Customer Champions’ 2015 predictions
Although the UK and US markets are officially out of recession, 2015 promises to be a challenging year for most businesses. In the UK we have a General Election, with the possibility of a future referendum on staying in Europe being one of the key issues, along with sorting out government debt. With the eurozone struggling to stay out of recession and emerging markets growth slowing the importance of focusing on the customer will prove essential to both survival and success.
Whether your company is focussed on customer strategy, centricity, effort or net promoter score the result that every organisation is focused on is ‘will my customer spend more, buy a greater range of products or services from me, and will they actively recommend my business?’
So with that common goal we thought we’d take the brave step of making some predictions of what will be key to helping you deliver that in 2015.
1. Increasing Value for Money without compromise on price
The slow recovery of the economy will still present great challenges and businesses and the public sector alike will increase their focus on improving value for money. Value for money (VFM) is a subjective concept where perception is a not insignificant factor in customer evaluation – merely dropping the price is not always the most effective route and is certainly not good for long term profitability. We predict therefore that organisations will start to think smarter and turn their gaze towards making this perception element work harder. Increasing VFM without dropping the price is something Customer Champions have been working in conjunction with our US associate Ray Kordupleski on – specifically improving price satisfaction without lowering prices.
2. Customer Journey Mapping will increase in its use
There will be an ever increasing use of customer journey mapping to help structure and identify what actions are key to customers, not to help redesign processes, but to help to reduce customer effort and increase the value being delivered when compared with the competition.
3. Employee experience driving customer experience
The role of the employee will grow in not only delivering the customer’s experience but also help identify what that experience should be will become a valuable commodity. Numerous companies are recognising the role that employees play in delivering the customer experience, but as yet few are maximising the value of the customer knowledge that exists with customer facing employees. To deliver an effective customer experience that insight needs to be brought to bear.
4. Improving communication through infographics
The increasing use of infographics to both support internal communication of customer feedback leading to employees understanding their role in improving that experience, and outward communication to the wider market will be recognised and valued.
5. Increasing personalisation of experiences
As customers become more and more knowledgeable about what they want, yet time poor, and with many products and services becoming increasingly commoditised, the personalisation of any offer will be essential to make it stand out in a crowded market. A personalised customer experience will not only gain the customers attention, but is highly likely to increase their likelihood to spend and recommend. The use of personalised video is one example of how this could develop over 2015.
6. Employee empowerment will become a differentiator
Customers will expect employees to be empowered to deal with their requirement, after all if they are not why is the company putting them in front of the customer? As more employees become empowered this will become the ‘norm’ for service, and so as customers experience fully empowered employees why would they deal with organisations who have to constantly look inwards before they can communicate or act outwards? This is true whether it is in a B2C or B2B environment
7. Multiple measures on a customer experience dashboard
The use of NPS as a single measure will continue to have widest market utilisation particularly for B2C, however, increasingly B2B companies or public sector organisations are looking to utilise measures that they feel are more relevant to their business. At the 2014 Customer Engagement Summit in London a significant amount of presenters referred to measuring customer effort and trust. So although NPS isn’t about to disappear, maybe companies will be looking to also utilise more than a single measure in their customer experience dashboard.
As lessons can be learnt from our past you may also want to read our review of 2014.