Brilliant is one of the market’s foremost data-driven research and insight platforms for customer and employee experiences. We offer actionable and data-driven human insights that help companies and organizations make decisions that strengthen the business. We continuously measure and analyse employee and customer experiences. The end-result of Brilliant’s data shows time and time again that committed employees create loyal customers that affect the results on the bottom line, and 2020 will not be an exception.
Looking back on 2019, a couple of driving forces can explain why the customer’s experience of a company looks the way it does. One central focus for companies has been to digitize and automate as many processes as possible. With a cyclical change coming up, this will be a focus also in 2020. Companies must find their way to become even more efficient and cost conscious. Balancing time spent per customer with increased demand of service and higher expectations from customers, is a challenge. Customers have more knowledge than before, they demand more, and they are more thoughtful about what they order or buy. To stay competitive, companies must be even more accurate and fulfil customer’s choices and preferences, at lowest cost possible.
There is a big difference between companies’ degree of maturity when it comes to understanding customer experience. For companies that do not have any data or do not know enough about what the customers think or say, having tools and processes that can give insights of the customer experience at every level, is a high priority. It is not enough to run a yearly customer survey, or that only one part of the company is followed up on customer satisfaction. Tools are needed to both collect customer insights and motivate the entire organization – key is have ability to trigger activities that lead to improved customer experience at every stage. Understanding that customer loyalty does not come from a single part in the customer’s journey is getting more widely-spread. Customer loyalty is a consequence of all interactions during the entire time the customer is in contact with the company. In 2020, we will, therefore, see even more “Programs” and “Concepts” that handle all customer interactions at the same time and provide a better overview of the whole customer experience. Going from one yearly survey to a customer experience program allow companies to go deep into the core and challenge the entire business model. Maybe customers demand a completely different type of solution compared to what the current business model offers?
Mapping and measuring the right thing, in the right way. While some companies are in the starting pits, others are progressing fast. They are digitizing, developing and streamlining, but have they taken the customer in consideration? Some of them are moving so fast they tend to miss this. For example, how does the customer feel about being treated by a robot instead of a human? Do they get a better experience? Others that do collect customer feedback, especially the fast-moving ones, have challenges to get their customer journey structured in a good way or need to understand how to include customers’ feedback into innovative initiatives and development. We often meet customers who have “Data overload”, they have surveyed their customers, measured in different channels and in different touch points without getting the complete picture. These companies will spend a lot of time taking care of data that already exist. Combining survey data with data from other sources is their next step. For the fast-moving companies, the aim is to collect all data in the same system to gain agility, both strategically and operationally, to use AI-based analysis support and reduce surveys.
Open text analysis. The data that exists today – both indirect data (data about how customers behave, what they say, how they navigate on the web, etc.) and direct data (data that comes from surveys, interviews, studies) – usually give a lot of good insights. It also provides a large amount of open text comments and audio files. If it is a manageable amount of text, you can get a reasonable picture of what is behind the customer experience, by reading all comments. However, if the amount of comments becomes too large, which is more common among the data intensive companies, it is no longer manageable to read and listen to it all. In 2020, we will, therefore, see much more voice to text and open text analysis to better take care of this kind of existing data.
Collaborations and sharing responsibility for the customer experience. The customers’ experience today is not only your company’s responsibility. When customers shop, other companies/suppliers such as logistics companies, resellers, invoice solution companies, customer service, or debt collection companies will impact the experience and image of your brand. The customer does not always see the underlying players when in contact with your company, nor do they care. They just want a simple and frictionless delivery and good service. The risk of being adversely affected by someone else’s demerit is higher and can, in the worst case, also cost more for your company. If you choose to outsource functions or depend on a subcontractor, you need to make sure that they also have the same level of commitment meeting your customers and that they see the customer experience as serious as yourself. In 2020, more and more organizations will dissect their customer journey, begin to involve external influencers, and formulate common customer experience goals to focus on the customer. This to ensure that the customer stay and have a better customer experience. Win-win for everyone!