Are The 2018 CX Predictions Already Becoming A Reality?

Who would believe that one third of 2018 is already behind us? It seems only a moment ago that the New Year fireworks were exploding and industry analysts were all publishing their lists of what trends to look out for in 2018. I recently took a look back at some of the predictions for 2018 just to see if the experts were on track. In know we are just four months into the year, but the summer months are traditionally quiet anyway and I usually only ever look back at these predictions when the next set are published so this was an interesting exercise.

Out of the dozens of lists focused on the customer experience (CX) I focused on two that appear to have more insight than the others and where I can see from my own experience that the predictions are really taking place already in 2018. They were by the CX expert Shep Hyken in Forbes magazine and a joint article on the Dimension Data blog by Joe Manuele and Rob Allman – both CX executives in that organisation.

There are five key trends that I believe are worth focusing on more closely in the 8 months left of 2018:

  1. Self service; customers really are turning to Google before asking a customer service team for help so do you need a publishing strategy – video or other materials that will be returned in search – or a way to help customers connect to customers?
  2. AI will not replace humans; AI at present is a supportive technology that is helping agents to find the right answers faster and more accurately. In the near future we will not see the end of the contact centre as we know it because of AI – it will just help agents to perform better.
  3. Retail changes; in-store retail is still about 90% of the market so online retailers are exploring how to open stores and traditional retailers are all exploring how to use apps and online services. The winners will be those who offer both a great in-store and online experience.
  4. Proactive customer service; the Internet of Things (IoT) describes an environment where most electronic devices are now connected to the Internet – even your car. An entirely new automated customer service channel is being created by these devices monitoring their performance, correcting, and updating themselves.
  5. Voice-operated home systems; the Amazon Alexa and Google Home systems are already in over 50m American homes. Brands need to consider a bot and RPA strategy that allows them to directly interact with these voice requests from customers. For instance if I ask Alexa to find me a hotel room in London tomorrow night then which brands will be offered as options and how?

I have seen progress in all these areas since the New Year and I fully expect these to be five of the key areas in CX that executives need to be watching. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment here or get in touch via my LinkedIn profile.

Photo by Poppy licensed under Creative Commons.