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Why XM should be a high priority for business in 2019

Why XM should be a high priority for business in 2019 article image

Experience management (XM) is a key focus for organisations battling for the hearts and minds of consumers. 

In 2019, businesses looking to achieve a competitive advantage through XM will need to understand the essential roles of emerging technologies and data analytics in delivering superior experiences, according to XM experts Qualtrics.

“The field of XM is currently undergoing an enormous amount of learning and maturing,” said Vicky Katsabaris, CX Subject Matter Expert and Principal Consultant, Qualtrics. 

“This has given rise to a number of key trends, most of which require organisations to understand and leverage predictive technology.”

Qualtrics has identified four major trends that businesses must be aware of in 2019:

1. Humanising through technology

Companies are starting to recognise that customers and employees have unique emotions, wants, needs, beliefs, and motivations. Data can help deepen this understanding and deliver more emotionally resonant experiences.

For example:

  • Conversational listening will overtake traditional surveys to gain more customer and employee engagement.
  • Customer emotions will be quantified and used to better understand and predict loyalty behaviours to different brands.
  • The advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to truly humanise experiences by making it possible to analyse endless reams of data.   
  • Smarter self-service facilitated by AI will help organisations rethink operational processes and deliver immediate gratification to customers, whilst boosting frontline productivity.
  • Augmented reality will redefine product and service experiences and improve customer decision-making by making experiential environments possible.

“It’s high time organisations start to incorporate the human element of experiences into their research and analytics,” said Ms Katsabaris. 

“By recognising and categorising human emotions and drivers, organisations will be better able to respond to these appropriately, delivering a much higher quality experience.”

2. Tailoring insights for action

While many companies recognise the value of data, not all are proficient at turning data into actionable and useful insights. It’s essential for organisations to be strategic in how they collect information and tailor it to their separate audiences, and how they identify and act on improvement opportunities.

Trends in this area include:

  • Delivering role-specific insights to agile experience teams to enable the entire organisation to take action – impacting at all levels from individual customer and employee interactions to driving strategic cross-functional improvements.
  • Organisations will pay closer attention to how their leaders connect with employees by activating engagement skills and removing the things that get in the way of empowering employees to be successful. 
  • Employee experience programs will become more strategic in driving business outcomes and move from an annual look backward to a strategic tool in moving forward.

“To be successful, companies rely on engaged and motivated employees. This means they need to gather information effectively and analyse it appropriately to get maximum benefit,” said Ms Katsabaris.

3. Expanding predictive analytics

Customers and employees expect companies to recognise them as individuals, anticipate their needs, and proactively address their concerns. This requires predictive analytics that deliver meaningful insights. Trends include:

  • Customers want businesses to respect their time, offering experiences and content when customers want it, delivered proactively rather than reactively. This requires analytics that offers a deeper understanding of customer behaviours across different channels, touchpoints and experiences.
  • People analytics will be leveraged alongside data captured at every employee touchpoint to develop algorithmic selection systems, dynamic workforce planning models, and social networks informing organisational silos and influence between and within teams.

Vicky Katsabaris said, “Insights were commonly used to describe what happened in the past. This can be valuable but the most helpful insights are those that predict the best actions for the future, so it’s important to make these advanced analytics available to business users.” 

4. Authentically living brand values

Brand ideals are increasingly important to customers and employees, so for businesses to build trust and emotionally connect with customers and employees they need to live up to their values.

Some tools that will help achieve this include:

  • The merging of inclusivity and experience management will become important as brand look for ways to create enjoyable experiences for customers and employees with disabilities.
  • The maturing of journey mapping and design thinking principles in organisations will raise empathy for customers and employees in the design of experiences.
  • Fusing the concepts of ethics and brand experience will be become a focus. We expect to see less score chasing behaviours and less organisations paying for product reviews and ratings.

“Organisations must deeply understand their own core values so they can align priorities across the organisation. Translating customer promises into employee actions will become a basic requirement for organisations looking to improve XM in 2019,” Ms Katsabaris said.

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