With customers getting more educated and more demanding, the markets are transforming rapidly. Leaders must comprehend how the changing market and trends, affect their business and must quickly adapt to them for gaining a foothold in the market, otherwise they will perish.
Forrester in its 2018 predictions has suggested that: “The fate of individual companies has never been so uncertain, and the window of opportunity is closing for many companies who are unprepared or unable to adapt to new market realities.”
Following are few more predictions made by Forrester as we move into 2018:
CX takes a hit:
As per Forrester, in 2018, 30% of companies will see further declines in CX performance, and those declines will translate into a net loss of one point in growth.
Here is an interesting comparison from a Forrester analyst, where he applied Moore’s Law of accelerating returns to the continued advancement of customer expectations. “As customer experience continues to improve, customer expectations increase, necessitating improved CX and, in turn, producing exponential behaviors.”
Because of this catch-22 situation, as companies focus on improving customer experience, customers’ expectations are going to sky-rocket, which might eventually affect customer experience efforts.
Leaders must create multiple methods of reaching their target audiences, through omnichannel strategies, which will subsequently intensify customer experience expectations. Those who ignore the situation and procrastinate until the evidence is overwhelming, are putting their firms at risk as we enter 2019.
Unmet customer expectations results in churn:
Forrester’s 2018 predictions describe that the changing market favors those companies who adapt to the shift and take aggressive actions, whereas there is an existential threat to those who still hold on to the old practices that worked before.
The first step towards exceeding your customers’ expectations is to know their expectations. When customers have high expectations based on your promises, and when the reality falls short, they become profoundly disappointed, they will rate their experience as sub-standard, and eventually, they will churn.
The majority of consumers do business with enterprises that inspire positive association. Consumers will become even more empowered moving into 2018, and it’s important that companies listen to their customers attentively.
The future of customer experiences is one that depends on continuous learning, the ability to think and understand quickly, and on automation that is implemented as necessary. Building these experiences must be viewed as a cyclical journey, which must be augmented by innovative technologies, like prescriptive analytics and machine learning.
Shift in focus of CMOs budget:
Customer expectations are increasing at an exponential rate, and 2018 will force companies to take crucial decisions, where for customer acquisition, companies shift their spending away from underperforming media in order to challenge the accelerating churn.
This is not an advertising budget crisis, it is simply changing priorities.
The AI Challenge:
Artificial intelligence is quickly changing the way that businesses create personalized experiences at scale. However, according to Forrester’s 2018 predictions, 75% of AI projects will fail to make a positive impact, because they fail to model operational considerations, which leaves the business leaders contemplating a reset of the scope of AI investments.
Business leaders will focus more on actions that are not driven by artificial intelligence as a standalone solution that replaces man, but rather by augmented intelligence solutions (man plus machine), where man’s abilities will be augmented by cognitive technology and machine learning, thus placing their companies on a track to realizing the expected benefits.
To sum up, 2018 will be a year of reckoning for companies who desire to improve customer experience. Companies must understand, that only when consumers are rewarded with better experiences, are the effects on revenue undisputed.
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