By Dick Wooden on May 21, 2019 at 7:30 AM
What will customers expect of the companies they do business with in 2025? That’s only six years away. As business owners, we can’t afford to waste any time preparing ourselves to meet their expectations, if we want to continue to gain and keep customers.
I was invited to share a forecast of customer experience expectations at the May bpm’online conference in Miami. My research found seven growing expectations that will impact significantly how we do business. I believe it is essential that we understand and act on this knowledge.
Today I’ll share two with you. More to come.
Expectation #1: A frictionless customer journey.
Customers might not know exactly what they want when they start their journey, but even in the research phase they want it to be like a superhighway, not a meandering country road with potholes.
They’re busy, and life moves fast; the customer journey we provide for them must get better, or they’ll go where they get their needs met with less hassle. Too often today, they still get passed from department to department both pre-sale and post-sale. Seventy percent of today’s customers say connected processes, including seamless hand offs and contextualized engagement based on their earlier interactions, are very important in winning their business.
70% of customers say connected processes are very important in winning their business.
How successful businesses will respond: Machine learning will enable businesses to provide a more organic, intuitive customer experience. The latest innovations in CRM and related software will learn how a person operates and how they look up information. As we get better at tracking their unique preferences, customers will experience less effort and more personalization to do what they want to do.
We recommend that you look at your processes now with an eye to how you can reduce or eliminate friction for your customers. With years of experience in business process management, we can help you evaluate and strategize for improvement.
Expectation #2: More social media support and shared experiences.
Currently, whenever we purchase services or products, we are asked to rate not only what we purchased but also our buying experience with that vendor. These ratings then become part of how other buyers make decisions. Buyers in 2025 will expect to be able to tap into this shared experience even more routinely. What’s more, if they encounter any roadblocks or potholes, the digital world will hear about it.
Shared experiences and social media will play an increasing role in customer service as well. Younger consumers even now are exhibiting a preference for do-it-yourself fixes as much as possible. Their first-line assistance is user forums and videos. As this demographic becomes an even larger majority of the market, their expectation must be met.
How successful businesses will respond: Wise companies will build swift and helpful feedback and response processes. They will need to enable ease of social media sharing at every step of the journey. Not only will the development of digital customer support resources help their customers, it will also provide decision makers with knowledge about their products and their market when the use of those resources is tracked.
How are you preparing to meet these growing expectations? Are your CRM and BPM processes connected, as 70 percent of consumers expect them to be? How do they enable your customers to share their experiences with others? Is customer service integrated or still siloed?
Let’s talk through how these questions apply to your business. Reach out to us today to schedule a time for a complimentary 30-minute exploration.
Watch for the rest of our series to read five more predictions of customer experience expectations in 2025.