs to be just as good – if not better – than your traditional telephone experience. To make that a reality, you will need to take a mobile-first approach. If you neglect the mobile customer experience, then you risk losing customers. No matter how your customers reach your contact center, Cyara can help you ensure that the customer experience is consistent across all channels.
Companies will strive to create one-to-one, cross-channel experiences. Personalization and cross-channel experience have been hot topics for a couple of years now, especially for marketers and customer experience professionals. In a recent Forbes blog Ross Beard, says, we’ll see an increase in investments in technology that will help companies create personalized and individualized marketing communications." Companies will strive to create one-to-one relationships with their customers integrated across all their favorite channels – email, social media, phone, in person and on desktops, mobiles, and tablets.” The key here is the ability to connect information in context from one channel to another.
So What Else in 2016?
While these four trends are likely to absorb a good bit of our focus in 2016, the New Year is sure to hold some surprises, both good and bad. One thing is certain however, companies that can deliver a quality customer experience will continue to out-perform those who ignore the customer experience as shown in this infographic.
If you are thinking about improving the customer experience your company delivers, consider Cyara. As the world’s fastest growing provider of omnichannel customer experience testing, discovery and monitoring solutions, Cyara helps our customers deliver millions of flawless interactions every day. How can we help you?