February is the month where New Year’s resolutions come to die. By the end of the month, January’s good intentions gradually find themselves lacking the stamina to keep up with the hustle of real life.
Similarly, frantic predictions about imperative trends that must be implemented immediately appear to calm down as the calendar ticks forward a month.
However, among the many shiny prognostications about all things digital in 2015, there is one that we find, after some consideration, to be particularly compelling.
According to the 2015 Digital Trends report published by Econsultancy in partnership with Adobe, customer experience (CX) is one of the dominant digital priorities for those seeking to get out ahead of the curve and lead. The report notes that 22 percent of client-side organizations view CX as the most exciting opportunity ahead, and this trend is growing each year. Forward thinking leaders will embrace this insight and plan to maximize the opportunity.
Our first reaction was “duh.” When has CX not been a priority? However, upon reflection, there is legitimacy to the idea that digitally-informed CX may be coming of age.
We’ve seen this trend in play while working with DHL. Service has been at the forefront of the company’s desire to ensure exceptional CX across the board. Like many organizations, DHL had a robust customer satisfaction program centered on its website and customer service center. However, by integrating social deeply into the process, DHL has been able to extend its outreach and integrate proactive measures to ensure ambitious CX goals are met.
For example, rather than tasking its community managers of social properties with the role of customer service representative – which is not uncommon – DHL chose to cross-train its existing customer service representatives on social protocols. And, rather than just relying on inbound information, DHL’s customer service teams now actively mine Twitter and other communities for untagged comments about its service, which they are empowered to respond to and manage to ensure an optimal experience.
Of course, we recognized this approach would require changes to DHL’s overall business structure, which the 2015 Digital Trends report cites as a necessary component to achieving a better CX, “Businesses are marrying together datasets, technological infrastructures and operations, often for the first time, in order to provide the perfect experience for consumers.”
In our view, driving higher level CX isn’t just about focusing more on existing customer service models – it’s about doing service differently. As the 2015 Digital Trend report correctly notes, the real challenge is “to create memorable experiences that also make a difference to the bottom line.”
Now that’s a trend worth paying attention to, through 2015 and beyond.