CMO Perspectives (30th Jan, 2015)

Prediction is very difficult, but that doesn’t stop many of us from trying. This week’s CMO Perspectives collects several articles with key predicting trends for the coming year. Some of these predictions may confirm what you’ve heard previously, while others, we hope, will provide new food for thought.

We hope you enjoy these articles. Let us know your thoughts by commenting below, or reach out on Twitter: @NICE_CX

10 Customer Experience Trends Marketing Leaders need to watch []

If you’re a fan of lists and predictions (who isn’t?), you’ll love this post by Michael Hinshaw which suggests ten CX trends to expect in 2015. On some predictions, like the centrality of employee experience to customer experience, Hinshaw is aligned with many of his CX colleagues. But he makes several predictions that you may not have previously thought about.

For instance, have you considered that the growing emphasis on customer experience will lead to growing competition for customer experience talent? Have you thought about how the Internet of Things and its expansion will impact customer experience?  Finally, what will the role of customers’ emotions be in customer experience? Are emotions becoming more measurable?

For the answers to these questions and more, read the article in full.

5 Tips to Move From Transactional to Meaningful Customer Relationships []

The author of this article, Blake Morgan, offers 5 tips for moving from customer relationships that are merely functional to ones that are meaningful.

First, she writes, don’t forget what it feels like to be in the customer’s shoes. Companies often make the mistake of putting the burden on the customer rather than on the company. Second, allow the customer to define the terms of their relationship with you. Not all of us are phone people. Customers should be in control of the channels on which they contact you. You must make every effort to reach them on their preferred channel without forgetting privacy and the limits of particular social channels.

Third, provide personalization whenever possible. Personalization takes the content and history of the customer and shows new content based on contextual information the company has about that same customer.

Fourth, never automate social support and hire agents who are seasoned communicators. Seventy-five percent of customers believe it takes too long to reach a live agent. In addition, 67 percent of customers have hung up the phone because they could not reach a representative.

Fifth, it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. Culture is something you can’t buy. Culture must be organic to the company, and it’s hard to teach to outsourced agents, but it’s possible. Any major company that wants a meaningful customer experience must maintain an emphasis on tone–a tone that reflects their culture and values.

Forrester: Customer service of the future needs to be more pre-emptive []

Forrester has published its annual predictions for the customer service sector, with proactive engagement as one of the key trends expected to evolve in service departments for 2015.

According to the report, the best brands will be those that are able to pre-empt customer requirements through active insights and data.

For instance, customer journeys can be monitored, and insights can be used to proactively trigger an offer or coupon, an invitation to chat or co-browse, or a multimedia tutorial, all timed precisely when assistance is required. Forrester also expects connected devices to have more of an influence in customer service departments. The report forecasts connected devices to proliferate at a rate of 50 billion by 2020.

The stakes have never been higher – Forrester claims a 10-percentage-point improvement in a company’s customer experience CX score can, in some cases, translate into more than $1 billion impact on revenue.

In the near future, all marketing will be data-driven []

According to VentureBeat, says the author Chelsea Segal, the best businesses are already making data-driven testing a big part of their marketing strategies. Adobe recently conducted research on this idea, separating businesses into the most successful 20 percent and the other 80. The findings showed a stark difference – 70 percent of today’s best companies say that data-driven testing is a priority, versus only 46 percent of the rest of the pack.

In fact, the top 20 percent of companies have a conversion rate 1.7 times the average rate.

Segal also predicts that analytics on images, videos and audio content (such as podcasts) will become far more important within the next year.

Half of large organizations in North America are reporting use of rich media (video, audio, image) data as part of their big data analytics projects, and all large organizations will analyze rich media in five years. Who knew?

We hope you enjoyed our picks and bookmarked a few articles for future reference. Please don’t forget to share with other CMOs.

Are there any other marketing topics that interest you? Tweet us, or comment below to let us know!