What does the future hold for CX?

This week I have been at the Customer Response Summit (CRS) Las Vegas. The events hosted by Execs in The Know are always a great event to learn from peers inside the customer experience (CX) industry – or as they put it on the agenda ‘leaders learning from leaders’.

One of the sessions I really enjoyed featured a panel session with speakers from four really innovative companies exploring how technology will drive the future of the customer experience. Tim Hickler from Amazon, Nate Rosenthal from Square, Dave Evans from Lithium, and Scott Shute from LinkedIn are all extremely innovative in their own markets and they are all connected by focusing on technology and how it can be applied to improve the customer experience.

Technology, innovation, and digital disruption are fast moving – it’s impossible to predict what the next decade will bring. For proof of this, just look back a decade. It is just a decade since the introduction of the Apple iPhone. This really introduced the present-day customer behavior of being always-on and requiring service 24/7 from anywhere. A decade ago no customers were demanding multichannel service – email and the phone was enough.

However there are some specific technologies that I think are about to change the customer experience market inside the next 18 months – they are:

  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning; There are already several customer service centers where every customer interaction is being fed into an AI system – so the system knows every single problem every customer has ever had – and the solution. This knowledge is accumulating and these systems can already interact with customers in a limited way. I believe these systems will really come into their own as speech interaction becomes more common – that’s now happening with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Apple Siri all making voice interactions with computer systems normal.
  • Virtual Reality; this is big news in gaming in 2017 as both the new Sony and Microsoft consoles are VR-ready. This means that by the end of the year tens of millions of homes will have a VR system installed. They might be purchased for games, but smart companies will be thinking how they can showcase their products using VR and this enormous user base – something that VR has never had before. Just imagine booking a cruise and being able to explore the ship as you book the vacation?
  • Augmented Reality; The Pokémon GO craze shows how quickly people will accept a technology like AR if it’s fun and has a purpose. I believe that retailers will soon find that AR offers a way to create personalized offers and discounts in a way that gamifies the in-store experience – just wait and see!

These are just a few of my own ideas, and some of these ideas were discussed by the panel, but if you have any comments on thoughts then please leave a comment here.

For more information on the CRS Las Vegas event this week please click here.

Photo by Sadie Hernandez licensed under Creative Commons.

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