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10 Top Enterprise Trends for 2015
Service excellence is finally taking a starring role.
For the rest of the March 2015 issue of CRM magazine please click here
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Enterprise executives are finally acknowledging the importance of the customer experience.

Customer service has long been considered a drain on the bottom line for too many companies. Service excellence has not been understood or appreciated for its fundamental ability to help companies build and enhance customer relationships. Whether due to the increasing availability of technology that allows companies to deliver one-to-one, differentiated service or the fact that so many other efforts have failed to yield the expected results, executives are finally starting to make substantial investments in their service organizations. This is great news for consumers and enterprises, both of which will realize the benefits of these investments.

Top 10 Enterprise Trends 

DMG Consulting annually identifies the top trends and servicing goals for the upcoming year. In the past, service goals were typically disconnected and not aligned with the top objectives of enterprises. But this is finally changing. This is the year in which service excellence is being incorporated throughout enterprises' top trends and goals. Below are the top 10 enterprise trends for 2015. The role and contribution of customer service are clear in most of them.

1. Globalization. Whether it's a Fortune 100 firm or a "mom-and-pop" operation, a company must be able to deliver products and services cost effectively, on a virtual basis, anytime and anywhere. Geographic boundaries have been dissolved by the Internet. Asia is showing its power and potential, attracting worldwide attention. From a geopolitical perspective, safeguarding against the risk of terrorism and security breaches is driving investments at unprecedented levels.

2. Smart technology/staying connected/mobility. To be competitive, companies have to be always on and accessible 24x7x365. The Internet has had a profound impact, creating a mobile society in which everything is always available at our fingertips. In the United States, the cellular network is finally undergoing a conversion from Code-Division Multiple Access to Long-Term Evolution to provide for rich communications and media. Companies need to deliver value-based service and allow customers to interact with them in their channel of choice.

3. Big data. Companies are harnessing the power and value of the massive stores of data available from the Internet, contact centers, marketing, and other customer-facing sources. This customer-centric data is being viewed as an enterprise asset instead of as the exclusive domain of the marketing organization. The decreasing cost and increasing power of computing has made it possible for companies to cost-effectively and rapidly aggregate and analyze huge amounts of customer data to identify trends and opportunities that can benefit the entire organization. Contact centers are evolving into corporate assets. They are the beneficiaries of a new round of investments to help them transition to predictive analytics platforms that lay the foundation for the future of service.

4. The cloud. The availability of cloud-based systems has freed organizations from having to invest valuable and increasingly scarce resources in managing hardware and software, allowing them to concentrate on business uses of the technology instead. The cloud has also freed organizations from physical boundaries and reduced hardware and storage costs. Increasingly, it is becoming the preferred method for procuring technology and systems in public and private organizations of all sizes.

5. Millennials coming of age. This generation of technically savvy consumers and employees is making an impact on the market. Companies must adjust their management and customer practices to support the needs of this highly entitled and social demographic, which has a strong preference for digital interactions. It's well past time for organizations to build and deliver enriched and "smart" self-service applications.

6. Ease of doing business. Millennials' intolerance for having to deal with multiple disconnected touch points, unnecessary delays, and paperwork is forcing companies to rethink their products and services and redefine service excellence. Customers expect personalized and outstanding service and support in their channel of choice. While it is still important to keep costs low, companies that fail to meet the needs of their customers risk losing them to organizations willing to make the investment in disruptive service.

7. Security and regulatory compliance. Protecting company assets—people, data, and physical premises—has always been a necessity, but until recently did not require constant vigilance. Today, however, it is crucial for public and private institutions to increase their investments to protect their resources and their customers from fraudsters and others with nefarious intentions. Additionally, they must make substantial investments to adhere to a growing array of consumer protection guidelines introduced by government and other regulatory agencies. Examples of these requirements are the Payment Card Industry–Data Security Standard, which was introduced by the top credit card companies on a worldwide basis to mitigate losses; the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act in the 

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