What’s Next for Customer Experience?

Posted by
Karen Konkel
LivePerson Contributor
Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - 14:21

Customer experience is at the forefront of brand strategies.

Last month, LivePerson sponsored the Next Generation Customer Experience conference in San Diego, presented by Worldwide Business Research (WBR). More than 100 marketing and CX professionals came together to explore how brands could better their own customer journeys and dive into future trends and emerging technologies. 

It was the perfect opportunity to find out what’s next for CX?

During the event, I hosted a champagne roundtable focused on new engagement strategies to reach the always-connected, always-on consumer. It was evident that CX is in a constant state of innovation. In just one year, the playing field has changed dramatically. 

5 trending topics in CX

 

1. The role of CX is evolving…and growing.
Products are no longer king. It is the customer experience that defines brand image and operations; it’s more than just a buzzword. If your brand is not delivering on expectations, you’re already behind.

Whether on mobile, social, or desktop, great CX is built upon human connections. And not just any connections but emotional, meaningful connections. When consumers want to engage in real time, brands have to be ready with a personal response. Brands are finding creative ways to deliver on one-of-a-kind experiences and differentiate through the user experience. 

Customer experience has found its place at the executive table, and it’s here to stay.

2. Great CX is about a defined culture, vision.
So, where do brands begin when it comes to delivering on a great customer experience? The answer starts with a look inward.

Internal values and employee happiness shape the experience. Customer care professionals who champion a strong, passionate purpose are more likely to deliver on meaningful customer engagements. They advocate for the ‘why’ behind the purchase—and behind the brand—when they focus on moments of impact opposed to the transaction.

Start with a clear commitment to company vision, mission, and identity so employees have direction when it comes to delivering on brand experiences.

3. The emerging need for a CXO.
It’s time for businesses to break out of their comfort zones. When it comes to putting a great customer experience into action, brands struggle to obtain buy-in for the role of CXO. But now more than ever businesses need a leader focused solely on tying CX to bottom-line sales strategies.

4. Brands need to be as social as consumers.
Net worth is all about the network. Consumers have taken to social media to seek advice, spur purchase ideas, rave (or vent!) about their favorite brands; ask for brand support; and more. Social Media Today even called Twitter the “best customer service platform.”

Customer engagement via the call center alone is no longer functional. Brands must unify engagements with other support channels and engage when and where the customer already is. Being “as social as consumers” allows for connections that are more alive, more collaborative, and fun. Stop selling and start socializing.

5. Messaging must be 1:1 and mobile.
New technologies have gifted brands with apps, automation, and mobile. But some brands have gone too far on the digital spectrum, becoming more automated than human. Technology can be a business accelerator, but the bottom line is your consumer still wants to be treated like a person, not a metric or an app “user.” (That word alone makes me cringe.)

One-to-one messaging brings the human back into the technology, allowing for real-time, personalized conversation. Consider social media, messaging, gamification, screen shares, and more. And be sure to enable these 1:1 connections via mobile—what’s quickly become the centerpiece of CX.

Our take: the next steps for CX

 

Brands like Apple, Amazon, and Netflix continue to surprise us, using new technologies to make our experience even more human and more personal. But you don't have to be a customer service giant to provide a high-quality CX.

Messaging and mobile are the keys to CX success.

The most effective engagement strategies will have in-your-pocket access to consumers. It’s no wonder messaging technology is taking CX by storm and puts mobile at the heart of where consumers prefer to engage.

A recent article from AdAge called mobile chat “the next killer app.” It’s hard to disagree with the success of and funding around apps like WhatsApp, Line, and Snapchat. Mobile messaging is the future of brand-to-consumer relationships, especially when it enables 1:1, personalized conversations. 

We are at the starting line of a new day when it comes to customer support. Tell me what you see ahead for the future of CX in the comments below.

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