1- CX management will shift from reactive to proactive. Customer experience and voice of customer programs are designed to collect data from multiple channels, collate and analyze the data and provide retailers with the information they need to respond to clients. Typically, retailers react to customer issues, by merely closing the loop when something has gone wrong – attempting to “fix” the problem. However, reacting to a negative experience will no longer be enough. In 2019 retailers must proactively manage their customer experience, or risk becoming obsolete. There will be more focus put on proactively acting on customer insights, anticipating issues before they happen and predicting opportunities to improve the customer experience. CX platforms will need to support organizations at whatever stage of action their company is at, and will need to scale to maximize ROI on CX investments.
2- Acquisition of key players will result in new technology options. The recent acquisition of Qualtrics by SAP is a signal that there will be more acquisitions in 2019. But what does it mean for customers? History shows that most acquisitions fail, post-acquisition integration takes longer, and consolidation of key departments (e.g. customer service, product development) leads to poor customer service and slower product development. As a result, customers will turn to faster, more nimble companies that are better able to focus on their needs.
3- Mainstream adoption of cutting-edge technology will redefine the CX landscape. Artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) will become ingrained in the customer experience. Using technology like connected sensors, retailers will generate more location-level insights about CX. This will help them understand how physical location environment contributes to customer satisfaction, CX, revenue, upsell, etc. The more data that can be automatically extracted, the more insights retailers will have to make the right CX and business decisions.
2019 is going to be an exciting year for the customer experience management industry but technology providers will have to step up their game to bring forward truly innovative and collaborative solutions. Service providers will need to work closely with their customers to ensure they are putting the right practices in place, to not only meet but anticipate their CX needs. Nailing the CX program in 2019 will impact a retailer’s profitability for this year and the future.