Help Forrester Predict The Top 2011 Customer Experience Trends!

Our team is pretty floored by everything that’s happening in the customer experience space right now. We’re seeing massive changes in technology, which are enabling personal and social experiences unlike any we’ve ever seen. In addition, customer experience is gaining unprecedented importance across the enterprise. We think the combination of these influences is going to make for a pretty spectacular 2011.

Ron Rogowski and I are collaborating on a report that will outline Forrester’s thoughts on what 2011 has in store for customer experience professionals. Among our predictions:

  • Customer experience will (finally) connect with marketing. If you read my last blog post, it’ll be no surprise that I think there’s a pretty strong connection between customer experience and marketing. For CCOs and CMOs, 2011 will come in like a lion (with tension between their two groups) and go out like a lamb (with true collaboration).
  • Brands will (wrongfully) rush to abandon their Web sites. With the skyrocketing market for mobile phones and tablets, firms will look to engage users through differentiated experiences on these devices. But in the process, many will neglect a critical touchpoint — the Web — in favor of apps that have less reach.

We’re cooking up a report chock full of 2011 predictions — but we also want to know what you think. So here’s your chance for fame and fortune — or at least the opportunity to be mentioned in a Forrester report! If your ideas or comments contribute to our final analysis, we’ll add you as a contributor to the research.

So please share your thoughts for 2011 below, or join the conversation over in our customer experience community.  We can’t wait to hear from you!

P.S. This report will be out in January, and we’ll share our predictions in a teleconference on February 1 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time.


You're right. The "website is

You're right. The "website is dead" movement has quite a few adherents, particularly in the tech media. But I think it's kind of silly to forget about a channel that generates millions upon millions of touchpoints per month, in favor of nascent platforms that are still 1-2 years away from delivering big payloads.

some predictions are more fun than others

Yeah, we actually had quite a bit of fun batting this particular idea around internally! :) It think it will continue to be a great debate for the next few years.

Customer Intimacy

My client, Donna Prestwood from Pitney Bowes Business Insight, recently made the claim that Customer Intimacy -- while talked about for years -- will become a true marketing discipline. Sounds like a good prediction to me. (can read in full at


Thanks, Ed. I'll take a look at this right now.

Will take more than a year...

Agree with point one above. However, I think full collaboration will take more than a year. In those organizations were the CCO or CXO even exists, its a relatively new C level role vis-a-vis others, including CMO. In those organizations where the role doesnt exists, it will be interesting to see if we see organizational realignment where customer service reports up through marketing (a prediction made by McKinsey paper more about 6-7 years ago).

My prediction (no brainer really) the customer experience will increasingly become self-directed. With self service and social media for customer service continuing to grow, while traditional communication (both marketing and service) channels decline. But the overall volume of communication will increase. Difference being, the signal to noise ration (as defined by @rwang) will increase, complicating engagement strategies and tactical processes.

Good point on the timing issue

You're right on that this CMO/CCO collaboration will be a multiyear effort -- most customer experience initiatives are, right? But what's a prediction doc without some ideas that go out on a limb? :)

In our research, we're generally not seeing marketing as the organizational umbrella for customer experience resources. (More to come on that topic in the new year...) But I'm going to check out that McKinsey paper -- thanks for the tip!

Customer Intimacy is alive and well thank you

Depending on how you look at it, customer intimacy is the key driver of business value in mature industries, and even in some that are not so mature. Take a look at Dean McMann's work for the past 15 or so years. He describes the customer intimacy journey in detail:

His blog is at >>

Ok, that's two votes for customer intimacy

We're paying attention. :)

"New" breed of customers

Hi All,

This article explains very well what the customers want and what the corporations can expect and need to do in the (near) future:

Enjoy the reading.



We've definitely been discussing what effect the economy will have on customer experience in 2011, so this is really helpful. Thanks!

Hi Kerry, Who could pass on

Hi Kerry,

Who could pass on an opportunity for fame and fortune?! At Vovici, we've been kicking around our own set of predictions based on what we've heard from customers all across the feedback management space. My colleague, Jeffrey Henning has written a great blog post about this very topic!

Here are a few trends we've landed on for 2011, which we'd love to discuss with you further:

1. Text Analysis – the high-volume of social media content will lead many firms to text analysis, which provides an excellent method of analyzing the unstructured feedback gathered by Voice of the Customer listening posts.
2. Employee Engagement – employee engagement is an important part of customer loyalty, and many organizations will look for ways to bring the Voice of the Employee into the Voice of the Customer, leveraging the observations and insights of employees to building a better understanding of the customer.
3. Employee-Specific Reports – providing filtered customer feedback to front-line employees, supervisors and midlevel managers will help employees learn from specific customers. Nothing prompts change better.
4. Closed Loop Feedback – more customers will build closed-loop processes that gather feedback, act on it, track it, trend it and repeat. A key part of this will be case management, where feedback that indicates dissatisfaction is immediately escalated to service and support organizations, so individuals can take action to directly improve satisfaction.
5. Feedback Consolidation – most organizations have very decentralized approaches to the collection and analysis of Voice of the Customer data. Large companies will create or expand central Customer Insight departments and look to CRM, Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM) and Mobile Device Management (MDM) to centrally manage the data.
6. Mobile Feedback – more emphasis will be placed on mobile feedback, the ability to capture the customer’s opinion as close to the customer experience as possible: at the moment where a decision has been made, a produce purchased or a service experienced.

Here's to an exciting 2011!

Great predictions!

I especially like the feedback consolidation one. I was talking just the other day about the effectiveness of this approach with one of the customer experience transformation firms.

Solid Predictions

Barry couldn't agree with you more about the customer experience becoming more self-directed. Furthermore, it's becoming influenced more and more by other customers / communities as opposed to the corporation itself.

I recently posted 12 Customer Experience Trends for 2011 at hopefully some of those trends can considered to the Forrester Report.

A quick summary of the trends:
1. Mobile Customer Experience Matures
2. Customer Expectations Impact the Experience
3. Increasing Voice of the Customer Adoption
4. Balancing Revenue VS Cost
5. Growth of Interaction Channels
6. Cross-Channel Experience Remains a Challenge
7. Social Media Impacts the Experience
8. Power Shift - Companies VS Customers
9. Retailers and Hotels Provide the Best Experiences
10. Health Insurers and Service Providers Provide the Worst Experiences
11. Customers Co-Create the Experience
12. Customer Experience A Bigger Priority

Let me know what you think!


Thanks, everyone!

Ron and I are just wrapping up this report, and we'd like to thank everyone who left a comment. We'll be sending you each a copy of the report when it's published in January.

Here's to a fantastic 2011!