Industry analyst, Michael Gazala of Forrester, published a blog recently that will strike fear into the heart of any company with a merely average attitude toward customer service. Gazala said that the Forrester data on customer experience has seen the average level of service increase in every industry since 2007.
That’s every industry Forrester covers and every year for over seven years now. So if you are not including the customer experience in your boardroom discussions then there could be trouble ahead for your company in 2015.
The implication of all these increases in the average level of service is really that expectations are accelerating. Customers want more and those responsible for the customer experience today need to think much harder about managing loyalty, developing a mobile experience, and listening to the online buzz about specific products. My colleague Richard Nicholls recently blogged on the subject of how customers expect a great emotional attachment today and how this is essential for any company that expects loyalty.
Gazala highlights two key trends that are going to be important to watch in 2015:
- Emotion has the biggest effect on customer loyalty, so it’s going to be a big factor in what companies do in 2015 – literally buying into emotional reactions from customers.
- More surprises from upstarts; smaller companies with great ideas that help customers – like airbnb – will be more common. Large firms need new ideas for services and products that have a stronger emotional connection and this will often come only from new firms.
I agree with his predictions, in particular how loyalty is going to change in the near future. In 2015 it is all going to be about the way companies engage with customers, regardless of the free gifts they hand out.
What do you think of his other point about developing an emotional connection? Leave a comment here or tweet me on @matt_sims1.
Photo by Gaby Av licensed under Creative Commons