Digital has changed and impacted the lives of many with the pandemic world increasingly reliant on online tools and technology. This year more organisations will be making an even more coherent and concerted effort to manage customer expectations, their habits and behaviour. But the gulf between what many organisations are delivering and what customers are expecting has also widened. 

The line of who owns customer experience will be expanded in 2022 to involve C-level executives, operations, marketing, customer service and technology teams. Setting a common set of goals across the organisation to form the basis of achieving a high definition customer experience (HD-CX) to address the complex customers’ needs will be at the top of board and C-suite agendas. 

Co-creating with customers 

More Australian organisations will start to realise that co-creating with customers will be the secret sauce to success in 2022. Strategic customers will be invited to the table and be given a significant role in co-creating solutions. 

Co-creation will transform customer experience as organisations and customers have an equal part in learning to ride the digital wave to create and capture value. As organisations start asking more questions, and at the same time, listening and embracing the feedback and views from customers, value-creation becomes more progressive. 

Customer alignment will lead organisations towards better ideation, problem-solving, performance improvement as well as product innovation. In addition, customers develop a brand preference and loyalty and become advocates for extending the brand’s reach. 

Digital acceleration will increase

The pandemic accelerated the adoption of digital technologies by organisations and consumers. In Australia, virtual conferences and meetings are now the norm while electronic and social commerce continue to rise. In a Gartner forecast from October 2021, IT spending in Australia was forecast to grow 6.5% to more than A$109B in 2022. 

As more companies seek to transform customer experience further, they have also become more aware of the increased capabilities of a CRM platform and what it can deliver. More companies will start to invest in automating customer-facing processes and tracking customer interactions to gain a rich view of the customer journey from marketing to sales and service.

Investments in CRM will accelerate digital transformation and enhance efforts to achieve HD-CX and help organisations to stay competitive. More effort will be geared towards making things easier for the team such as modernising the employee experience through revitalising the platforms they use to perform their work. Any organisations that are not digitally prepared risk being left behind. 

Tighter cross-functional collaboration

As more companies dip their toes and start receiving encouraging successes in cross-functional alignment to transform their business, we will see an uptake in sales, marketing and service collaboration and practices. 

Digitalisation has changed customer behaviour drastically and more attention is being paid to technology that will enhance customer service. There will also be a new dimension of what a fully aligned cross-functional collaboration can do to provide a complete view of customers and how the  organisation can leverage these insights. 

We can see the difference in resolution when we flick between the high and low definition versions of a movie. The same goes with customer experiences where the margin between success and failure can be incredibly thin.

When we use data to know our customers better, we can deliver highly refined, HD experiences for them. Instead of having a fuzzy picture, we can create a detailed view of what they want, from the time we first meet them, right through customer acquisition all the way to service and support. 

Through adopting techniques such as listening to customers, empowering digitalisation and tighter collaboration between functions, we can better understand our customers and their preferences and create a true HD-CX that delights and keeps them returning for more.

Jason du Preez is senior vice president for Asia Pacific at SugarCRM.