1. Customer Centricity continues to be a top focus area for organizations
“Temporary” disruptions like the pandemic, inflation, wars, labor conflicts, etc. queue up in what feels like unprecedented frequencies and seem to make chaos the new normal. With that, the often-diminished focus on customer centricity initiatives returns full-strength to the C-suites and puts CX back on the strategic top-5-lists.
Those organizations who kept moving during times of disruptions can now benefit from the kept momentum, whereas everyone else who had pushed the CX pause button has to dust-off their CX initiatives and often go back eight steps without being able to pass go or collect 200 Dollar.
Geographically, there are hardly any white spots left on the CX world map. All regions, sectors, and industries seem to have fully adopted the strive for customer centricity. This leaves oblivious players behind and makes CX failures more visible, more painful, and more embarrassing than they were ever before.
What does this mean for you? If you are a decision maker regarding the customer centricity of your organization, then make your initiative more resilient against disruptions. Just like a long cargo train you may slow down, but never stop or the energy needed to get going again will be immense. And if you believe that CX does not affect you, then think again! The North Korean army and Antarctica’s tulip producers are probably the last two sectors not affected by customer centricity.
2. EX finally landed a main role in experience management, marking its long-awaited recognition and emergence into the spotlight
God, do I remember how difficult it used to be for my generation to find a job amidst hundreds of application for every open position. Today, this situation has changed and is called skills shortage, making it a strategic task to attract, recruit, and retain talent.
At the same time, the EX-space is seeing a fast increase of expectations across sectors, countries, and industries, with employees expecting pay, perks, productivity tools, and purpose that they might have seen or heard about far outside their current ecosystems.
Fortunately, a lot of what have learned, developed, and optimized in the CX space serves us equally well in the EX-space: listening, analyzing, and reacting to feedback from candidates and employees, identifying and eliminating pain points, as well as empowering employees to not only find job enrichment but also deliver great CX are easy applications of CX principles to the EX-space.
What does this mean for you? If you still have not combined your CX and EX into a holistic experience management initiative, make this your 2024 project. It adds mojo to your CX initiative and valuable insight from your employee listening program.
3. Culture change has moved to the top of customer centricity related challenges.
Organizations have by now mastered many of their infrastructure, listening, customer journey mapping, and CX team implementation issues. However, the employees outside of the CX team are often still not buying into the concept of customer centricity.
The reasons for slow cultural adoption of customer centricity are diverse: lack of explanation of the reasons, effects, and recipes for great customer centricity hold back otherwise willing employees. Inability or unwillingness to change stop the rest of the team from jumping on board the CX train.
This past 2023 we have developed a whole new approach to customer journey mapping, where employees from across the organization join in and define the roles and attributes, they want to aspire to for each phase of the customer journey. They then hold themselves accountable for those aspirations and develop the needed improvement ideas to get there. The first clients for which we have implemented this so-called ONE customer journey mapping (for Outcomes – Norms – Engagement) are seeing great results, so we will definitely further develop this approach.
What does this mean for you? If you feel that your culture also lacks the needed momentum to become truly customer centric, there is hope! Countless new approaches have been developed to bring the team on-board with your CC initiative. From executive visiting and listening programs, to (experience5’s) ONE™ Customer Journey Mapping, there are plenty of innovative ways to change the culture in your organization.
4. AI has entered the stage as a new tool for increased productivity
Large language models like ChatGPT and other AI tools have started to turn the way we work upside down. The initial attempt to use such tools remind me of my first BASIC programming in school (10 PRINT “hello “, 20 GOTO 10 – yay!!!).
But just like in computer programming, AI has long moved from nonsense to profound business impact. In CX we see the most prominent benefits in customer feedback analysis (making sense of thousands of free-text feedbacks from customers) and customer support (turning previously dumb chat bots into real geniuses).
What does this mean for you? Organize and institutionalize the use of AI in your workplace, your organization, and your CX initiative. If you, personally, feel behind the curve – fill that knowledge gap with external help. Also, keep in mind that technological complexity in your organization is the enemy of AI implementation. Get ready for the AI future by sorting out any potential data mess and unnecessary infrastructure complexity to build a nice ramp for AI to also land in your processes.
That’s it from me! I can’t wait to hear your additions to my short list. What do you think will be hot in the CX and EX space this coming year?