Author : Vikas Kumar
Director - Customer Experience, Espire | Sitecore MVP 2021
29/Jan/2019

Vikas is a Sitecore MVP who heads the Digital Experience Platform (DXP) initiatives at Espire. A skilled craftsman in competency building, Vikas is a go-to-CMS expert, known for designing & developing best practices, that consistently transforms digital journey for clients.


CX trends to watch for in 2019

At a time when organizations are growing increasingly competitive, staying ahead of the curve depends on how effectively you respond to customer demands and expectations. A research from Walker, as quoted by Salesforce, predicts that customer experience will overtake factors like pricing and product by 2020 as the main brand differentiator. Brands like never-before need to forge a customer experience (CX) strategy to remain relevant in the race.

According to a report by Gartner 81% of company leaders predict they'll compete primarily on customer experience in near future, but only 22% have claimed to create an experience that exceeds customer expectations. Hence, the year 2019 for you, is to be amongst those 22% to drive a competitive edge in your industry. Here are the top CX trends for you to look out for aligning your customer experience strategy.

Era of Hyper-personalization

Hyper-connected customers of today are seeking more meaningful, personalized and relevant conversations with brands. If you fail to deliver such cross-channel brand experiences and multi-channel customer communication (website, mobile, e-mail, print, kiosk and more) you cannot win their loyalty. This evolved consumer behavior is putting tremendous pressure on the businesses to rethink their digital experience strategy and look out for new age digital experience management solution.

When data clubbed with analytics offer near real-time personalization which goes beyond incorporating personal information about the customer like name, title etc., hyper-personalization steps in. It is all about going a step further in creating highly contextual communication relevant to your user by utilizing behavioral and real time data towards a fruitful customer journey.

Shifting the gear from multi-channel to omni-channel

2019 will be the year when businesses will move ahead of multi-channel strategy to omnichannel for an altogether new paradigm in Customer experience (CX). Business will no more just be available at different domains as with omni channel communication customers will be provided an integrated seamless experience. A customer can now sign up for a business from his bedroom, subscribe to a news-letter while on the move and finally make the purchase either online or at your physical location. Omni-channel experience means your brand has a presence across channels - all of which are combined in a way that elevates customer experience to next level.

Driving customer-focused data security

Access to huge customer data has made it critical, more than ever, to address issues like customer data security and governance. With general data protection regulation or GDPR coming into effect in 2018, the customer holds greater power over its personal information and how any organization is using its personal data. In coming years as companies adapt to GDPR, data control tactics within any CX focused organization is a necessity. It is going to play a major role in planning any marketing activity or campaign and hence is one of the crucial trends to watch out for in 2019 and beyond.

Taking CX to next level with artificial intelligence and emerging technologies

Organizations have been challenged to fully leverage large volumes of data. With artificial intelligence, machine learning, IoT and natural language processing, customer data can now tell a whole new story that will be the real differentiator for brands. The leaders in CX space are adopting artificial intelligence, IoT and machine learning to revolutionize their interactions with customers for strengthening their relationships, outpacing their competitors and drive revenue growth. Gartner analyst John-David Lovelock predicts that AI-derived business value will more than triple to $3.9 trillion by 2022.

When consumers use IoT devices, brands can collect huge amounts of data on how people use and interact with their products. This data opens the ability to build deep and mutually beneficial relationships between the company and the customer, where the brand can better understand the consumer in ways they could not have used before taking advantage of the Internet. For customer experience, this kind of relationship based on data is the new limit. Businesses will continue to gather IoT data from their products to analyze customer experiences and learn to improve.

Getting ahead with robotic process automation

RPA is one of the most interesting trends that can help automate business processes and increase efficiency in the best possible way. RPA is best suited for processes that are repetitive in nature, prone to error, time-consuming and manual in nature. Additionally, automation within organizations is a step towards providing a frictionless experience to customers that will change businesses with robots taking over. For more thoughts on RPA, click here.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the efforts to improve customer experience in 2019 must be aligned with the ever-increasing expectations of customer. And adopting digital experience solutions that deliver effortless customer interaction with the brand is the way forward. Espire’s Customer Engagement Hub (CEH) includes all key enablers of excellent Customer Experience (CX) - such as Digital Content Management, Experience Design, Customer Communication Management, Customer Analytics, CRM and IoT. Our partnership with global digital and customer experience technology leaders coupled with our extensive industry experience uniquely positions us to deliver top-notch digital and customer experience transformation solutions.

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