Evolving Customer Emphasizes Role of Technology for Companies

January 9, 2013

The days of simple company-customer interaction appear to be over. In addition to in-store shopping and over-the-phone service, people are increasingly expecting that the internet and mobile devices can fulfill all their shopping needs.

With the emergence of the 24/7 consumer, the notion of quality customer service is rapidly evolving.

"We expect 2013 to be a very active year for customer experience," said Bruce Temkin, customer experience transformist and managing partner of Temkin Group. "Many companies are evolving past the early stages of customer experience maturity and are beginning to drive organizational transformation. That's great news for their customers and for the bottom lines on those companies."

Innovative technology becoming requirement
Temkin Group recently released its predictions with regard to customer experience trends in 2013, many of which are related to innovative technologies. By and large, the rise of cloud computing, and technologies that are based in the cloud, has played a significant role.

For example, the cloud has helped make the internet, and all its capabilities, available to customers on the go. As a result, purchases of laptops, tablets and smartphones and mobile application downloads continue to explode.

According to a recent study by Flurry, Christmas Day set a record for the amount of iPhones, iPads, Galaxys and Kindles, among other smart devices, that were activated in a single day, at 17.4 million. By comparison, Christmas 2011 saw fewer than 7 million device activations. In addition, 328 million iOS and Android apps were downloaded on December 25, also a record.

Social media is also expected to continue its rise in the enterprise, as companies take advantage of these websites for functions like customer service and marketing.

All about big data
If cloud computing, social networking sites and mobile solutions have anything in common, it's the fact that they produce enormous amounts of data. With much of this information being potentially valuable, Temkin Group projected that big data predictive analytics will explode in 2013.

A separate report by Gartner yielded a similar prediction, finding that big data analytics will drive $34 million in IT investment in 2013. Nearly half of that spending is expected to go toward social network analysis and content analytics. Mark Beyer, research vice president at Gartner, suggested that big data will "become 'just data' by 2020," as the vast majority of organizations will have invested in the technology by then.