Help Forrester Make Its 2013 Customer Experience Predictions!

It’s that time of the year again . . . Most of you are well into (if not done with) your 2013 planning — and at Forrester, we’ve also got our eyes on the year ahead.

Ron Rogowski and I have been engaging our fellow analysts in lively conversations about what will happen in the field of customer experience (CX) in 2013. But before we tell you what we think, we want to get your perspective on what 2013 will bring. 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.

Specifically, we’d love to know:

  • What will be your biggest CX challenges next year?
  • What are your most important CX initiatives and priorities for the next 12 months?
  • What are your predictions for the field of CX in 2013?

Please share your thoughts for 2013 in the comments section below, or join the conversation in our customer experience community. We can’t wait to hear from you!

P.S. Mark your calendars: Our predictions report will be out in January, and we’ll share our prognostications in a teleconference on Tuesday, January 15, 2013, at 1:00 p.m. ET (18:00 GMT).


2013 Customer Experience Predictions

Happy New Year, Kerry, and thanks for the opportunity to contribute to the Forrester 2013 Customer Experience Predictions that you and your colleagues are preparing.

To your question surrounding “predictions for the field of customer experience (CX) in 2013,” below are some observations and predictions that we, at Verint, anticipate in the year ahead.

Multichannel Trends
The trend towards using multiple channels is going to continue, potentially indefinitely. We’re trying to find the customer voice everywhere. We’ve spoken to some organizations that are bold enough to say they’re not going to be doing surveys anymore once they figure out “the multi-channel approach.” They believe that they’ll understand what customers’ needs and wants are by looking at social media channels and by watching interactions, and therefore, won’t even have to ask customers to get involved in feedback (surveys). We think that’s a little far-fetched. That said, we believe, there will definitely be much more focus and much more sophistication here, particularly around capturing multichannel data. It’s not going to be so much of a nirvana any more; it’s going to become a reality.

Organization Staple: the Customer Experience Officer
Whatever the title may be, in order to properly provide resources for a success CX program, a dedicated customer experience professional becomes pertinent to an organization looking to improve interactions, relationships and loyalty. As customer experience gets more sophisticated, we anticipate that we’ll see less incidence of a re-labeling of the customer service function or the survey function within a market research department; rather, we believe it will emerge as a separate and more sophisticated profession. The challenge (and opportunity) then becomes finding suitable resources to run a CX program and how to help ingrain it into business culture.

Survival of the Fittest
As a vendor with over 20 years’ experience working with organizations on the customer experience and how to get and apply feedback in a valid way, we’ve recently seen some entrants cropping up and hopping on the CX bandwagon. These organizations are positioning themselves as customer experience experts or vendors, though often without the level of CX experience that you would expect. We anticipate that there will be simplification of the vendor landscape that will help refine what skills CX professionals need and expect. We also think that clarity around what customer experience programs should be comprised of will become more defined as organizations get their arms around what a CX strategy and culture entails and what it means in context to their specific businesses.

Metrics Matter
We think success (or failure) in the next year will come, in part, in the ability of CX professionals to operationalize and quantify results. We predict that vendors, including ourselves, will increasingly need to partner with organizations to show the value associated with CX investments. As the market continues to mature, CX will become less of a catch phrase as businesses require insight into real results. Customers will want to see examples like, “by implementing a CX program, X Company was able to capture Y data, which led to Z process improvements, resulting in higher customer feedback scores, or lower customer turnover, etc.” We believe our success will certainly be influenced by making a direct correlation between customer experience, satisfaction and loyalty – and businesses’ bottom line profit and margins.

Best Regards,

Nancy Porte, Vice President, Customer Experience, Verint, and Dave Capuano, Vice President, Marketing, Verint