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Put customer experience at the heart of what you do, or face extinction. Customer loyalty isn’t earned in a day, it’s earned day-by-day, and with an overwhelming amount of choice at their disposal customers will look to your competition as fast as you can say “please raise a helpdesk ticket”. In 2019, customers will start to rival boards in terms of operational influence.
A return to old fashioned values of respect, personal service and value will (ironically) be driven by social media. On social you can’t hide from an audience of millions, so any dirty laundry - bureaucracy, complexity or poor customer service - will be shared and become a barrier to winning business.
2019 will see businesses of all types demanding technology that not only achieves an operational goal, but helps people collaborate, is fun to use and provides the right information so they can better perform their role. The expectations of what software looks like and how it works to empower users are higher than ever. Software must meet these expectations
2018 saw the EU’s GDPR come into force, which has driven New Zealand and Australia to enforce stronger personal data privacy protections and mandatory data breach reporting. Despite this, most businesses are not taking privacy or security seriously. No one believes their data is safe online anymore. 2019 will see the relevant agencies test their powers and drive the message that data privacy must be taken seriously.
Business is going to align their internal development processes closer to Agile development methodologies like DevOps. This cultural change, combined with public cloud, allows rapid prototype ideas to reach critical mass without huge investments in hardware, licensing or software. Public cloud continues to evolve, and business will prototype more, innovate more and disrupt more when they can move faster.
AI and Machine Learning will replace repetitive tasks and workloads, challenge current processes and, ultimately, drive higher demand for human interaction. Companies who want to differentiate themselves will evolve their customer engagement and service strategies to include personalised ‘concierge’ type services, because customers will want to interact with people for complex issues that are not handled by online self-service tools and processes.
Despite some well publicised hiccups, Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant, Cortana (and others) will allow customers to do more and more as voice identification and security improve. Just as mobile devices now dominate web browsing, voice will soon dominate customer transactions as the need for a keyboard disappears.
EQ, common sense, ‘can-do’ attitude, flexibility and empathy will become the most sought-after skills for staff. The Internet, peers and YouTube can teach most skills, and machines can do the rest.
We see plenty of disruption on the horizon in these areas for every business, from competitors, legal and regulatory frameworks, and the internal demands of a changing workforce dynamic. As a partner with the strategic savvy and technical expertise to meet these challenges, Fusion5 can help shape predictions into reality.
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