CX Predictions and Tips for 2017
We’ve reached the end of the first week of 2017, which means it’s time to look into my magic ball and see the future. What does this year have in store in the world of feedback, customer service, and customer experience? What trends will emerge to become the buzz of marketing campaigns, the talk tracks of service and support departments, and the hashtag du jour?
Here are five topics likely to headline 2017. Practice these tips and you’ll be ahead of the game, right out of the gate.
1. Mind the millennials. Keep your eye on this demographic. Your customers born between 1982 and 2004 is now about 25% of the total population. Your feedback and CX efforts must be geared to meet the expectations of this tech savvy and attention-limited group. They don’t tolerate slow responses and think only their grandparents use email. To reach them, leverage text, mobile, and social channels. And be nice. They care if you’re a good organization that serves its employees and customers thoughtfully. If you’re taking advantage of people for profit, they’ll sniff you out (and tweet about it). This generation wants to contribute to the greater good, so make sure your customer experience highlights how you help and how far you go to keep customers happy.
2. Provide social service and self-help. This isn’t exactly a new trend but it will continue to build. What used to be a nice-to-have is now often the first place your customers go for help. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other online channels are your first line of defense in working with customers in need. The good news is that if you do it well, they’ll share their great experience with the world. The bad news is that if you don’t properly staff and monitor these channels, they’ll share their bad experience with the world. You get the point. Social is the new self-help channel, so be all over it.
3. Go more mobile. The key word here is “more.” Yes, you’ve optimized for mobile and yes, you’ve envisioned parts of the customer journey in multi-screen scenarios, but that’s no longer enough. 2017 will truly be a mobile-first year. More and more apps are built solely for mobile with no desktop version available. Keep that in mind as you rework your journey maps this year. Your customers should be able to comfortably interact across the entire journey only from their phone.
4. Honor the employee experience. If you haven’t yet expanded your feedback program to include employee feedback, now’s the time to do it. The research is in and all signs point to happy employees as a major factor behind happy customers. Consider doing an employee journey mapping exercise, the same way you would for customers. Identifying and remedying the gaps and the rough patches will help you improve your organization from the inside out.
5. Invest in CX technology. A few years ago, Gartner predicted that by 2017, 50% of product investment projects would be spent on customer experience innovations. So here we are. It’s time to implement even broader CX projects that improve how you collect and analyze customer and employee feedback, how you deliver service excellence, and deepen engagement across channels. Consider the trend toward gamification as a great option, particularly if you’re practicing Tip #4 to further engage and motivate employees.