Gartner predicts organisations will continue to transform their traditional voice and email based customer service contact centres to multi-channel customer engagement centres.
Olive Huang, research director at the analyst firm, said the focus will be on a real-time single view of the customer journey through social, mobile, voice and email channels.
"The ability to capture and analyse a cross-channel view of the voice of the customer is a key requirement for optimising the customer experience," he said. To better support customers, Huang expects a growing number of organisations in A/NZ to implement personalised, real-time, and contextual decision support.
At the same time, Gartner also estimates 90 per cent of large multi-channel retailers' direct-to-consumer personalisation strategies through to the end of 2016 to fail to achieve targeted results.
"The challenge sits with the magnitude of data has increased significantly as a result of technology and customers increasingly interact with organisations across channels," Huang said.
Focus on real-time intelligence
Contextual advice and support delivered through analytics systems across all channels is pegged to be the key differentiator during customer engagements next year.
Best-of-breed software providers will likely be a key part of this journey, as they aim for "real-time delivery of business intelligence to the point of customer engagement."
A shortage of data modelling and data analysis expertise is likely to occur in the A/NZ market as a result. Huang said CRM vendors will also step up investment in Cloud-based CRM solutions in the A/NZ market this year.
"We will hear of at least one additional large CRM vendor establish local hosting of the Cloud CRM software in Australia, either by themselves or by their partners," he said.
"They do so to improve the reliability and performance of software, also to target the most conservative group of potential customers who are not willing to host their data abroad."
Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.