Although no one knows what the future holds, it is certain that customer experience methods and techniques will continue to evolve. Customer Experience leaders and organizations will need to continue to change and adapt at a quick pace to stay relevant.
The ability to continuously learn and change will become a critical competency.
Chatbots will likely replace some call center staff, predictive analytics will anticipate issues before they occur, good companies will act proactively and reduce the number of interventions needed, and the IoT (Internet of Things) will allow us to gather voice of the customer & data in novel ways. Ideas that have yet to be introduced will enter the market and all methods and manners of customer experience strategy will be impacted.
Technology has irreversibly changed our lives and the lives of our customers. The smartphone has changed the behavior and expectations of our customers. For better or worse, customers can share their feelings as soon as they are having them and as a result of our social environment feel the need to do so.
Technology is redefining human connections and, many argue, the human psyche.
Could we become so enamored by the practice of customer experience that we lose focus on what matters? Is it possible that we could become so beguiled by the technology we use, the reports we generate and the customer journeys we work from that we lose focus on why we are using the tools? Is it possible that organizations and practitioners may forget that, in the race for technology and technological answers, customers will remain fully human?
Companies will need at least a few human employees, and - despite evolutions in AI (artificial intelligence), machine learning, and new methods of computing changing the world we live in - all technology ultimately has a human creator behind it.
It is likely that we already are moving towards a too technical mindset. And, if so, this is the advice that we will need to come back to: despite any change in the customer experience landscape, human beings will still be human beings albeit perhaps better, faster and stronger because of technology. At the end of the day, humans have been evolving for at least 1 million years, and what makes us human, will likely not fundamentally change over the next 10 years - even 20.
Human relationships are complex and messy.
Customer Experience Strategy, VOC, and all customer insight WILL NEED to be predicated on one simple premise: we all share the same human condition regardless of race, culture or gender.
Customer Journeys, informed by good data, should be living, ever evolving artifacts that keep our focus where it needs to be. Our customers and employees are fully human. And humans all want to matter, be seen and heard - and not just through a high resolution screen or 140 characters on a phone.
So keep your customers, and their quirks, in mind when ever looking at a journey map, or customer buying cycle, and remember to add a little humanity in all our outreach!
Looking for more information about optimized customer experience? See this.
Joan Pepper, CCXP, CPU
Director, Customer Success at Zycus