If you watched our recent webinar and read my blog on the five customer engagement trends for 2018, you know that artificial intelligence and robotics will continue to transform customer engagement, providing context, empowering employees, and helping manage outcomes. New digital tools are rapidly changing the way organizations engage with customers – I could go on all day on this topic – but I’ve highlighted three additional key predictions for you.
1. Brands with the biggest slices of the customer ecosystem pie will win.
As technology further commoditizes core services of an organization, winning brands will expand their ecosystems to own more parts of the customer journey – and into areas way outside their usual comfort zone. For example, any bank can process a loan. But imagine if they could also connect customers to reputable real estate agents and home inspectors to deliver an all-encompassing and superior home buying experience? Whomever can connect the complete ecosystem will deliver the most value to the customer and maintain a competitive advantage. This means thinking about the customer journey… beyond the boundaries of your organization.
2. Imposing regulations will raise the customer experience stakes.
Come May 2018, the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will empower European Union (EU) customers to permanently delete any information an organization holds on them if they so choose. So how can you avoid this fate? By not giving customers a reason to request to be removed in the first place. Touchpoints that aren’t relevant, timely, contextual, and consistent will just increase the odds. Every brand interaction now becomes another opportunity for customers to question if they should act to be removed. Any organization with EU customers (i.e., practically every organization) will be impacted, and we expect countries outside the EU to follow suit with similar regulations. This will force organizations to prioritize customer experience even higher than it already is – because a poor experience will not only cost you a sale, it will also cost you your data.
3. More cloud choice will drive better customer experience.
Enterprises will wake up to the fact that multi-tenant clouds aren’t always built to serve their interests or their customers. Providers who try to lock you into their own solution rob your organization of the flexibility to switch cloud platforms as needs change. We are entering a new generation of cloud computing that will go beyond “one-size-fits-all” SaaS solutions to open, flexible platforms that move easily between public, private, and hybrid infrastructures. The ultimate winner in this age of cloud choice will be the customer – who can expect more consistent, seamless experiences that meet evolving customer demands.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Don Schuerman is Pega’s CTO, vice president of product marketing, and an evangelist for customer engagement and digital transformation.