As we embark on a new year, we can't forget the dominant trends of 2015. From virtual reality to the rise of the digital world, the past year saw emerging technologies that will likely help to elevate the customer experience throughout 2016.
1to1 Media covered numerous trends that influenced the customer experience. Let's revisit our top 10 articles based on the number of page views.
From the Internet of Things to the debate over ad blockers, digital stole the spotlight for the majority of 2015. This article predicted that leading retailers would continue to bridge the gap between online and offline interactions by using digital technology to create an omnichannel experience. From interactive dressing rooms to 'shop and ship' pop-up stores, retailers pulled out the stops in 2015 to bridge the physical and digital divide.
A wide range of businesses, from startups to global organizations, started creating cloud-based ecosystems in 2015 to gain speed, scalability, real-time collaboration, and deliver better customer experiences. And enterprises started moving from primarily using cloud-based technology for tactical point solutions or for cost savings to driving improved business results and innovation. This article noteed how the true value of a cloud-based ecosystem is not the cloud architecture itself, but in the power of the connections available through a cloud ecosystem. In conclusion, an ecosystem with thousands of touchpoints is much more useful than an ecosystem with limited partners and fewer touchpoints.
8. Exploring the Latest in Frontline Empowerment
We saw a trend in using compensation as an incentive to empower employees when companies like Gap, IKEA, and Wal-Mart announced they were raising wages for their frontline employees, so we decided to take a closer look. Anna Papachristos spoke to experts about how, instead of just compensating employees, company leaders must also demonstrate their understanding and appreciation by implementing the programs and strategies that support growth and education across all levels of their organization.
The editorial staff at 1to1 Media expected the Millennial craze to die down, but instead it seemed to pick up steam in 2015. It's widely known that this demographic prefers to use digital channels to engage with companies rather than pick up the telephone. Papachristos, a Millennial herself, examined whether contact centers were keeping up with this changing generational preference. From social media to live chat to text, she offered advice and tips on how contact centers can equip their agents with the necessary tools and strategies to respond swiftly to this group in an effort to retain their loyalty.
6. Bridging the Great Divide Between Banks and Millennials
Continuing with the Millennial trends, Papachristos also took a look at how banks are engaging with this important and influential demographic. She concluded how, while Millennials seek money-saving options, such as free checking and low-interest credit, these features generally cost banks. In response, banks use these loss-leaders as incentives to attract Millennials only to upsell more profitable products down the road. Such actions are the very reason banks alienate Millennials today.
5. Ranking the Retail CIOs Top Priorities for 2015
The retail industry leads in implementing the most innovative customer experience practices. But from enabling the latest digital innovation to securing customers' data, retailers get bogged down in deciphering between the necessary tactic and the shiny object. This article looked at data privacy, mobile competency, in-store engagement, and omnichannel as the top priorities for retailers last year.
4. The Importance of Storytelling
Over the past year, visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest gained in popularity while apps like Meerkat and Periscope offered users an immersive experience. It's no surprise then that we saw many brands including video and livestreaming in their content marketing mix to satisfy content crazed audiences. Jumping on this growing trend, Papachristos looked at the three factors that are critical to story development and execution.
3. Scoping the Loyalty Landscape for 2015 and Beyond
Customer loyalty has come a long way. From one-note points programs of the 90s to experiential and personalized strategies that follow the customer journey, loyalty has taken shape in recent years. In this article, we explored how companies now see loyalty as a way to engage with their customers and audiences in deeper ways, as loyalty can no longer survive on price alone.
Everywhere we turned last year, everyone seemed to have an opinion about how to elevate and evolve the customer experience. While the key to a successful CX strategy involves a healthy mix of people, process, strategy, technology also plays an important role in moving an organization's CX journey forward. We looked at the technologies, such as predictive analytics and data management tools, that companies were investing in, or planning to.
1. Following Journey Mapping's Future Path
Customer journey mapping has been around for years and serves as a way for companies to understand how customers interact with the brand during purchase and service interactions. Many companies plot out all customer touchpoints and paths as an efficient way to understand the experience most customers have. Peppers and Rogers Group Founders Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, Ph.D., built a business around this concept. But 2015 saw a resurgence in this age-old concept and an evolution from the 'war-room,' Post-it covered walls days into essential, visionary tools that organizations are centering in the middle of their customer experience strategies. This article looked at the governance models and poised the fundamental questions to ask when planning a journey mapping strategy. Because it was our most popular article of 2015 we'll explore journey mapping's continued evolution in April on 1to1 Media.com.
Good luck in all your customer experience endeavors in 2016 and don't forget that you can receive our articles right to your inbox by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.