As we start a brand new year, I, like many other people, have started thinking about what 2017 will mean for businesses looking to create world-class customer experiences.
Building emotional experiences
When looking at how Christmas marketing campaigns have changed over the years, they’ve gone from promoting products and services to creating emotional connections with people. The same rules should apply for engaging customers and delivering customer experiences all year round – they have to make us feel something before we will interact and buy something.
In 2017, we’ll see more marketers asking themselves – ‘how do we make our customers feel when they engage with our brand?’. The task laid down to marketers will be to convey this feeling through the latest innovative thinking and technology to the best effect, to create fully immersive, engaging and emotional experiences for customers however they interact be it online, across all devices and in the store. If brands can master this well, their customers will engage more and become brand advocates draw other people to interact with them too.
GDPR leads to transparency
In 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation will come into full force, meaning that brands will need to take steps to keep compliant with the law and ensure their customer data is secure. We’ll see brands taking steps towards this in 2017 from a cyber security point of view, but they’ll also start to become more transparent in terms of how they use this data in the first place.
Marketers will start to enter into conversations with their customers about how they want their data to be used, and where they draw the line. This might be using customer data to retarget them with offers, sending personalised newsletters or competitions. Whatever the scenario, brands will say ‘We have this data about you, we can better serve you, but you can change this here’. It will present an opportunity to improve relationships with customers and improve trust between them too.
What is your data doing?
Big data – you haven’t seen anything yet! With new channels and technologies available to us, such as biometric recognition, IoT, VR and location tech, brands are on the receiving end of a huge influx of data that they’re challenged with utilising to the best effect. But just because this data is available, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it has a role to play in CX strategy.
In 2017, we’ll see marketers and brands working to decisively determine what it is that they want to do, what experience they want to create, and what data they’ll need in order to achieve it. Marketers will start to be more selective in the data they choose to collect from customers and will say goodbye to anything that isn’t needed. If brands don’t have this strategy in place before the IoT well and truly takes off, they’ll be bombarded with more data than they can manage.