Looking ahead into the future can be difficult in our ever-changing business environment. But the future is not that far away, with the year 2020 being just around the corner.

In order to get a gauge on what to expect just think of all the changes taking place right now, among B-to-B companies. Customers know more, and they expect more. Fast forward three years, and there’s little doubt the bar will be set even higher and new priorities will have emerged.

So, who wins in the year 2020?

Arguably, it’s the most forward-thinking companies – those that consciously and deliberately work at anticipating the future needs of their customers and devise strategies to deliver. Those that win in 2020 are the ones who begin preparing today.

Customers will dictate the experience

Customer expectations in the future are the outcome of movements that have been underway for decades. Changes such as the explosion of digital, the empowered customer, and the acceleration of innovation are having a profound impact on customer expectations.

The customer of 2020 will be more informed and in charge of the experience they receive. They will expect companies to know their individual needs and personalise the experience. Immediate resolution will not be fast enough!

No room for strangers

Customers will expect companies to know their business intimately and personalise the experience. They will expect companies to be more proactive, anticipating their current and future needs.

Customers will want to interact on their own terms. They will insist on determining the experience they want and will expect companies to enable that experience through various channels, including mobile, social, and personal interactions.

What is required to meet the expectation?

Customers will appreciate futuristic thinking, new knowledge, and insightful solutions. To satisfy customer needs companies will seek to:

  • Leverage big data to be proactive and offer new insight – “Tell me something I don’t already know.”
  • Use the knowledge from sophisticated, early adopters to guide others through the lifecycle.
  • Leverage predictive analytics in more creative and specific ways.
  • Design and implement decision support systems that are based on customer intelligence, analytics, and subject matter expertise.

Getting feedback is essential

Customers have more loyalty towards a company if their opinion is asked, but you need to know the right way of going about this – old fashioned emailed surveys are boring. Gather immediate ‘in the moment’ feedback, make it humorous and keep your customers!

It costs 5-7 times to find a new customer than to retain one, so don’t you think it’s time to find ways of being smarter and saving costs in the long run?

The future is around the corner and only the prepared will survive, let alone prosper. Take control of your company’s customer experience already now and plan ahead for the ‘brave new world’ by adopting the latest customer retention practices.

If you are not sure how to get started with this, or how it all applies to your own business, please make contact with us and we will gladly share some further insights with you.