The customer journey will be reborn and start breaking the silos

By now the concept of the customer journey has already been known for quite some time. But what we are seeing based on thousands and thousands of customer engagements is that the ideology is re-emerging. Companies will also reel their KPIs and metrics to service customer journeys but also use the same ideology for innovations and service improvements as well as improving their internal well being! This said I think that the year 2019 will be the year when companies really start breaking their data silos and stop using separate systems to collect the data. A single touchpoint approach has already been living far too long. he realm of customer experience that focuses on the customer journey and sentiment as they traverse through the product/service is helping define the lifetime value of a customer. There are a tremendous opportunity and emergence of customer data platforms that go beyond the 360-degree view of a customer to enable cohorts and clusters to enable better targeting for up-sell/cross-sell.

How are we doing – the second coming of the employee experience

Many times in the hassle of trying to improve the customer experience we tend to forget that it is our own people that create those experiences. Happy employees create happy customers. And finally, this seems to be catching off! For the first time in 10 years, we can see lots of investments in measuring and improving one’s employee experience and companies are taking this matter more and more seriously.

Digital integration continues

Companies will continue to take the next steps in using integrations and automating their process also in customer experience. This is a global phenomenon and cannot be neglected in cx world. Data will move more frictionless from system to system but also e.g. tricking the surveys throughout the customer journeys and managing the entire process automatically is turning into everyday life for marketers and cx professionals.

New CX leaders will emerge

Still to hear that someone is ”A chief customer experience officer” is rare and it will still continue to be. Mainly because there are very few people on the market that actually understand through experience have to lead customer experiences on a strategic level. Now, this is of course controversy because companies are racing to bring CX to be their main strategy for competitiveness. This said, there will be more and more incompetent CX managers on the market and it will take still more time for them to gain experience. But also it warms my soul to say that there are more and more really high-level professionals among customer experience and they are moving to senior positions faster than ever!

ps. An interesting trend we are seeing inside CX leaders and managers is that they are starting to call themselves the “Journey managers” or “Journey leaders” which is furthermore emphasizing the importance of customer journeys in the field of CX.

Connecting to business results

This might sound a bit obvious but during my career, I have seen countless companies and leaders who do CX “Just because you need to” or “Because it is trendy right now”. From my perspective, I see that this phenomenon is finally declining and companies are requesting and also trying to also understand better themselves how they try to connect CX into their other business objectives. It might be as simple as bringing it together with the simple sales data and see some correlation or something a bit more complex depending on the industry.  Still, for most companies in the market, there is still a lot of educating to do!

One of the best ways to harness CX data can be to link it to increased sales (NPS trend X sales trend), exposure (How much reviews are we creating?), and loyalty are as a predictor of future consumer behavior. This becomes increasingly important as promoters are extremely likely to recommend the company to others. In contrast, detractors are extremely unlikely to make recommendations and are responsible for 80% to 90% of a company’s negative word of mouth. This said I can also add that about 73% of the promoters spread positive WOM!! So in the end, the most important thing is that you ask yourself “How does this support my business goals?” and act accordingly.

The next generation of AI

Surprise! With the help of new technologies and AI, businesses are going to be able to take more action on their data – real actionable insights. Machine learning, AI, and heuristic neural networks are giving this technology the ability to combine scenarios, increase understanding, and make real-time predictive decisions but the most impact we will see when natural language processing and intelligence categorization are combined for the help data analytics. This development is still baby steps but crucial to get it right at first. If intelligent categorization does not work, it is merely impossible to move to the next step of predictive analytics.

With these, it is good to go towards the end of 2019 and full on to 2020 and rock your customer’s world even bigger and better!