The world is interconnected today in a way that we couldn’t have imagined 10 years ago, thanks to the ongoing reliability of Moore’s Law. Exponential growth in computing power at a much lower cost has democratized technology access.
For many of us in the first world, technology permeates every facet of our lives, from checking our smartphone when we wake up, to ordering groceries online in the afternoon, to posting a cat video on Facebook at night. We are in the era of “connected me”, where our access to digital information and services is greater than at any time in history. And we assume our vendors are no different: digital, connected, and ready to deliver the experiences we have come to expect.
What will our “connected me” lives be like in 10 years? How much more powerful and pervasive will technology be in our daily lives? I believe the integration of technology into our personal and professional lives will accelerate dramatically in that time. Because while cloud computing, smartphones, social networks, and online education have changed consumers’ lives – they’ve also democratized technology access for developers worldwide.
This will accelerate technology innovation even faster than Moore’s Law alone would predict. A teenager in Mumbai or Dubai has as much access to the latest dev tools and cloud platforms as a teenager in Sunnyvale. A startup doesn’t have to be in Silicon Valley or raise $5 million in venture capital to build a new payment system or enterprise sales productivity app. Innovation is accelerating and it’s global.
So, what do entitled customers and accelerating technology innovation mean for customer experience professionals in marketing, sales, service, and commerce? It means they are now playing an incredibly strategic role in the success of their businesses. In the era of “connected me”, the reason a business thrives or fails will shift from its products and services to the experiences it delivers. We have unbelievably high expectations for seamless, personalized, and contextual experiences across digital and physical channels. I want what I want, when I want it – that’s our mantra. Whether it’s an airline, health care provider, local government agency, or IT services provider, we expect the same type of experience we get from Amazon, Apple, or Starbucks.
Businesses have to be smarter in the “connected me” era.
The next wave of technologies transforming customer experience is already here or peeking over the horizon – artificial intelligence and machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), augmented reality, chatbots, 3D printing, autonomous vehicles. The most successful businesses will be first to leverage these disruptive technologies to drive increased customer convenience and loyalty via new customer experiences (e.g. Amazon Prime, mobile check deposit, usage-based auto insurance, voice-based interactions, etc.).
The businesses that will thrive are those that become customer-centric on every level, accept risk and failure as part of growth, and most difficult of all, embrace change. These organizations will understand the needs of customers better than their competition. They’ll deliver the right experiences for the right customers, striking a balance between traditional channels (e.g. branch, phone, email) and digital channels (e.g. mobile app, web self-service, chatbot).
It’s a great time to be a Customer Experience professional. You have the opportunity to take a leadership role in your business, to drive customer centricity in your organization, and to build smarter customer experiences. So, welcome to SmarterCX.com. We’re glad you’re here!