Customer Experience Tools and Trends 2018

At a Glance
  • Among the 20 tools assessed in our global research, the top 3 in adoption are predictive analytics, sensors in products and operations, and personalized experience.
  • New tools with the lowest current adoption have high satisfaction rates: delivery drones, episode management and privacy management. Early adopters get excited about the benefits and possible competitive advantage.
  • The greatest benefits typically result from major efforts and investment in a handful of tools, not from limited efforts in a broad range.
  • Executives are most bullish about three trends: a substantial drop in cash transactions, automated in-store checkout and automatic shipping of products when customers run out.

DiDi Chuxing, the Chinese ride-sharing firm, has more than 450 million users and handles 25 million rides each day. The terabytes of data generated by all those transactions gives DiDi a huge information advantage. Matching the data it collects on every aspect of millions of rides with end-of-ride ratings from customers allows the company to create predictive models: What sorts of experiences typically produce promoters among its customers? Which ones produce detractors? As a result, DiDi doesn’t need to ask all its riders for Net Promoter® feedback; instead, its computer models generate a rating score for almost every ride. Those predictive scores match up very reliably—more than 80% and improving—with what customers say in traditional Net Promoter feedback.

This gives DiDi two advantages: First, it provides almost instantaneous modeled feedback to its drivers. Second, it instantly identifies situations where there’s some need for relationship or service recovery, triggering an intervention. If DiDi’s algorithms identify a pickup that went awry or a ride that took longer than it should have to reach the destination, the company can issue an apology or a credit before the customer even exits the vehicle. If things went especially well, then DiDi’s app can prompt the customer with ways to tell friends about the ride-sharing service’s benefits.

DiDi’s approach offers one glimpse of how predictive analytics can help figure out whether customers are promoters or detractors, and then close the loop and enable direct action. It’s also emblematic of the Asia-Pacific region’s current lead in adopting advanced tools to improve the customer experience.

The contours of this landscape emerge from Bain & Company’s first comprehensive analysis of customer experience tools and trends. We surveyed executives at more than 700 companies worldwide about 20 tools used to enhance the customer experience, in four categories: sensing, deciding, acting and managing (see Figure 1). We then asked executives about the likelihood of 25 different trends occurring by 2025 (see below, “Who is most optimistic about future customer experience trends?”). We also identified the leaders in financial performance, as measured by 10% or higher revenue growth over the past five years and high satisfaction with financial results, to see how their responses differed from the average and from the laggards.

Source:  Customer Experience Tools and Trends 2018

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