The die is cast. We are marching inexorably into a new generation of digitally enabled customer experiences. There is no turning back. Estimates vary as to the number of customer service roles that will be replaced by bots, robots, cognitive technologies and artificial intelligence (AI). But commentators are agreed: we have reached an inflection point on the curve of customer experience (CX) improvement where the baton is passed from human to digital interaction.
Against this backdrop, the question CX professionalsask most frequently is: “If human interaction is whatdrives emotionally meaningful customer experiences,how do we compete in a digital future?”
In this our eighth year of researching customerexperience best practice, we seek to understandhow the exemplar organisations are mastering thisnew world. The challenges they are meeting andovercoming, the preparations they are making forfuture change and the capabilities required.
Customer expectations are on a rapidly escalatingupward spiral. But what happens when expectationsare moving faster than a company’s ability to react?
Firms such as Blockbuster and Borders haveexperienced “future shock” - an inability to respondto overwhelming change in a competitive timeframe.Ultimately, they were not quite prepared for the future.
For top performers, the inverse is true. Their leadersfocus intently on anticipating disruptive forcesdefining the needs of tomorrow’s customer.
To do this, a new set of skills is required, focused onidentifying future trends, sifting them for relevanceand rapidly developing these ideas for operation.