Customer experience trends for 2021: Three key insights

Customer experience trends for 2021: Three key insights

Organisations need to bring together tech, data, CRM and analytics capabilities combined with digital transformation to boost success in 2021, according to new research looking into customer experience trends.

Customer experience management firm Merkle has unveiled its 2021 Customer Experience Imperatives, a guide to businesses navigating data and digital transformation to meet rapidly evolving customer needs and expectations.

For the past ten years, Merkle’s annual Imperatives have helped steer businesses through the changing digital marketing landscape. The tumultuous year of 2020 has given the 2021 Customer Experience Imperatives a sharp focus on the strategies organisations need to adopt in 2021 to be competitive.

Margaret Wagner, president, Merkle EMEA, said: “Digital transformation, fuelled by the data that drives the connection with customers, is critical to delivering the personal experience that consumers now expect, and this has rapidly accelerated with the impact of Covid.

“This year’s CX Imperatives break down the steps needed to deliver against the winning formula that combines data transformation and digital transformation and, importantly, the organisational change required to set them up for that success.”

The Customer Experience Imperatives offer insights into what outputs and metrics matter most as organisations continue to build their capabilities and data platforms. Three essential areas are outlined to help marketers maximise return on their transformation initiatives.

1. Data Transformation – A data-transformed organisation is prepared to maximise the value of first-, second-, and third-party data, and has connected the data to every experience, across marketing, sales, commerce, and service, through a private identity graph. Data transformation is ultimately what will create the fuel that drives connection with customers.

2. Digital Transformation – Digital transformation is the ability to extend an organisation’s perspective and reach related to what needs to transform in the business. The key component tying digital transformation and data transformation together is identity – and the ability to use technology to deliver personal experiences.

3. The Adaptive Organisation – The value of digital and data transformation is non-existent without giving equal consideration to organisational and operational innovation. Three key areas of strategy marketers need to embrace include defining the customer enterprise, measuring what matters, and building operational adaptiveness.

Richard Lees, chief strategy officer, Merkle EMEA, said: “Customer experience transformation raced up the agenda last year as businesses positioned themselves for stability and ultimately growth. This requires organisations to bring together tech, data, CRM and analytics capabilities combined with digital transformation capabilities and deliver organisational and operational innovation. Our 2021 Imperatives provide a fantastic guide for companies navigating the complex data and technology decisions required to meet the ever-evolving needs and expectations of their customers.”

The 2021 Customer Experience Imperatives are available in a complimentary, downloadable book. Visit here to download.