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Crownpeak Logo Posted by Crownpeak January 20, 2015

2015 Customer Experience Market Predictions - the Ultimate List

The books are closed on 2014, which was by any measure an eventful year in the customer experience market. The year just passed may well be remembered as the tipping point for companies who have sat on the fence, thinking that competing on price or product features alone was still good enough. Many industry experts believe that the only source of competitive advantage today is an obsession with attracting, understanding, and serving today's empowered customers. Companies invested more than ever in 2014 on marketing technology necessary to deliver better targeted, more personalized digital experiences.

Gartner predicts that by 2016, 89% of companies will compete primarily on the basis of customer experiences – instead of product innovation. They maintain that the gap between the best and worst digital experiences continued to narrow. So what will the next 12 months witness on the path to that inevitability?

In examining the year ahead, we here at Crownpeak have done all the heavy lifting for you. We reviewed more than 20+ articles from key industry media and analysts to distill the key trends to watch in 2015. It’s all the mega-trends compiled in one article! Plus we point you to the best prognostications to peruse for yourself.

So here, by consensus, are five mega-predictions to watch:

1) Play well with others. Much has been written on the need for improved collaboration between the CMO and CIO. 2015 is the time to improve interconnections beyond the C-suite. Customer experience improvements too often center on the customer service function or the ecommerce site. This year marketing, sales and service much reach across the aisle to collaborate, sharing common customer data to boost satisfaction with every touch. This deeper CX collaboration should naturally extend to business partners, agencies of record and others in your expanded ecosystem.

2) Go big and get real. Look for the further expansion of data gathering capabilities as well as a maturing in data analysis sophistication. Customer experience leaders will innovate by increasingly applying customer insights in real-time for near instantaneous and continuous personalization according to quickly changing user wants and needs. Effective monitoring and sentiment tracking across digital channels anticipates and predicts customer needs before they even contact you. These dual trends of Big Data and real-time will generate greater customer loyalty for brands that apply them well.

3) Make an emotional connection. The first wave of digital experiences focused on effectiveness and ease of use. Forrester predicts the next wave will focus on measuring the customer’s feeling during any given interaction. Emotion is the most powerful driver of customer loyalty. Predictive analytics will begin to be applied to determine how customers feel during interactions based on their profiles, behavior and data history. Greater value can be delivered to the user by reacting to these insights about their individual emotional state.

4) The mobile majority. Mobile devices serve customers in their moments of greatest need by giving them more control where and when they want it. Up to now, mobile has been an alternative to the desktop for accessing brands, services and product websites. In 2015 mobile optimized sites will finally become the standard. While mobile browsers may still not ascend to the predominant digital experience delivery medium, they will continue their steady march this year toward that certainty as mobile ordering, payments and security functions continue to improve.

5) Tech boom not yet bust.  While marketers now have more technology than ever before available to drive compelling digital experiences, the challenge will continue to be successfully integrating it all. It’s not just about making all the stuff inside your organizational walls work in concert.

It’s also about integrating the omnichannel experience so that your brand appears unified to the customer, no matter the digital channel they select: website, email, social media, telephone or mobile device. Differentiation will be determined by how you effectively apply customer data, privacy practices, cybersecurity protections, user authentication and payment enablement to not just serve customers but to win their trust.

There you have it: the five key trends most often mentioned in 2015 CX market predictions. Any organization just getting started with their digital experience delivery may be intimidated, but it’s important to remember that the CX market is still in its early days. There’s still a lot of market opportunity, so just keep plugging away. Remember that digital marketing transformation is a journey, not a destination!

Here’s a roundup of some of the best 2015 prediction articles to read for yourself:

Emotions and Ecosystems Drive Customer Experience in 2015

10 Customer Experience Trends for 2015
Customer Think

Will You Ride the Customer Experience Big Data Wave in 2015?
LinkedIn Pulse

What Does The Future Hold For Marketers? 16 CMOs Share Their Predictions For 2015
Marketing Land

Boardroom priorities in 2015: Can IT deliver?