2012 – the year customer experience comes of age?
Published on: January 18, 2012
Companies have been talking about getting the customer experience right for many years, but 2012 could be the year that companies move from paying lip service to the customer experience to actually putting in place a strategy and action plan to improve it.
That’s the view of analyst Forrester in its 2012 Customer Experience Predictions. Customer expectations of how they are treated are rising first, driven by the pace of change in new consumer technology. We can now control our phones with our voice (such as by using Siri on the Apple iPhone 4S) and play video games through motion sensors, amongst other innovations. All of this essentially raises the bar on the experience customers expect from their interactions with companies, whatever industry they are in.
Adding into this longer term trend are the impacts of the recession, greater competition and the power of social media, making 2012 the year that Forrester believes customer experience will come of age.
This has major implications for customer service departments, three of which Forrester highlight:
Customer experience will be seen as a top strategic priority by senior management, meaning customer service departments will have the executive backing to make changes and improvements to how they operate.
In many organisations the customer experience varies dramatically from channel to channel. Creating a unified experience in place of a silo-based approach will be a key focus for companies in 2012, building on an overall, strategic vision of what the customer experience should be.
A welcome by-product of this greater focus on the customer experience is growth in jobs across the profession. Indeed, Forrester believes that the rise of customer experience will see candidates moving across from other departments and embracing customer service as a career option. Recognising that the customer experience relies on everyone, training budgets will increase to ensure staff deliver a consistent, professional service to all.
Some may argue that the changes Forrester is predicting are too much to happen in a single year. However while timescales will vary from industry to industry it really does seem that the rising importance of customer service is now being recognised and acted upon whatever company you work for.
Categories: Analysts, Contact Center, Customer Service, Multichannel Customer Service