Global health emergencies, the great resignation, supply chain bottlenecks, political instability, inflation, technological disruption. The past several years have done more than simply test your organization’s ability to keep its CX delivery on track, they have challenged everyone’s overall business resilience.
So, with this in mind, what will 2024 bring? Is it going to be a chance to come up for air, or will it be another year of business challenges? And if it is going to be yet another testing time, where are these new challenges coming from, and more importantly, what can your business do to overcome them and stay aligned with your customer base?
Meet challenges head-on
To help you answer these questions, our latest publication, ”Retain, reflect, rethink, retrain, refresh: Five trends to test your 2024 CX performance” highlights what we believe are going to be the biggest drivers of change in the business world and provides the insights and understanding you’ll need to approach these challenges head-on.
In recent years, technology has been one of the most disruptive forces within the business world and clearly, thanks to the explosive manner in which generative AI has arrived on the scene, 2024 is going to be no exception.
Even in its current form and even with minimal investment, GenAI has clear CX delivery use cases. It could help any organization close the customer expectation gap that’s keeping it lagging behind more established or better-funded competitors. And, as such, its potential capabilities are front and center in this year’s report, but so are the potential pitfalls.
And this is because understanding what this technology really is and what it really can and can’t deliver is going to be one of the biggest challenges all businesses, in all industries, will have to grapple with, not just over the next 12 months but in the years to come.
Remember the metaverse?
What’s more, it’s not the only disruptive digital change on the horizon. Talk about the metaverse may have died down to a mutter, but that doesn’t mean that progress toward the next iteration of the web hasn’t ground to a complete halt.
For instance, developments around mixed reality and the continued rollout of the 5G mobile network mean that your business is going to have to start thinking about customer experience in three dimensions and start evaluating technologies that can make customer engagement more immersive.
When is a CX trend not a CX trend?
Considering the buzz around generative AI, it might come as a surprise to see the metaverse mentioned in this year’s report. And as well as inclusion, what might seem conspicuous by its absence in this year’s publication is any discussion about individual elements of CX delivery, such as omnichannel engagement, or specific consumer behavior and preference trends.
But the logic is clear. If a customer experience trend is a change in consumer preference, expectation or behavior that prompts organizations to take action, it ceases being a trend when the change in preference, action or behavior is observable in the majority of customers.
What the majority of consumers expect from their brand interactions today is the same as it was five years ago. Omnichannel engagement, personalization, self-service, speed, efficiency, and immediate access to helpful, friendly staff are no longer emerging or developing preferences or expectations. They’re the mainstream definition of CX and the benchmark against which your organization will be judged today and tomorrow.
Closing the skills gap
What’s changing is the environment in which you’re delivering against these expectations. And that’s why, as well as a disruption, in 2024 technology could distract you from focusing on other equally pressing issues or potential challenges that could prevent you from delivering a positive CX.
And the biggest of these challenges is centered around people. Your people embody your company culture, and their dedication to your brand is the deciding factor when it comes to the quality and consistency of customer experience your business is capable of delivering. But now, more than ever, they need to be engaged and they need access to education to maintain that delivery.
Even without breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, technology has already created a skills gap and the only way to close it for good is through long-term investment in your existing workforce, rather than entering the labor market and intensifying the war for talent.
Your organization needs to use the coming year to assess which skills and capabilities your people need and to develop the right approach to training. If you rely solely on recruitment to close skills gaps or add new capabilities, you run the risk of diluting company culture, creating knowledge silos and weakening overall business resilience.
The fact is, being unable to meet any of the challenges the coming year may have in store will severely dent business resiliency and put your organization at a serious disadvantage.
All of which is why adopting a retention mindset will be crucial to success in 2024. So, read ”Retain, reflect, rethink, retrain, refresh: Five trends to test your 2024 CX performance” in full and discover how you can retain revenues, retain rivalry, retain relevance, retain resources and ultimately, retain business resilience.