Forrester Scares Laggards with 2016 Predictions

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

2016 is shaping up to become the year of change for businesses everywhere, the year when customer satisfaction will determine if one company will thrive while its rivals will snowball into obscurity. According to Forrester, it all boils down to adaptability to changing times, and technology plays a crucial role in this.

Forrester’s Top 10 Critical Success Factors in 2016 make for a great read, but if you can’t spare the time, I’ve narrowed it down to three.

Listen up or buckle up!

CX is an abbreviation for “customer experience,” a term that describes how your customer feels when he / she interacts with you and your product. There’s no room for small thinking in CX as we go into 2016. Beef up on CX by offering contextual, personalized experiences. One way to get there is to buy software assets that turn customer data into action. Sticking with what you’ve got in-house may not spell imminent death, but the countdown has begun, Forrester warns.

“Divorce your legacy practices”

While customization is good when it touches the customer directly, what you want inside the company is a unification of your systems so that everything runs buttery smooth from an operations standpoint. Departmental leaders need to let go of their confined custom systems and adopt a unified portfolio of tools for communication and collaboration, analytics and reporting.

A solid culture means knowing what you want. In this day and age, this implies forgoing annual processes in favor of agile ones – SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, and other Cloud-centric investments – that are in sync with customer demands but also fend off disruptors. “Divorce your legacy practices,” writes Carrie Johnson, outlining Forrester’s 10 business commandments for next year. We solemnly agree with this directive.

Data isn’t just a tool, it’s a weapon

The more customers you have, the bigger the pile of data you’re sitting on. With the proper analytical tools, this data can be converted into hard actionable insight for efficient marketing experiences, as well as for adjustments to your product line. But don’t use data only to optimize your goals. Leverage it in a way that it will send shock waves across your playground, intimidating your competitors and securing your lion’s share. Big data is nothing without sifting through it with the proper algorithms to deliver “Yes” and “No” answers.

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