Forrester’s Annual Predictions Say Use IT to Improve CX in 2016 or Get Left Behind

The customer experience or ‘CX’ as it has become known has always really been central to the success of any business. Forrester’s soon to be published annual set of predictions (35 + for 2016) for major roles, industries, and research themes will reveal that 2016 looks like being a real year of consequence in terms of where your IT organization fits with providing customers with the right experience.

Forrester Research warns that in 2016 the gap between businesses with customer-obsessed leaders and laggards with flawed and disjointed operations will widen significantly.

Empowered Customers and Historic Challenges

With a strong digital aspect to many parts of our work and home life, chief research and product officer at Forrester Cliff Condon described a major threat (and opportunity) for UK companies in 2016 as being empowered customers who “are changing the market fundamentals for virtually every industry, forcing companies to reinvent their strategy and operations”.

Forces that are helping to increase power and influence for customers include mobile phones / better smart phones, the Internet, and the ease of shopping around digitally, and instant access to customer reviews, pricing wherever consumers are.

Challenges that UK companies face in trying to arrive at the often elusive single view of the customer which could enable a focus on improving the ‘CX’ include a history of uncoordinated technology adoption in call centres, marketing teams, and product lines. Forrester conclude on their Blog therefore that “in 2016 companies will be limited to fixing their customer journeys”.

What Can Your Business Do?

Thankfully, Forrester have published their top 10 critical success factors that if adopted or improved could help you to get the best results for your customers and you in 2016. The top 10 factors in this digital marketplace in the age of the consumer according to Forrester are:

  • Focus on personalising customer experiences. Anticipate and deliver on individual needs and punish those who have to relearn basic information at each touchpoint.

  • Implement multidiscipline CX strategies. Learn to deliver high-value, personalised experiences.

  • Re-think leadership structures. Construct teams to win in a customer-led, digital market rather than those that just preserve power structures.

  • Connect culture to your business by investing in culture to fuel change and gain market speed.

  • Operate at the speed of disruptor by accepting that disruption is normal and animating your scale, brand, and data while matching the speed of the disruptions.

  • Have evolving loyalty programs. This will allow customers to participate with your brand and product design which will deliver powerful levels of affinity.

  • Convert analytics to customer value. Use your analytics as a competitive asset to deliver personalized services across human and digital touchpoints.

  • Become masters of digital. Really understanding and using digital means as an added value differentiator will prove more effective in 2016 than just decorating your traditional business with a few digital services.

  • Use privacy as a differentiator. There have been so many high profile data security disasters in 2015 that extending privacy to a position to win customers will bring benefits.

  • Put a customer-obsessed operating model in place. This will help you to achieve differentiation and prevent a drift into territories that are not noticed or valued by your customers.