Tag Archives: predictions

Five Keys to Better Future Prediction

Five Keys to Better Future Prediction

GUEST POST from Art Inteligencia

With the dawn of 2023 our minds naturally gravitate towards wondering what the future holds and possibly even trying to predict the future.

But, predicting the future is an incredibly difficult task. It requires a combination of skills to make accurate predictions, including the ability to analyze trends, identify patterns, and think strategically. In this article, we’ll discuss the five key skills needed to accurately predict the future.

1. Trend Analysis: To make accurate predictions, you’ll need to be able to analyze trends and identify patterns. Knowing which trends are likely to continue, and which may be waning, is essential in predicting the future. Paying attention to changes in the market, technology, and other areas can help you identify patterns that could be important in predicting the future.

2. Strategic Thinking: Strategic thinking is an important skill for predicting the future. Being able to anticipate the consequences of certain events and decisions can be invaluable in predicting the future. Strategic thinkers are able to see how changes can affect the long-term, and can make informed decisions based on their analysis.

3. Data Analysis: Being able to analyze data is also essential for predicting the future. Data analysis allows you to identify patterns, trends, and correlations that provide insight into how the future could unfold. Knowing how to interpret data is key for making accurate predictions about the future.

4. Forecasting: Forecasting involves predicting future events and trends based on past data. This requires the ability to identify patterns and trends and use them to predict the future. Being able to accurately forecast future events and trends is essential for making predictions about the future.

5. Problem-Solving: Being able to solve problems is also essential for predicting the future. In order to make accurate predictions, you’ll need to be able to identify potential problems and develop solutions. This requires the ability to think critically and creatively.

Overall, predicting the future requires a combination of skills. Being able to analyze trends, identify patterns, think strategically, interpret data, forecast, and solve problems are all essential skills for making accurate predictions about the future. With practice and dedication, anyone can develop these skills and become better at predicting the future.

Bottom line: Futurology is not fortune telling. Futurists use a scientific approach to create their deliverables, but a methodology and tools like those in FutureHacking™ can empower anyone to engage in futurology themselves.

Image credit: Pixabay

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Ten CX and Customer Service Predictions for 2023 – Part Two

Ten CX and Customer Service for 2023 – Part Two

GUEST POST from Shep Hyken

Last week I shared the first five of ten business predictions and trends for 2023. Here the remaining five (plus a bonus). As you look at these predictions, think about how they might impact your company. For example, if self-service customer service options are more popular than ever (No. 7), is your company or brand offering them to your customers?

6. Customer Support on the Phone Is Not Dead

Even with all the self-service solutions becoming more popular, the phone will continue to reign as the most popular way for customers to connect with customer support. Our customer service research (sponsored by Amazon AWS) confirms this as 87% of Baby Boomers (who make up just over 21% of the population of the U.S.) prefer the phone to any other channel, keeping traditional phone support as the No. 1 way customers choose to get their questions answered and their complaints resolved.

7. Self-Service Is More Popular than Ever

Even though the phone continues to be the most popular channel for customers to have their questions and complaints addressed, self-service options are becoming more and more appealing. Just as Boomers drive the phone, the younger generations—Gen-Z and Millennials—are proving that an investment in self-service channels, such as a robust knowledgebase on a website, video tutorials, chatbots and more, is an up-and-coming trend.

8. More Companies and Brands Will Stand for Something Important

Here’s more vital research to consider. Forty-five percent of your customers value a company that supports a social cause that’s important to them, and only 20% feel that a cause is not important enough to sway their buying decision. It’s especially true for Gen-Z and Millennials. Causes can range from climate change to sustainability, local community and charity events, and good old-fashioned values. You’ll start seeing more companies and brands participating in causes that are important to them and their customers. Our customer experience research found that customers are drawn to companies that “give back.”

9. Customers Want to Do Business with Companies and Brands They Can Trust

The old expression says it all. Customers want to do business with people and companies they know, like and trust. The knowing and liking are easy. Trust is harder. It’s an emotional connection between the customer and the company. Customers must know something will absolutely happen, that their experience will always be great and that the company has their best interests in mind. Eighty-one percent of more than 1,000 consumers we surveyed said a great customer experience increases trust. Start with the experience. Work to create an experience that instills confidence and will positively impact your bottom line.

10. The Customer Support Department Becomes the Revenue Generation Department

There have been numerous discussions and debates over the years about the investment into a customer support system. For many years, the department and processes that handle customers’ questions and complaints were seen as a cost. As the importance of customer service continues to grow, leaders are recognizing the revenue generated from the front line that handles customers’ problems and issues. I’ve gone as far as suggesting to clients that they stop referring to this group as the customer support department, but instead call it the revenue generation department. If it is the job of sales and marketing to bring in customers, it is the job of the people who have direct contact with the customer, especially after the sale, to maintain and nurture them for future business. A problem handled well gives the customer confidence to want to come back. When they do, they spend more. Eventually, they may even become loyal. As companies realize this, they will start investing more into the department and process traditionally known as customer support.

BONUS: Robots Will Not Replace People

In our research, we asked more than 1,000 consumers if they thought in the next ten years, robots would start to replace humans in customer service roles. Sixty-four percent said yes. Here’s my prediction. Robots won’t replace humans—at least not 100%. We are already seeing chatbots, voice recognition software, AI-infused conversations (with the computer) and other digital technologies becoming more capable, and therefore more popular. However, they won’t replace customer support agents and frontline employees. What they will do is make their jobs easier. Currently, AI and digital support are really good for basic questions and simple problems. While they will improve, we’ll still need human-to-human interactions when necessary. Certain businesses will excel in the adoption of high-end robotic and AI-infused technologies, but we’re a long way away from computers and robots replacing people. A few years ago I came up with a quote that still holds true today, and I believe will hold true ten years from now: The greatest technology in the world hasn’t replaced the ultimate relationship building tool between a customer and a business: the human touch.

If I had to sum up my predictions for the future of customer service and CX, I might use another old saying: The more things change, the more they stay the same. Yes, you need to provide your customers with modern convenience and technology that they have come to expect and rely on, but the basics are basics for a reason. Customers will always want to be treated well, be treated like individuals, and feel a real human connection.

This article originally appeared on Forbes

Image Credit: Shep Hyken

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Ten CX and Customer Service Predictions for 2023 – Part One

Ten CX and Customer Service for 2023 - Part One

GUEST POST from Shep Hyken

We are in a strange time. For the past two and a half years, we have experienced one hurdle after another. It started with the pandemic, moved into supply-chain problems that merged with employment issues, and to top it all off, we’re experiencing a rough economy. While the difficulties hit some industries harder than others, every company or brand has had to show a level of nimbleness and flexibility to stay ahead, if not just stay in business. Some companies figured it out, and some are still finding their way. Regardless, the following predictions could give you some food for thought in how to navigate the next year and beyond.

1. Customers Will Be Smarter and More Demanding Than Ever

Each year, I start the list with a similar prediction. It seems that our customers are smarter than ever when it comes to customer service and experience. They are getting the type of experience they want from certain companies and brands, and then they expect it from just about anyone they do business with. All of our customers, regardless of our type of business (B2B, B2C, B2B2C) are consumers. Certain B2C rockstar brands are teaching our customers what good service is like, and it’s become the expectation (and hope) of every customer that they will get a similar experience from any type of business.

2. Companies Will Focus as Much – Maybe More – on Employees Than They Do on Customers

What has been termed The Great Resignation wasn’t so much about employees quitting work to retire. They were quitting to move to better jobs. Companies that haven’t been employee-focused have struggled to keep some of their best people. Just as you work to attract and keep your best customers, you want to do the same with your employees. The cost of turnover, hiring and training can be far greater than an increase in salary and benefits. And don’t forget the appreciation factor. Just as you appreciate your customers, you should appreciate your employees. And a powerful byproduct of this effort is the customer experience. What’s happening on the inside of a company is felt on the outside by the customer.

3. Customers’ Expectations of the ‘Basics’ Continue to Rise

The basics of a good customer experience are really simple. Customers want employees who are kind and helpful. They want to easily reach the right customer support person. They expect employees to be knowledgeable about the company’s products and services. They want faster customer support responses from email, messages or text. Yes, these are the basics and they seem so simple, but that doesn’t mean they are easy to execute consistently. Our customer service research (sponsored by Amazon) found that year over year, customers’ expectations of these basics increased. The research also found that 49% of customers had more bad customer service experiences in the past year compared to the year before. Going back to Prediction No. 1, it’s the rockstar companies and brands that are setting the right example and raising the bar—and thereby raising customers’ expectations. The message is clear. Focus on the basics. They are the foundation of your customer service and CX strategies.

4. Personalization Gets More Personal

Up until recently, personalization had been used just to segment customers into several personas. Today, customers are experiencing hyper-personalization, treating them as individuals versus part of a larger group in a company’s database. Perhaps a better term for personalization would be individualization. In our customer service research, 74% of customers we surveyed said a personalized experience is important. A personal or individualized experience will endear the customer to the company, creating a greater chance of repeat business and even customer loyalty.

5. Some Companies Will Make the Mistake of Cutting Expenses in the Wrong Place

As many companies experience the pressures of the economy (and supply chain delays and employee issues), they will begin to make changes. Customers are spending less, and costs are going up. That’s not a good formula but it’s what we are forced to work with, and the result is companies being more careful about how they spend money. As this applies to customer experience, companies will be looking for places to cut costs and save money. The big mistake is if they cut in the areas of customer service and experience, leaving them vulnerable to competition and taking away their market share. Unfortunately, if history repeats itself, and I predict it will, many companies and brands will make this mistake. Hopefully, your company isn’t one of them. One of the worst places to cut is anywhere the customer will notice.

Well, that’s the first five of my ten predictions for 2023. Come back for the remaining five predictions next week.

This article originally appeared on Forbes

Image Credit: Pixabay

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What a Futuristic Society Might Look Like

Our Future World According to OpenAI

What a Futuristic Society Might Look Like

GUEST POST from Art Inteligencia

The idea of a futuristic society is something that has been imagined by many for centuries. It is a place where advanced technologies are commonplace, and people are living their lives in an enhanced and more efficient way.

In a futuristic society, robots and automation would be prevalent. We would see robots performing everyday tasks such as cleaning, cooking, and even taking care of children. Automation would be utilized in almost all facets of life, from transportation to manufacturing. This would allow people to have more leisure time, as well as allowing them to pursue more creative endeavors.

The world of the future would be heavily reliant on renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power. This would reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, which would lead to a cleaner and healthier environment. This would also reduce our carbon footprint and help to slow down the effects of climate change.

The idea of a connected world is also something that would be heavily featured in a futuristic society. This would be enabled by the internet of things (IoT), which would connect all of our devices and allow us to access information from anywhere. This could enable us to use our devices in a smarter way.

In a futuristic society, people would be living healthier and longer lives. This would be enabled by advances in medical technology and treatments, as well as changes to our diets and lifestyle. We would see a dramatic reduction in diseases and conditions such as cancer and heart disease.

The world of the future would also be a place of great technological advancement. We would see the advent of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality. These would allow us to do things that were previously thought impossible, such as exploring other planets and curing diseases.

In summary, a futuristic society would be a place of great technological advancement and efficiency. It would be a place where people are living longer and healthier lives, and are able to pursue their dreams. It would be a world of automation, renewable energy, and connectedness.

Bottom line: Futurology and prescience are not fortune telling. Futurists use a scientific approach to create their deliverables, but a methodology and tools like those in FutureHacking™ can empower anyone to engage in futurology themselves.

Image credit: Pixabay

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