By Iain Banks VP, International Markets, TTEC… In my Insight 2018 Q&A with Directors Club NewsWire earlier this year, I said the contact centre and customer service industry will experience the biggest digital shift yet in 2018 as CX brand leaders seek to expand channels, leverage analytics, adopt automation, and integrate the front office with back office operations.
This year we have seen many examples of this happening with customer interactions no longer stand-alone activities, and customers demanding a more comprehensive and consistent experience.
Digital transformation, the application of advanced technologies that have completely restructured the modern business environment, was a big part of this. With advancements like unified omnichannel communications and machine-to-machine communications via the Internet of Things (IoT), a forward-looking digital transformation strategy was key for businesses who want to stay competitive.
To survive this year businesses considered the whole of the customer experience: a truly digital contact centre redefines the customer experience from start to finish. And it wasn’t just about using the right channels to interact with customers where they are; the smartest businesses (of all sizes) integrated technologies across their business to provide full customer context with each interaction and leveraging system data to provide proactive service.
So, what’s next? Let’s look at four trends I see are set to shake up the industry in 2019:
Trend #1 – Insight and feedback will fuel some of 2019’s best customer loyalty campaigns
While it may seem obvious that companies attempt to modify customer experience in order to improve business outcomes, many professionals believe it’s difficult to make this connection explicit. One of the most significant ways CX data can be a driver of increased sales, exposure, and loyalty is as a predictor of future consumer behaviour. Watch this happen and the many clever customer loyalty campaigns that will emerge as brands fight to win consumers loyalty and market share.
Trend #2 – Competitive brands will make personalisation a top priority
The data companies use to improve CX also allows them to personalise products and services more effectively than ever before. Consumers increasingly expect brands to provide them with experiences that are tailored to their individual wants and needs. Customers believe that brands have access to their data, the power has somewhat shifted to the customer.
They expect brands to give them relevant and timely promotions, products, or services based on their personalised data. In other words, consumers expect brands to know them.
Trend #3 – Predictive analytics will be used to improve CX
At present, CX is mostly post-mortem. Through cross-functional collaboration enabled by technology, we are attempting to give companies the information required to do a pre-mortem in order to better ensure outcomes. But this shift to predictive CX is difficult for many brands, and the industry, to accept.
Companies that use predictive analytics are almost twice as likely to generate year-over-year customer lifetime value. Companies also need to start interpreting predictive data in the larger context of their brand’s image and reach: Understanding the power of voice and sentiment about your offering versus competitive offerings will be foundational to more highly predictive churn and renewal modelling. When a company is capable of anticipating what its customers want, it can adopt proactive measures to keep them satisfied instead of constantly scrambling to respond to complaints and shifting attitudes.
Trend #4 – Superior Customer Experience will be a brands biggest differentiator
One of the biggest challenges for brands is to identify exactly what their customers want and deliver it. CX isn’t about luxury or more service – it’s about making it the right experience for what the customer is asking for. This is an old principle, but it remains the best guide for navigating the new era in customer experience.
Although many companies recognise the vital role of CX in customer retention, there’s still a disconnect between their CX goals and what’s actually being done to accomplish them.
CXOs should recognise that we’re entering a uniquely difficult era for companies trying to distinguish themselves with superior customer experiences.
New Year, better experiences?
As we head towards 2019, although many companies recognise the vital role of CX in customer retention, there’s still a disconnect between their CX goals and what’s being done to accomplish them. CXOs should recognise that we’re entering a uniquely difficult era for companies trying to distinguish themselves with superior customer experiences. 2018 was a great year. Let’s build on that to make 2019 truly innovative and unique.
TTEC Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTEC) is a leading global customer experience services company focused on the design, implementation and delivery of tech-enabled transformative solutions for many of Europe’s most iconic and disruptive brands. The Company delivers outcome-based contact centre outsourcing solutions through TTEC Engage which operates and manages frontline and back-office business processes that support customer acquisition, care, growth and trust and safety – available onshore, nearshore and offshore. Additionally, TTEC Digital, the company’s digital consultancy, designs and builds human centric, tech-enabled, insight-driven customer experience solutions for clients. Founded in 1982, the Company’s 49,700 employees operate on six continents across the globe and live by a set of customer-focused values that guide relationships with clients, their customers, and each other. To learn more about how TTEC is bringing humanity to the customer experience, visit https://www.ttec.com/emea.