Seven Things Your Customers Will Demand in 2016

Posted Monday, January 4, 2016 in Customer Experience by Patricia Seybold

Here are the "must haves" for the customer experience you need to be able to deliver to your customers in 2016. If you aren't doing all of these things really well this year, you're guaranteed to lose customers and marketshare to those who do.

  1. Give me Access. Both business and consumer customers want access to ALL their, and your, information from any device. They also want access to an empowered "concierge" who knows them and/or has easy access to all their information and knows how to get things done quickly and easily.
  2. Let me Update & Annotate. Today's customers expect you to let them add to, update, and annotate their/your information. For example, to add records you don’t have; to aggregate information by adding links to other external systems of record; to delete, reject, amend, or at least annotate, inaccurate information. They need the ability to customize their information for their context and environment by making it organization-specific or project-, event-, or context-specific.
  3. Give me Control. Your customers need control over who has access to which parts of their information. They need easy ways to change who can access what, and easy ways to share their information with the partners they choose.
  4. Provide Results & Perform Magic. Customers expect your help in achieving their goals: help them get things done more easily or do something they’ve never been able to do before (this is your secret sauce). The easier you make it for customers to transform how they do things or to do something they never were able to do before, the more loyal they'll be.
  5. Manage My Stuff. Most customers appreciate your help in managing their “stuff” – their projects, their cars, their money, their health, their equipment, their skills -- the things they're trying to accomplish that relate to your products and services. Some may prefer to export their/your information to management tools they already have and use. You need to make that easy for them to do.
  6. Remind Me. Today's customers expect you to provide customizable notifications that are actionable. They want you to notify them about exceptions and to remind them of  things that need to be done. They expect to be able to act on such a reminder, e.g., to schedule, accept, or modify a suggested action, appointment, or transaction.
  7. Let me Customize Your Offerings. Customers now expect to be able to configure, customize, add to, and extend your products and services. They also want to be able to share those customizations and extensions with others.

How well is your organization doing on these customer "must haves"? Where do you fall short? Ask yourself and your colleagues: What assumptions are we making about our business model or about our customers' behavior or context that leads us to believe any of these aren't important?


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