An efficiency and transaction mindset is driving many industries including airlines into a churn-based business model that is tough to escape from.
In 2012 many businesses will need to step up their efforts to make better use of internal systems that are not integrated to CRM, analytics and customer service systems so they can deliver higher quality customer experiences immediately. Integrating these systems together and making the quality of data and intelligence a priority will increase the quality of customer experience delivered.
With these thoughts in mind, here are several customer experience predictions for 2012:
- By combining quality monitoring, analytics and social media, many companies get a true assessment of the customer experience they are delivering for the first time. 2012 is going to be about measuring and improving the quality of customer experience first, increasing the speed and efficiency of interactions second. Quality monitoring is going to get beyond just measuring activity-based and high-end customer satisfaction metrics. Behavioral analytics, real-time feedback from social networks , integrated to sentiment analysis will give customer experience and customer service managers instant visibility into how effective their strategies and programs are. For many, it will be the first true reading of customer satisfaction and quality of customer experience.
- Consistency of customer response across all channels gets measured, monetized, and rewarded internally and externally. One of the quickest ways to increase the quality of customer experience is to make responses identical, synchronized and complete across all channels. Surprisingly, according to Forrester in a recent study, 90% of companies can’t do this. Customers however expect this to be like a dial-tone in their interactions with you and your company. In 2012, there is going to be a much stronger focus on this area, with more measurement, monetization (through upsell and cross-sell) and greater spending on this than ever before. The bottom line is that delivering a consistent response across all channels is no longer optional, it’s required. 2012 will show how companies who did the hard work of making this happen end the year with higher gross margins, retention rates and customer satisfaction scores.
- Knowledge management and the use of configuration and constraint engines to streamline its use in Web self-service and agent-based applications goes mobile, accelerating across all channels. Having real-time access to the knowledgebase of their companies further increases the quality of customer interaction and experience for service reps, driving up quality monitoring scores in the process. Smartphone and tablet integration via Android and Apple iOS will begin to provide richer data sets and greater analytics application performance, giving customer service much greater ability to respond in real-time regardless of location or time.
- Using social media and online communities, customers will make it known which channels they are most and least likely to use for service and support – the migration between channels will be more fluid than ever before. Using analytics, data mining and real-time quality monitoring is going to be essential for customer experience and customer service teams to stay on top of.
- Customer experience becomes more dependent on ongoing content development, management and personalization than ever before. No longer will customers be satisfied with only a quarterly or bi-yearly update on what’s going on in the user communities they are members of. It’s an always-on, real-time world right now and the companies who deliver a consistently high quality stream of content will emerge from 2012 with more profitable customers than they began with due to their focus on this area.
- Big Data, Hadoop and MapReduce will deliver on the promises of greater customer insight and intelligence through advanced data mining and business intelligence. The insights gained from these initiatives will be a strong catalyst of change in many companies stalled in their CEM strategies today due to lack of legacy data integration and analytics. This is one area where quality will become king in 2012, as companies quit being satisfied with simple data integration and start pushing for higher quality of data analysis and predictive modeling. Integrating Big Data with sentiment analysis and customer satisfaction data will yield insights many customer service, marketing and executive management teams are lacking today.