Think companies are improving their customer experiences? Think again. According to the recent 2015 Temkin Experience Ratings, more companies have dropped in their CX ratings this year.
At last week's CXPA Insights Exchange in San Diego, CXPA Chairman Bruce Temkin said the reason isn't because companies are getting worse at delivering customer experience; it's because consumers are getting more in tune to the experiences they have with the brands with which they do business. "We as an industry aren't keeping up with the expectations," he said. "We need to step it up. We can't keep working on the same stuff all the time. We need to start looking ahead at where the consumer experience going."
With so much about the customer experience constantly evolving, some companies wonder just where they should concentrate their efforts and where they should focus for success. To help get your company organized, Temkin offered these five key trends that will impact customer experience over the next year.
1 Anticipatory Experiences
"Your customers are on a journey, help them," Temkin said. Journey mapping is a rudimentary tool on the path to building memorable experiences. It's a static way to solve a problem. Anticipatory is going to the next step. How do we help them accomplish those journeys and deliver on them in a way that raises CX to a new level where customers are getting their real needs met and companies aren't just fixing problems that exist in a small way?" Temkin asked.
2. Mobile First
Having a mobile-first strategy means companies go from having mobile offerings to where customers are interacting with customers through mobile. Mobile-first isn't about designing a mobile site or app; it's about designing processes and experiences as if there a mobile app already existed, according to Temkin.
3. Value as a Service
The dramatic trend is consumers buying little pieces over time. You can no longer think about selling something and keeping the customers for life. "A few years ago we bought software and we used 5 percent of it. Now we download things for 99 cents when we need them," Temkin said. He explained that's where companies can offer value, which means they'll have to fight to deliver value and for their customers more often in each interaction.
4. Continuous Insights
Although the consumer environment constantly changes, customer insights are still delivered throughout many companies every year through surveys. "We need right insights, right time, right format," Temkin said. "The notion of annual planning is a joke...that model is not the way the world works today. We still operate in that mode and plan in long distant cycles." A more effective way to plan for the future is to get real-time insights into the hands of the people who make decisions in your company daily. it's about driving your business to be more adaptive.
5. The Power of Culture
Peter Drucker famously said, "Culture eats strategy for lunch." When I think about organizations I think about the human body and antibodies. What do antibodies do when something foreign comes in? Reject them," Temkin said. Culture finds a way to squelch change. Companies that create environments where the people truly participate, don't need control--they know what needs to be done and they do it. "The more that people will devote themselves to your cause on a voluntary basis, the fewer hierarchies and control mechanisms you need."