Teleperformance recently announced our fourth Leader Insights Forum (LIF) focused on the subject “When Digital Becomes Human”. The Forum will take place from March 27-29th at the Hotels Arts Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain.
LIF will address the combination of human and digital interactions with a focus on delivering an amazing customer experience in every customer interaction. The focus of the “When Digital Becomes Human” strategy is to ensure that the customer always experiences the most appropriate type of service – human, automated, or a blend of both.
This blend of digital and human customer service is one of the biggest challenges facing executives in 2019 as customer expectations increase and automated or robotic systems dramatically improve. We will be exploring how brands can find the right balance between immediate and automated digital service and the empathy and connection created through genuine human interactions.
When I read reports such as the Forrester Research predictions for 2019 I can see that our focus for the LIF in March is timely. Forrester, and other analysts, see this blend of digital and human customer experience as a key trend to focus on in 2019, but what else did their ‘Predictions 2019’ research focus on?
The entire list of Forrester predications features around 15 areas and trends to watch this year, but I’d like to just focus on just a few that I see as critical for the year ahead.
CX remains under fire: 89% of CX professionals still don’t believe that their company is measuring the ROI on their CX investment well. Forrester predicts that around 20% of brands will focus on price-cutting instead of CX in 2019, although this can only ever lead to short-term gains.
Digital goes surgical: reality has often destroyed all those digital transformation goals, but in 2019 it will become clear that the brands that decelerate their transformation efforts will lose market share.
CMOs rebrand: brand equity and purpose has taken a backseat in recent years, but this will become the top priority of marketing teams once again.
CIOs take the reins: 25% of CIOs will take on an expanded role and the rest will consider that trusted partners are more important than ever.
AI builds a foundation: brands that have been confused by Big Data and have lost track on their AI initiatives because they just have too much data to manage will finally start seeing their patience pay off.
The world goes to Zero (trust): Forrester predicts that at least one major company will lose over 25% of their value because of a single cyber-attack. Security will become essential for all brands in 2019 and this is an extremely important factor in customer satisfaction now because customer must have faith in brands to protect their data.
I agree with many of the comments featured in the Forrester analysis, in particular the need to stay focused on CX as a key strategic differentiator. We are moving into an environment where it is the emotional connection between a brand and customer that matters more than individual customer service interactions – this demands that a more strategic vision on how to build a 50-year relationship with the customer is in place, not just quick gains from slashing prices.
Platforms such as cloud computing and the app store are creating a business environment where new competition can rise up extremely quickly. Your competition later in 2019 may not even exist today. I would also go further than the Forrester predictions on data security and say that if a major brand faces a dramatic loss of their customer’s personal data then it could now prove to be an existential threat – the end of the company, not just a drop in share price.
But as I started out when I mentioned the LIF, the improvement of digital systems and the ability of digital to augment humans is where I think much of the focus will be in 2019. Let me know what you think about the Forrester predictions and my own comments on them by leaving your own comment here or get in touch via my LinkedIn. For more information on the LIF in Barcelona please click here.