NextMapping Future of Work Blog

Cheryl Cran

Welcome to the Future of Work blog – this is where you will find posts on all things related to the future of work.

We have guest bloggers that include CIO’s, Behavioral Scientists, CEO’s, Data Scientists including posts by our founder Cheryl Cran.

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The Future of Customer Experience

February 4, 2020

What is the future of customer experience?

A few years ago I worked with a tech firm that was putting on customer appreciation conferences. The focus of the conferences was to provide the tech firms customers with new tools and resources to leverage their tech. I was asked to keynote for these events on the future of work and the integration of human service delivery with tech.

It’s now 2020 and the future of work is rapidly shifting towards a drastic focus on the ‘human’ aspect. By human I mean the customer and the employee.

If the 2000s were the era of digital transformation, the next decade of 2020 and beyond is about integrating tech with a people focus.

The future of customer experience will have real-time tech solutions to take care of customers’ needs in real-time. In addition, the human to human aspect of customer experience will require workers who have superior skills.

Personally I recently upgraded my vehicle to a 2020 edition – we went with the same make and model we have had for years. Our vehicle is a Mercedes GLC 300 – eco-friendly version and enough space for our grandkids.

In a few short years, the vehicle now has voice activation for ALL things such as navigation, making phone calls, finding the nearest Starbucks and more. In addition, Mercedes has an app called Mercedes ME that allows you to auto-start the vehicle, track all driving data and more.

As a customer we are thrilled with the tech upgrades – however, the reason we continue to invest in the Mercedes brand is the people and the service.

Our sales guy David has delivered our new vehicle to our door the last few purchases and he face times with us when we have tech questions about the vehicle.

Now, he doesn’t have to do any of those things – he could tell us to go to the FAQ’s of the Mercedes site or he could tell us to call tech support. Instead, he sincerely cares about his customers. He wants to make the vehicle experience as positive and as easy as possible.

The future of customer experience needs people who CARE about people. Not to make a sale, not to make a quota, not to get through the tasks of the job but because customer care professionals deeply hunger to make a difference for their clients.

The crucial elements for brands to consider for the future of customer experience are:

  1. Ensuring the entire customer process cycle is completed. Over 30% of customers stop working with a brand after ONE bad experience. This means that a customer is not truly satisfied until their concern, question or request has been thoroughly addressed and solved.
  2. Real-time customer feedback needs to be incorporated. CRM’ systems need to integrate customer feedback into the database to help AI track patterns of customer dissatisfaction and resolutions. As the tech updates customer feedback, this allows for customer experience professionals to have access to the most up to date data to help solve customer challenges. CRM’s like Zoho build customer feedback into their system.
  3. Customized customer experience is going to increase. This means ensuring integrated data of ALL customer information that can be accessed by anyone in the company. Starbucks has done a superior job of marrying the convenience factor or customization using tech along with a consistent ‘people’ factor. More brands will need to increase their ability to give the customer exactly what they want and the way they want it. The Starbucks app is a great example of an integrated data tool that allows for seamless and enjoyable customer experience with mobile ordering.
  4. People-focused and people caring customer experience professionals. Accenture estimates that $1.6 trillion is lost in the US as a result of poor customer service. The future viability of a business is reliant on brands having workers who are heavily invested in customer happiness.

Our research at NextMapping has found that it is very difficult for brands to deliver on superior customer experience if the workplace culture consists of an unhappy worker experience. It stands to reason that the happier a worker is the increased likelihood that he or she will strive to make the customer happier.

Recently I decided to invest in an Apple Watch – of course, I want the convenience of the technology however it was the person I bought it from that made me happy about the purchase. Ian answered every single question patiently and with interest and he was able to help me with leveraging the watch for my purposes. Ian told me he loves working for Apple. He loves the technology, he loves the culture and he loves the people he works with. That’s a formula for happier customers now AND in the future.