Omni-channel management, big data, and artificial intelligence: The suitcases are packed with IT solutions. But what does the customer really want? What are the expected trends for coming years? Numerous studies on future trends in consumer businesses show that purchasing behavior is changing considerably – even before COVID-19 – and that satisfying customer needs is becoming much more complex. It’s clear that software solutions such as the SAP CX Suite, which seamlessly supports, manages and automates the required processes, are going to become an integral part of business success.
The future has already begun: Self-driving cars, around the clock shopping, and digital purchasing consultants are just the beginning stages. Purchasing behavior is no longer the same as it was 10 years ago. Influencers play an important role in purchase decisions, an influence ranging from product placement on social media channels, reviews and “how to” videos on YouTube, and price portals. Shopping platforms, with their 24/7 availability and perfected processes provide unparalleled access to many suppliers and brands, dominate the market.
The shopping experience of the future must be intuitively operated by the customer via all channels. Bots support search, decision-making, and processing process. Shopping by voice assistant from the car will become a reality. Service and experience will come to the forefront even more.
Thrown into this situation, the customer makes decisions in a situational way and often finds the sheer volume of information confusing.
If you want to score points here with consumers, you have to become the perfect companion for the Customer Journey. That means being on top of the experience; providing personalized interaction, making a precise prediction of what the customer wants to buy next, and surpassing their expectations. Disappointments and generic offers can quickly lead to the loss of loyalty. And remember, the competition is also waiting to provide their own experience.
A new customer experience exceeds usual expectations and leads to a higher value for the customer. He is enthusiastic, but only for a while, until a new experience changes expectations.
This principle can be illustrated by a simple example. When I check in at a hotel, my expectation is that I will have to check in at the reception desk. I also assume that the details from my online booking are already available so the process is simple, I only need to sign and receive a card to open the room.
However, a colleague enthusiastically told me about a special experience she had in a Hamburg hotel. On the day of arrival, she received a “welcome email” with a digital room key. The check-in process could therefore be omitted. Upon entering the room, a welcome push notification was sent to her mobile phone with information about hotel services. At the end of the stay, she received an email with the invoice, so that the check-out stage was also obsolete.
In the future when I am visiting a hotel, I am going to access value based on this new potential experience.
Working on the Customer Experience is a permanent task. Those who are able to successfully accompany the consumer will be rewarded with their loyalty.
It is not always the product that matters the most, often it is the intelligent process or presentation is where the value is.
Without motivated employees – those who are in contact with the customer, which make the service a positive experience, and which create new worlds of experience with their creativity and innovative strength – success will also be absent.
Without a powerful IT solution — customers will remain uninspired. IT processes the customer journey, and is the data hub that directs relevant information into the proper channels, and provides important information for omni-channel managers to create their analyses and predictions