2020: The Year of The Customer.

Position:DATABASE AND NETWORK INTELLIGENCE: RESEARCH
 
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Why putting customer experience to the forefront of strategic decision-making will be essential in 2020 Janelle Estes, Chief Insights Officer at UserTesting.

The term 'CX' has been around a long time, with market leaders striving to improve the consumer buying journey and fend off emerging competition. But now, more than ever, customer experience bears significant impact on all aspects of business.

In recent years, companies have invested more in market research to analyse consumer lifestyle and habits in an attempt to understand what drives human decision-making. This includes Al tools, to identify patterns in consumer behaviour, as well as social listening tools that monitor the sentiment behind brand mentions.

It's somewhat surprising then, that there's still a large empathy gap between an organisation and its consumer. Research from Capgemini found that 75% of organisations rated themselves as consumer-centric, whereas only 30% of customers agreed with this statement. So what's the reason for this gap that isn't detected by the likes of Al and standard research? In short, customer user experience. As consumers become increasingly vocal and demand more from products, here are the top CX trends brands should be aware of in 2020.

Retailers turn full service.

Retailers have been offering cross-channel buying experiences for decades now, but in 2020 expect to see more retailers with bricks-and-mortar stores starting 'Buy Online Pick Up in Store' (BOPIS) programs as part of their expanded customer experience strategy. Take Argos for example--the retailer makes it very easy to shop online, check in-store availability, purchase, and pick up in-store in under two hours. If you've paid attention to the length of store queues recently, there seems to be more people waiting for pre-orders than spur-of-the-moment purchases, which shows there is an appetite for this type of service.

A second example is Starbucks, offering new omnichannel experiences with the option to order from mobile and build up rewards. Customers can now order, purchase, tip and track rewards points all through use of the app. These added online services are beautiful benefits for the consumer and simplify the buying process. Companies such as Argos and Starbucks are showing their commitment to creating exciting experiences for customers and redefining what retail looks like.

Customer feedback gets operationalised.

As CX gets a bigger seat at the table, and continues to show its...

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