David Truog, VP, Research Director

Show Notes:

Against tremendous odds, customer experience (CX) organizations did better in 2020 than in 2019 — 27% of US companies in Forrester’s CX Index™ achieved a significantly better score year-over-year. This was mostly thanks to concerted efforts to improve core CX competencies, explains Vice President and Research Director David Truog.

That’s good news, as CX excellence will be sorely needed in 2021. Pandemic conditions will continue to fluctuate on a local level, affecting consumer sentiment and requiring fast and accurate responses from brands.

Even once the pandemic is over, consumer concerns about health, safety, and contagion will remain. Truog urges CX teams to focus on experience research and design. As in-person experiences slowly roll out again, they must be rethought with unwavering commitment to consumers’ concerns.

A whole-journey approach is critical. If one part of the journey fails the consumer safety test, trust is lost. One major retailer learned this when it quickly revamped its mobile shopping app to accommodate curbside pickup . . . but still required consumers to touch PIN pads to pay for their transactions, negating the benefits of contactless shopping.

As a result of this changed world, many CX organizations will invest in so-called “Zero UI” — moving away from screens and keyboards and toward touchless options like voice and proximity. Many brands will find that a Zero UI vision is more difficult to carry out than anticipated. And they must be careful not to backslide on digital accessibility; for example, not everyone is able to speak.

2021 will be an exciting and inventive year for CX organizations. Listen to the episode to get a full picture of what we predict for customer experience in 2021.