2020: The Year of Experience
Back in 2013, Walker released a study saying that by 2020, experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator, and it appears as though they were onto something. Salesforce’s 2019 State of Service Report showed that 80% of customers now consider their experience with a company just as important as its products. The numbers don’t lie, customer experience is more important than ever, and 2020 is the year where experience becomes the focal point of initiatives centered around digital transformation, establishing a better connection with customers, and developing business models where experience can break down organizational silos and generate ROI.
From business leaders to independent contributors, customer experience (CX) will play a vital role in how business gets done in 2020 and beyond. Here are a few ways how:
The Core of Customer Experience is the Smartphone
Because of the smartphone, communication today is both contextual and visual, and takes place across multiple channels. When it comes to customer experience, this has meant optimizing support and communication channels so businesses can meet their customers where they are. Whether it is on the phone, web, social media, or even within a mobile app, the customer experience should be consistent. Furthermore, customers should be able to easily maneuver between channels without any disturbance. However, ensuring a seamless and fluid experience across multiple channels and touchpoints is now only part of the larger equation.
When communicating with friends, family, coworkers, etc. conversations might begin with a phone call, but can quickly pivot to exchanging text messages. If more context is needed, pictures, videos, or screenshots are sent, and all of this is done within a single interaction. In order to provide a unique and personalized experience for their customers, businesses must begin implementing the right tools and technologies in order to communicate with their customers in the same way that their customers would communicate with each other. This means optimizing each of these channels so businesses can ask, and customers can securely share photos, videos, and screenshots, as well as facial recognition and thumbprint verification.
In 2020, the smartphone will become the gateway to providing an experience where customers are not only brand loyal, but brand ambassadors.
Breaking Down Silos with Customer Experience
The reality is, in order to connect with customers in a compelling and meaningful way, businesses must truly understand who they are and what makes them tick. To do so, and capture a full 360-degree view of the customer, teams from all corners of an organization must come together. This means breaking down silos, removing barriers, and making it easy for teams to not only communicate with each other, but share information.
For example, arguably no one communicates with customers on a consistent and daily basis more than customer support. Support teams have direct access to real-time insights, sentiment, and customer feedback, all of which is valuable data that can and should be shared across an entire business. This data can help product teams escalate updates or better prioritize their roadmap. Marketing teams are able to have a better understanding of their customer base and can not only develop more targeted campaigns and messaging, but use these insights to assess ad campaigns, media spend, and more. Customer support data can be harnessed by sales teams for building more thorough ideal customer profiles (ICP) or deepening their understanding of customer pain points so they can be addressed upfront with prospects.
In 2020, the businesses on the cutting edge of customer experience will be the ones that are not only capturing the voice of the customer, but sharing it across different departments and teams.
In 2020 Experience is Everything
Across all sectors, competition is fierce and at an all time high. With product differentiation narrowing, marketing campaigns starting to all blend together, and pricing becoming less of a factor, customer experience has emerged as the primary way to rise above the competition, capture new customers, and turn existing ones into champions of your brand. Creating a one-of-a-kind customer experience will not only lay the foundation for 2020, it will set the stage for many successful years to come.
As Founder and CEO of UJET, Anand Janefalkar is focused on leading UJET into its next stage of growth by providing the tools and technology businesses need to create an immersive, engaging, and one-of-a-kind customer experience. Prior to UJET, Anand held key roles at both Motorola and Jawbone, as well as serving as a technical advisor for various startups in the Bay Area. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics from Mumbai University and a Master of Science in Telecommunications from Southern Methodist University.