Top 5 Digital Experience Trends for 2019
As customer engagements shift rapidly to digital channels, 2019 will be a critical moment for brands to adapt. Business leaders will be tackling the challenges that come with digital transformations, facilitating future-proof organizational changes to exceed their customers’ expectations.
Here are the top trends in digital customer experience (DCX) over the next 12 months:
1. Prioritization of software and strategy investments to gather better customer data
As brands prioritize digital experiences, they will boost investments in software and strategy that will help them gather smarter customer insights. On average, the planned investment for digital experience technologies and programs in 2019 is $5 to $10 million. In our report, Digital Transformation: Age of the Digital Customer, we found the largest investments will be in the financial, hospitality, travel, and telecommunications industries.
Digging deeper to understand where those investments will be prioritized, senior leaders are looking into a mix of emerging technologies and changes in organizational practices to help them digitally mature. The top Digital Transformation (DX) technologies that organizations are planning to invest in are Customer Data Management and Marketing Automation.
2. Modernization of employee skill sets to keep up with an increasingly digital CX landscape
Organizations will focus on a holistic strategy to redevelop employee skill sets in customer experience as the trends shift towards digital channels. In our report, we found that 45 percent of business leaders are creating training programs to modernize legacy skill sets.
These programs are a crucial aspect of employee retention in an evolving CX landscape. Forrester Research recently cited in their webinar with Usabilla on 2019 Customer Experience Predictions that the hot job market will cause CX professionals to flee frustrating gigs for more opportunity.
This modernization will also have effects on overall organizational culture with leaders citing that they will measure Employee Engagement and Satisfaction as an important metric to the success of DCX programs.
3. Aligning digital experience cross-departmentally and within the larger corporate strategy
One of the most common issues that organizations face when attempting to implement a successful DCX strategy is creating silos. With external pressures from customers to provide an excellent digital experience, companies will have to align organizational culture to become more customer-centric. This includes developing cross-functional roles, which boosts collaboration across all departments.
Among business leaders, we found that about 40 percent are confident in the digital maturity of their organization, but 78 percent ranked “lack of cross-departmental collaboration” as a top challenge for digital experience programs. Organizations that can succeed in altering that company culture will be the ones with a competitive advantage.
4. Increased competition among companies with excellent experiences to drive customer-centricity and demonstrate business impact
Building off the previous point, there will be heightened competition in the sphere of digital experiences, which will drive customer-centricity. Brands will focus on adhering to customer-centric strategies to avoid the trap of Digital Darwinism, which is when technology and society evolve faster than your ability to adapt.
In research conducted by Forrester, customers are willing to pay a premium of 4.5 times for an excellent customer experience over a poor one. Business leaders overwhelmingly agreed that their prime reason for prioritizing digital experience is to meet their customers’ growing expectations to delight them and drive value.
The customer is king in 2019. About half of surveyed leaders strongly agree that improving or investing in digital experience programs will enable them to keep up with competitors and avoid Digital Darwinism.
5. Transformative technology will make experiences not only personalized but predictive
Personalized and predictive consumer analytics will continue to grow with an algorithmic approach to strategic decision-making. With business intelligence, data analytics, and machine learning, brands will be able to leverage deeper insights.
According to CustomerThink, Artificial Intelligence (AI) tops the list of trends in DCX to assist in developing experiences that are self-service (with a human touch), predictive, and hyper-personalized.
We found that about 60 percent of business leaders either have invested in or are looking to invest in both chatbots and AI platforms, as well as personalization and behavior targeting software, in the next 4 months.
2019 is shaping up to be a pivotal moment for brands, as executives will invest in software, strategy, skills, and mindsets to become digitally mature. With customers in the driver’s seat of these transformations, organizations are prioritizing improvements to the digital customer experience. Learn more about how leaders are underway for a digital transformation in our report, Digital Transformation: Age of the Digital Customer.