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Expert Consumer Research from Covance Food Solutions

Customer Experience Predictions for 2018

Look back at the trends driving customer-centricity in 2017 and predictions for what 2018 will hold.

What are the biggest trends, disruptors and changes that will impact CX in the 12 months ahead?

CX Network have launched their annual customer experience predictions report, based on industry research and in-depth conversations with senior practitioners to be able to give you a strong list of contenders.

Taking these predictions into consideration when planning your strategy for 2018 will provide you with a strong foundation for a successful year. And it will help you to stay on top of the trends and challenges making waves in CX.

But first things first, let’s look back at last year. CX Network’s 2017 predictions included:

  • CX needs to come from the top
  • Customers want an emotional connection
  • Everything is video
  • Omni-channel trumps multi-channel
  • The age of mobile matures
  • The next level of data science
  • Artificial intelligence will take over

And they were pretty spot on. To achieve true customer-centricity as a driver of an excellent CX, you first need C-level buy-in. Without senior management backing, you can have all the plans in the world but you don’t have a stable foundation for success.

This was traditionally one of the biggest challenges for organisations, but this year’s The Global State of Customer Experience report shows that gaining C-level buy-in has dropped significantly down the list of challenges, no longer even making the top five.

With a solid CX becoming more of a norm for organisations, customer demands have ramped up and one of these is the need for an emotional connection. Using emotion in the right way can make a customer/brand relationship more personalised and memorable, providing a platform for long term retention.

One prediction that has progressed less than anticipated is omni-channel. We are hearing more and more chatter about this next level of channel integration, bur organisations are still not quite where they want – and should – be with this. So this is a trend CX Network predicts will continue into the new few years before it fully matures.

However, the tech heavy predictions from last year all came to pass. Video did indeed become a far more prominent part of content marketing. If you don’t yet create short-form video content for your audience you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to connect with them.

Mobile has become the most powerful source to engage with customers wherever they are. After all, you are with your customers at all times, travelling in their pocket from home to work and even to the shops. With mobile-first companies such as Uber and Snapchat becoming the norm, any business not focusing their CX efforts on mobile is at serious risk of becoming the next Kodak or Blockbuster.

Data science and artificial intelligence (AI), finally, go hand-in-hand and have seen huge changes in the past year. Though in some cases this was more talk than action, there have certainly been some very interesting cases of AI shaping a new era, from Nordea hiring a virtual colleague to Coca-Cola launching AI-powered vending machines for a smarter CX.

But what is next for AI and what else will impact customer experience significantly in 2018?

>> Download CX Network’s Customer Experience Predictions for 2018 report to find out!

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