Four tips to make the best out of The Future of Customer Interaction
The importance of trend watching is obvious. Most organisations, especially those that operate in a changing market environment, do some sort of trend watching. Either a market researcher regularly produces a trend report or the management team sits back once a year to define relevant trends for the yearly renewed marketing plan. So, what is the added value of The Future of Customer Interaction?
The Future of Customer Interaction is built on four pillars that all together create a clear distinction with trend watching. With a clear understanding and follow through these pillars, you will optimally benefit from your participation.
- Look for the non-obvious
There is a natural tendency to focus on trends that presumably are going to impact your business. They can be positive for your future activities, or negative, but they are related to the future business you expect. Problems arise when trends don’t show yet but eventually will, especially if they happen to have great impact. Therefore, make sure you take a broad look; much broader than you intuitively might think is relevant.
- Go well-prepared
A well-prepared process is necessary. Just sitting and discussing future trends could result in a list of ‘possibilities’. The added value is in translating the thinking process into business actions. So, be prepared to build a clear view on the future that you are going to act upon.
- Invite business partners in the process
Disruptive developments are characterised by the way they shake up the business chain. The partners you do business with today (both clients and suppliers) might not be the partners for your future. Therefore, they are most interested in the outcome of the process you started. So, let them join in the process. It may feel a bit itchy at first, but it will pay out tremendously as the add up of knowledge with the participating partners in the chain will rise exponentially.
- Involve top-management
Involve your top-management from the very start. This way, those that ultimately decide over proposed actions get fully committed to the process. This is important as the lines of reasoning go well beyond the obvious incremental steps. What you don’t want is the created clear view of the future is not supported by the ones that have to decide over the serious implications as it goes beyond their imagination, simply since they weren’t at the creation.
To put it all in one sentence: the best way to predict the future is to create it.