Quaero's Cliff Dobbyn Featured in 1:1 Media Article on Customer Experience
The Customer Experience Crystal Ball: Predictions for 2013
Attempts to predict the future are dangerous. But having an idea—even a vague one—of what the next few months are expected to bring is crucial for business leaders to plan ahead, secure the funding required for necessary investments, and make the essential changes in their organizational structure.
2012 saw customers become increasingly savvy in using social media to talk about brands, smartphone use kept skyrocketing, and organizations continued to grapple with the gargantuan amounts of customer data. According to several experts who spoke with 1to1 Magazine, the rise of mobile and online interactions will continue to be reinforced in 2013 as increasingly connected customers become choosy about the information they receive and what channel it comes through. Companies will strive to find new ways to communicate with customers and prospects and more customer service organizations will oversee social media and monitor the channels to resolve customer issues.
A major challenge that will continue to confound organizations is the necessity to change quickly and effectively. "To meet and exceed their goals, they'll need to rapidly adapt to an ever accelerating pace of change, from new rules and regulations to new customer segments with new expectations, not to mention the next best thing when it comes to 'disruptive' technologies," says Steve Kraus, senior director of product marketing at Pegasystems. Carrie Scott, director of product and direct marketing at Message Systems, says traditional notions of how companies interact with and engage consumers "need to be reshaped for a new connected era and millennial movement."
A More Informed and Powerful Customer
Consumers are changing, and so are their expectations. "One of the big changes that companies will need to account for in order to meet the needs of their customers is a rapid evolution in the customers themselves," Kraus notes. Putting customers behind the steering wheel and allowing them to choose how to interact with brands will serve as a differentiator between competing companies as customers become more empowered to be their own advocates. Sid Banerjee, CEO of Clarabridge, says that although it used to be enough for businesses to listen to customer feedback and then act on the data internally, nowadays they have to go beyond that. "If a business wants to not only survive, but thrive, in today's fiercely competitive market, it has to take its customer experience initiative to the next level," he notes. Banerjee believes that 2013 will be "The Year of Intelligent Customer Experience," seeing businesses access data from increased sources, leverage more powerful analytics, and intelligently use and operationalize customer feedback findings to improve their businesses and promote more meaningful customer relationships.
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