Customer Experience Trends to Look for in 2017

customer-experience-trends-2017-image

aberdeen-customer-experience-banner-160x600Customer experience (CX) refers to the interactions between a customer and an organization that occur for the duration of the business relationship. In recent years, customer experience has grown in value to supersede product quality, value, and customer service. Companies that deliver superior customer experience beat the competition by retaining customers, growing their bottom line, and reaping the benefits of satisfied customers sharing positive experiences on social media.

As customer experience continues to grow in importance, organizations look for ways to win the CX battle. The challenge is that there are so many things tied to customer experience – technology, social networks, chatbots, artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), personalization, Big Data, and emotions, just to name a few – that CEOs, CIOs, CMOs, and other leaders feel like they are being pulled in too many directions to deliver top-notch customer experiences. That’s why organizations look to trends and try to develop ways to deliver the best experience possible to their customers. To make the process a little easier, we have rounded up 50 of the top customer experience trends to look for in 2017. Our trends come from leading CX experts and authorities and are listed here in no particular order.

  1. Continuing Expansion of IoT
    @Forbes
    @BlakeMichelleM

Customer experience author, speaker, podcast host, and Forbes columnist, Blake Morgan lists an increase in IoT as one of her top five customer experience predictions for 2017. As Morgan puts it, “IoT will completely change the game for companies – all of our products and devices will soon be connected, and this is good and bad.”

Three key points we like from Five Trends Shaping the Future of Customer Experience in 2017:

  • IoT is good because companies will have access to even more data to personalize customer experience
  • Customers’ lives will be made easier through improved user experiences
  • IoT devices must be made more secure
  1. Chatbots Provide New Opportunities for Self-Service
    @TCFCR
    @RichardRShapiro

In his article for The Center for Client Retention (TCFCR), founder and president Richard R. Shapiro offers starting points for converting prospects into customers and fostering customer loyalty via customer experience. As Shapiro points out, customers are impatient and expect answers without a wait, and organizations are turning to chatbots to deliver communications and customize the user experience to address the issue.

Three key points we like from 2017 Customer Experience Trends:

  • Chatbots deliver a direct, easy channel for communicating with a brand
  • Chatbots make logical guesses about customer desires based on their previous actions
  • Chatbots address customer questions and requests at a reduced cost per contact
  1. Voice Search
    @ClickZ

ClickZ shares exclusive news, analysis, and expertise with the digital marketing community. Their article, Five Trends to Improve Customer Experience in 2017, shares suggestions for meeting customer’s needs and delighting them with the best experience possible. As writer Tereza Litsa points out, voice search is one method that is gaining ground and presents an opportunity for improving CX.

Three key points we like from Five Trends to Improve Customer Experience in 2017:

  • Digital assistants are on the rise and grew significantly in 2016, with Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant
  • 60% of smartphone users who use voice search started using it in the past year
  • People use voice search to access results when their vision or hands are occupied and when they want to find results more quickly
  1. Quantifying CX Initiatives
    @Customer_Event

Next Gen Customer Experience (NGCX) joins senior level customer experiences executives from all industries to discuss the latest CX strategies across all channels and touch points. Their team released The Director’s Report: Next Generation Customer Experience 2017 to share four months of qualitative and quantitative research with top CX practitioners across industries. The report highlights quantifying CX initiatives as one trend organizations should not miss in 2017.

Three key points we like from The Director’s Report: Next Generation Customer Experience 2017:

  • Continued investment in CX will need to show monetary returns
  • CX professionals continue to find a metric that shows the long-term monetary value of customer satisfaction
  • Net Promoter Score and Customer Effort Score are not enough to show a tangible reward for CX

 

  1. Brands Learn to Be Conversational
    @HuffingtonPost
    @donnanpeeples

Donna Peeples, chief customer officer of Pypstream, works to strengthen brands’ relationships with customers via the company’s secure mobile messaging platform. In her customer experience article for The Huffington Post, Peeples explains that 2017 will be a transformative year especially in terms of the business-customer relationship and points to brands learning what it means to be conversational as a key CX trend.

Three key points we like from 5 Key Customer Experience Trends for 2017:

  • Chatbots are not a fad
  • Computers must listen, learn, interpret, and anticipate the customer’s demands and deliver a desired outcome
  • Investment in AI will triple in 2017, according to Forrester
  1. Mobile First Strategy
    @btemkin

Bruce Temkin is a customer experience visionary, speaker, advisor, and researcher who co-founded the Customer Experience Professionals Association. In his Customer Experience Matters article, Temkin explains 2017 will be the year of purpose, as companies will be elevating purpose and customers will be looking for purpose and meaning in their lives. He expects mobile will become even more dominant as companies and brands look to interact with one another and pursue their purpose using remote digital devices.

Three key points we like from 2017 Customer Experience Trends, “The Year of Purpose”:

  • Mobile continues to become the dominant interaction channel
  • People can access mobile channels through a variety of devices including those fitting the IoT category
  • Companies will shift their strategy to become mobile first and design customer offerings based on the understanding that a remote digital device will be the primary interface for interaction
  1. Rise of Virtual Assistants
    @Fonolo

Fonolo is the leading provider of cloud-based call-back solutions for the call center. The company’s innovative solutions help contact centers reduce abandon rates, manage call volume spikes, and improve the customer experience, regardless of the call center platform they use. As a thought leader in the CX space, they recently published a whitepaper on the 10 Leading Customer Experience Trends for 2017, where they site the rise of virtual assistants as a trend companies should heed in the coming year.

Three key points we like from 10 Leading Customer Experience Trends for 2017:

  • According to Gartner, by 2020, 30% of web browsing sessions will be done via voice rather than a screen
  • A new wave of enterprise applications harnessing intelligent virtual assistants will be rolled out in 2017
  • Speech analytics and speech recognition technology will improve virtual assistants significantly in 2017
  1. Emotion will Dominate
    @StartupGrind
    @NikkiElizDemere

Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré, founder of Authentic Creation, SaaS consultant, and customer success evangelist, shares advice from the experts on customer in her Startup Grind article. As DeMeré points out, marketing, customer success, and customer support leaders will need to know the obstacles and challenges they face when improving CX in 2017, such as how to put emotion at the center of all they do.

Three key points we like from 2017 Trends in CX: Expert Advice for Marketing, Customer Success & Customer Support:

  • “You can create the easiest, most effective experience in the world, but unless it has the right emotional quotient – unless it leaves customers feeling the way they need to feel – customers won’t walk away saying the experience was great” ~ Rick Parrish, principal analyst at Forrester
  • CX pros use technology more often to deliver emotionally engaging experience
  • Acknowledge and pursue the link between emotion and customer loyalty
  1. Messaging Support
    @userlike
    @ri_sven

Sven Ri handles content and inbound at Userlike. In his article, 8 Realistic Customer Service Trends for 2017, Ri explains that the best customer service trend predictions are based in consumer behavior. He also highlights messaging support as one of the trends that will impact CX in 2017.

Three key points we like from 8 Realistic Customer Service Trends for 2017:

  • User growth of messaging apps like WhatsApp, Kik, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat has been growing
  • Innovative companies explore messaging platforms for customer support
  • Companies are receiving positive feedback from customers about using messenger support, and professional tools are becoming available to support the trend
  1. Consistency is Key
    @aircall

Aircall offers complete call center software without requiring a desk phone or hardware. Lola Barbier’s Aircall article on customer service trends for 2017 points to consistency as a key to delivering omnichannel support and meeting customer experience expectations.

Three key points we like from Top 5 Customer Service Trends to Look Out for in 2017:

  • Omnichannel is a lasting customer service trend necessary for meeting customers’ increasingly demanding expectations
  • Make interactions effortless for customers with consistent, effective omnichannel support
  • Specialized providers with precise expertise can help you get your omnichannel strategy in order
  1. Use Predictive Analytics to Achieve Customer-Centricity
    @CentricDigital
    @lavigne

Centric Digital works to reshape customer experiences to help traditional businesses grow and thrive during the digital transformation. Mike Lavigne, product manager and digital expert, explores omnichannel customer experience trends in his Centric Digital article. One that is of particular interest is using predictive analytics to achieve customer-centricity.

Three key points we like from Omni-Channel Customer Experience Trends for 2017:

  • Brands get stuck when it comes to leveraging data to go beyond personalization and begin predicting future customer behavior
  • New software and tools are making predictive analytics actionable and understandable
  • “Using predictive models and machine learning to be more customer-centric is the mantra of the day” ~ CMSWire
  1. Emotion and Personalization
    @WeAreInMoment

InMoment helps brands listen to and engage with customers to improve business results through better experiences. As their 2017 CX Trends Report shows, brands need to harness the power of emotion and personalization in order to better understand and meet customer expectations. Please note that you will need to complete a free registration process in order to download the InMoment CX trends report.

Three key points we like from 2017 InMoment CX Trends Report: The Power of Emotion and Personalization:

  • Consumer data shows brands do not understand consumer expectations or the positive and negative emotions that result when those expectations are met and broken
  • Customers have a more personal and reciprocal relationship with brands today
  • According to Forrester, emotion is the number one driver of customer experience, outranking even ease and effectiveness
  1. Fine-Tune Customer Service to Drive Positive Posts
    @wlennon2
    @RichardRShapiro

GroupBDO offers collaborative enterprise sales and consulting solutions to help companies develop sales channels and lead-generating marketing in the U.S. In his customer experience trends article on the GroupBDO Blog, customer retention expert Richard Shapiro explains that customers want their questions to be addressed in real time; companies that meet those expectations are rewarded with positive social media posts, while those that don’t are punished with negative posts.

Three key points we like from 2017 Customer Experience (CX) Trends:

  • Glowing customer reviews are persuasive, and legitimate ones are free
  • Unbiased feedback from customers either is harmful or beneficial
  • Businesses should commit significant resources to getting positive reviews
  1. Customer Journey Mapping
    @Perficient

A leading digital transformation consulting firm, Perficient offers 2017 digital transformation trends regarding the continued importance of CX. Specifically, Michael Porter’s Perficient blog post examines the ways in which evolving customer behaviors and preferences drives digital transformation and shares evidence from Altimeter and Forrester that points to the key role customer experience plays in digital transformation.

Three key points we like from 2017 Digital Transformation Trends: CX Will Retain Importance:

  • Now is the time to embrace customer journey mapping
  • A significant amount of work still needs to be done to put customers first
  • Companies need to break down silos around channels to improve customer experience
  1. Popular Messaging Apps for Support
    @responsetek

Leaders in customer experience management programs and solutions software, ResponseTek takes the “listen first, act fast” approach. Randeep Dosanjh, ResponseTek marketing specialist, highlights five CX trends for 2017, such as the rise of popular messaging for support.

Three key points we like from 5 Upcoming CX Trends to Watch for in 2017:

  • Companies are building on the momentum of messaging apps to deliver more convenient experiences for customers
  • Companies that deliver support through popular messaging apps take advantage of the familiarity customers already have with the apps
  • Popular messaging apps contain interactions in one chat flow and aid support agents by keeping them informed of all communications
  1. Convergence of CX & Content
    @cx_pilots

CX Pilots helps organizations connect better with their customers and employees. Sarah Wechsberg’s CX Pilots blog post reflects on the top CX trends of 2016 and those to look for in 2017. Wechsberg suggests the new year will bring about a shift from customer insights and data to prioritization and the convergence of CX and content.

Three key points we like from The Top CX Trends of 2016 & What to Focus On in 2017:

  • Content drives customers to your company, and customer data aids companies in knowing which content will best improve the customer experience
  • It is beneficial to view each step of the customer journey as an opportunity to deliver the perfect piece of content and messaging
  • Use data to know which content will work best for the customer when and where he is
  1. Emotional Intelligence for AI
    @fjord

Fjord offers design and innovation from Accenture Interactive that makes people redefine their relationships with the world around them. In their blog post Me, Myself and AI, the Fjord team explains that AI gained a great deal of ground in 2016 but did not equate to a human experience. Their CX trend for 2017, therefore, involves the development of AI to become more emotionally intelligent.

Three key points we like from Me, Myself and AI:

  • Chatbots will serve as most customers’ first experience with AI
  • As AI develops, it will drive a need for machine learning capabilities to become more emotionally intelligent and pave the way for developing the next generation of digital services
  • AI chatbots already enable companies to scale highly personal services that previously were unavailable
  1. Companies Will Adopt Intent-Driven Engagement
    @24_7_inc
    @TechTarget

[24]7 redefines customer acquisition and engagement by making it simple for customers to connect with companies. Their article, Welcome to the Age of Intent: Five Major CX Trends for 2017, is available via Bitpipe and TechTarget. As the article points out, 37% of marketing decision-makers reported to Forrester that improving customer experience is a critical priority for 2017. As such, companies need to understand and act on consumer intent if they will thrive.

Three key points we like from Welcome to the Age of Intent: Five Major CX Trends for 2017:

  • Companies will shift from using data in a reactive way to a proactive way
  • Companies will analyze data to predict customer’s intent in real time
  • Intent-driven engagement can occur via chatbots, live agents, and machine-to-machine communication with devices and IoT sensors to deliver personalized support
  1. Switch from Channel Preference to Channel Guidance
    @teamhgs

TeamHGS, a leader in optimizing customer experience, provides a full suite of business process management (BPM) services to help clients become more competitive. HGS solutions and capabilities VP Lauren Kindzierski identifies 10 CX trends that will reduce customer effort in 2017, including switching from channel preference to channel guidance.

Three key points we like from What’s Next in CX: Top 10 Trends to Reduce Customer Effort in 2017:

  • Companies will begin strategically guiding customers in online help centers to the best channel for a resolution
  • The reason for contact will play a large role in channel guidance
  • Channel guidance will make for a more seamless customer experience and will aid companies in ensuring satisfactory resolutions
  1. Refine the Mobile Customer Experience
    @managefeedback

Customer feedback analytics software for websites and mobile apps, Mopinion aids companies in collecting feedback and creating reports. Digital customer experience expert and Mopinion writer Erin Gilliam explores trends for 2017 including the need to refine the mobile customer experience.

Three key points we like from Digital Customer Experience Trends for 2017:

  • M-commerce may be the new E-commerce because of mobile’s dominance among digital channels
  • More companies will invest in a mobile-first strategy
  • Companies will face the challenge of satisfying customers and boosting mobile customer experience; labeling themselves as mobile-friendly will not be sufficient
  1. Renewed Emphasis on Customer Lifecycle
    @aberdeengroup
    @omerminkara

Aberdeen Group is a leader in bringing Big Data and content marketing services together. Aberdeen VP and principal analyst of contact center and customer experience management, Omer Minkara writes in his report on contact center and customer experience trends that there will be a renewed emphasis on customer lifecycle in 2017.

Three key points we like from Contact Center and Customer Experience Process Trends in 2017:

  • Companies have lost sight of the true meaning of customer lifecycle, or the series of phases buyers follow when interacting with a business
  • Customer journeys differ from the customer lifecycle; each phase of the customer lifecycle involves several customer journeys
  • Organizations should take a holistic approach by managing multiple journeys with the objective of meeting and exceeding customer needs
  1. Align Metrics, Design, and Innovation around Customer Journeys
    @TopdownSystems

Topdown meets the document automation and correspondence needs of customers, including consumer-driven communications. John Zimmerer’s Topdown article reflects on the Temkin Group’s annual list of customer experience trends and concurs that purpose should be aligned to customer experience for companies moving forward in 2017. Zimmer also points out that companies will need to orient their efforts around customer journeys if they hope to improve customer experience.

Three key points we like from Temkin Group Publishes 2017 List of Customer Experience Trends:

  • Companies that want to be customer-centric must consider the entire customer lifecycle and must do so not to win but to serve and retain customers
  • Senior management should lead the charge in transforming customer journeys
  • Traditional customer communications management solutions should merge with customer experience platforms
  1. Customer Support Shifts to Customer Success
    @churnzero

Working to help subscription businesses battle customer churn, ChurnZero also helps companies expand accounts, increase product adoption, and optimize the customer experience. Abby Hammer’s ChurnZero article considers customer experience trends for 2017 in the context of reducing customer churn. One that stands out is the shift from customer support to customer success.

Three key points we like from Churn Fighting Focus: Customer Experience Trends for 2017:

  • Customer success teams will improve their data-gathering and analysis and become more proactive as a result
  • Preemptive technology will help companies predict customer problems and solve them before customers raise the issue
  • Chatbots and machine learning will ease the load on support reps, who will have more time to spend solving customer issues with empathy and delivering superior customer experience
  1. Changes to the C-Suite
    @iamwire
    @demainlaveille

iamwire helps professionals and entrepreneurs build innovative products and companies. Their article on customer experience trends, written by digital trends and transformation and customer experience expert Aref Jdey, follows Forrester’s lead in predicting how CX will be shaped in 2017.

Three key points we like from The 2017 Major Trends Shaping Customer Experience According to Forrester:

  • CEOs will dump 30% of their CMOs due to lack of skills in driving digital business transformation, leveraging the appropriate technical infrastructure, and securing growth
  • CIOs will lead the charge in driving customer experience transformations by shifting budgets from traditional IT spend to customer experience management technologies
  • Chief digital officers and chief customer officers will be reintegrated into the traditional CIO and CMO roles to drive key digital and customer-led programs
  1. Anticipatory Service Possible Across Channels
    @astutesolutions

Astute Solutions provides smart consumer engagement software to drive customer loyalty via leading technologies that eliminate friction during interactions. Their predictions for CX trends in 2017 include technology and customer-centricity, including making anticipatory service possible across channels.

Three key points we like from The Customer Experience in 2017 Infographic:

  • Software streamlines and automates proactive service
  • Companies can shift from relying on expensive live agents and store employees
  • Chatbots will have natural language processing and deep learning in order to fit every digital channel
  1. Customer Service Mobile Strategy
    @Kayako

Kayako helps companies grow their business through better customer service via a unified customer service platform. In his Kayako article, Gurpreet Singh highlights customer service trends for 2017 that have an effortless customer experience at their center. Companies that adopt a customer service mobile strategy will be in a better position to meet customer expectations and deliver superior customer experience in 2017.

Three key points we like from Customer Service Trends 2017: An Effortless Customer Experience is Vital for Loyalty:

  • Customers are more likely to contact companies on their cell phones
  • Mobile-first should be the mindset for customer service and sales support
  • All support channels should be mobile accessible
  1. Meaningful Connections with Customers on Social Networks
    @bloomfire

Delivering software that organizes company knowledge and expertise to make it accessible and shareable, Bloomfire has identified five customer experience trends that should be on your radar for 2017. As their CX article points out, today’s customers are more informed and connected and have higher expectations; that’s why creating meaningful connections with them on social networks is one of the better ways to compete and win in customer experience in 2017.

Three key points we like from Are These Five Customer Experience Trends On Your Radar This Year?:

  • 47% of U.S. social media users actively seek customer service through social media
  • Customers receiving quick, effective responses are 71% more likely to recommend the brand
  • Have a game plan for action that includes consistent staffing, escalation points, response time metrics, and training to win at social customer service
  1. Offer an Omnichannel Experience
    @IBMBluemix
    @LGargolinski

IBM Bluemix is a cloud platform that enables companies to build with infrastructure, Watson, software, and services. In her Bluemix blog post, Laura Gargolinski explores how redefining the customer experience is a CX trend for 2017 in and of itself. While Gargolinski frames her article in the context of banking, her discussion lends itself to any industry. The trend that stands out the most to us is offering an omnichannel experience.

Three key points we like from Banking’s Hottest Trend for 2017: Redefining the Customer Experience:

  • Omnichannel gives organizations the opportunity to connect with customers via multiple channels, and gives customers the ability to use the channel they prefer
  • Omnichannel helps brands detect customers’ wants and needs via analytics and systems of engagement
  • Without omnichannel, companies may deliver an inconsistent experience that could result in customer churn
  1. Fine-Tune Customer Experience Monitoring
    @axonom

The developer of cloud-based software and products, Axonom presents the Powertrak Blog. In his Powertrak Blog post, Michael Bauer explores customer experience trends based on Forrester’s predictions. As Bauer points out, fine-tuning customer experience monitoring is the next phase of CX.

Three key points we like from Customer Experience Trends in 2017:

  • Focus on critical steps in customer journeys where your customers pay the most attention, are most anxious, or appreciate value the most
  • Take advantage of distinct opportunities to deliver the best, most authentic aspect of your brand
  • Be prepared to extend a single moment in the customer journey to the larger brand
  1. Use Customers’ Language
    @sharon_melamed

Matchboard offers a free online matching tool that connects buyers and suppliers in sales, service, and back office. Their customer experience trend article highlights a shift in language marked by companies using customers’ language due in part to the rise in virtual agent deployments in 2016.

Three key points we like from 10 Customer Experience Trends to Watch:

  • Social media has brought about the advent of companies speaking to customers in a common language
  • Plain English is in: less robotic scripting on calls, less formality in tone, and more user-friendly how-to videos
  • Natural language processing to enable customers to ask a virtual agent a question online
  1. Value and Experience Trump Price
    @Forbes
    @Hyken

Customer service and experience expert Shep Hyken is a Forbes contributor who writes on those and related topics. In Ten Customer Service and Customer Experience Trends for 2017, Hyken shines a light on CX trends, such as value and experience trump price, that businesses should not ignore.

Three key points we like from Ten Customer Service and Customer Experience Trends for 2017:

  • The value proposition of superior customer service reduces the relevance of price
  • Smaller businesses thrive because of the power of value and experience
  • Value and experience trump price across all types of businesses and industries
  1. Proactive Customer Service
    @M4_Comm
    @SueDuris

M4 Communications helps customer-centric organization take a different approach to marketing and customer experience. Sue Duris, M4 president, has hopes that customer experience will make it into the mainstream and companies will realize that they need to move beyond customer-centricity to become customer-obsessed. Duris shares five B2B customer experience trends in her M4 article.

Three key points we like from Five Key B2B Customer Experience Trends for 2017:

  • Customer service should ensure customers’ journeys are delightful by resolving issues before they begin
  • Companies should strive to turn customers into lifetime brand advocates
  • To get the return on investment to justify the expense, make great service a priority to delight customers and create lifetime customer relationships
  1. Drive a Customer-Focused Internal Culture

    @CCCAusNZ
  2. @shanegold

A free resource for Australian contact centers, Contact Centres AU offers news, articles, a business directory, events calendars, and more, such as Why You Should Forget the Customer Experience Trends in 2017, by CustCore Consulting founder and principal Shane Goldberg. Goldberg explains that companies need to first focus on the basics of customer experience before they attempt new CX trends and technologies.

Three key points we like from Why You Should Forget the Customer Experience Trends in 2017:

  • Senior leaders cannot expect to deliver superior customer service if their people do not first focus on the customer
  • Defining and building a customer-focused culture should be top priority
  • Companies cannot deliver successful customer outcomes if they are not focused on the customer
  1. Feedback Gains Strength
    @CoTe_Solutions

CoTé Software and Solutions specializes in helping organizations improve customer engagement and streamline business processes. Cameron Smith’s CoTé Software blog post, 5 Customer Experience Trends for 2017, explains that companies have undergone fundamental shifts in attitude as product has taken a backseat to customers and their experiences. One of the trends that Smith highlights is the strong role feedback will play in 2017.

Three key points we like from 5 Customer Experience Trends for 2017:

  • Feedback is necessary to providing exceptional customer experience
  • Organizations must get specific and drill down to determine exactly what customers say about them
  • Companies should take advantage of technology and data to know what customers truly think of their products and service
  1. Operationalizing Customer Experience Management
    @Just_Clarity

Digital Clarity Group is a team of research-driven industry analysts that focus on digital transformation and cover the technology and agencies that enable consumer engagement and the social enterprise. Their customer experience trends report for 2017, written by Connie Moore, centers on the idea that organizations will shift toward operationalizing customer experience management.

Three key points we like from 2017 Customer Experience Trends: The Year of Operational Excellence:

  • CEOs will focus on delighting customers and delivering exceptional experiences independent of existing and emerging devices, channels, products, brands, and business units
  • Effectively managing lifetime relationships with prospects and customers significantly impacts an organization’s topline growth and bottom-line results
  • Operationalizing customer experience takes time, talent, and technology, and creating a culture to deliver exceptional experience does not happen overnight
  1. Cross-Channel CRM Integrations
    @LiveChat
    @Ms_Polaczyk

LiveChat offers premium software with a help desk feature for ecommerce and amazing customer service. LivChat content writer and Business Sidekick podcaster Justyna Polaczyk’s blog post explores three of the important customer experience trends that will shape customer service of the future, including cross-channel CRM integrations.

Three key points we like from Customer Service of the Future: 3 Most Important Customer Experience Trends:

  • Customers expect organizations to respond on every channel of their choice
  • “The ideal omnichannel integration is to bring all the information you know about your customers together so that whenever they need you, your support team is fully informed and ready to help.” ~ Mat Patterson, Help Scout
  • Companies are better off integrating separate tools that specialize in various areas to get a single view of the customer
  • Service platforms and help desks should provide chat, social media, and email integrations
  1. Safety Net Strategies
    @Fonolo
    @DaveMichels
    @mikeaoki
    @jeanniecw
    @shaiberger

In November 2016, Fonolo hosted a Google Hangout session exploring CX trends for 2017. The panel included Dave Michels from TalkingPointz, Mike Aoki from Reflective Keynotes, Jeannie Walters from 360Connext, and Shai Berger from Fonolo. One of the trends that caught our attention is the importance of providing a safety net to ensure superior customer experience.

Three key points we like from 4 Takeaways: Google Hangout on 2017 CX Trends:

  • Don’t allow customers to become frustrated if one channel fails and they are forced to go to another channel
  • Have processes in place to easily transition customers between channels
  • Mapping the customer journey helps companies understand that it requires more than one channel so you can discover where the safety nets are needed
  1. Smarter Customer Experiences
    @storyminers
    @mikewittenstein

Storyminers assists leaders facing challenges in finding their story and improving their business. In this interview with customer experience expert Mike Wittenstein, first published in 2016 and updated for 2017, Storyminers looks to the growing importance of customer experience and emerging CX trends. As Wittenstein explains, smarter customer experiences are the future of CX.

Three key points we like from Emerging Trends in Customer Experience: The Continuing Story:

  • Artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, augmented reality, and virtual reality are becoming more recognizable and useful
  • Advancements in these technologies will make CX easier for customers
  • Customers will want to do more before they head to stores, so companies need to think of stores as 50% support, 25% media, and 25% products
  1. Voice is the New ‘Form Factor’
    @SearchCRM
    @ericberridge

SearchCRM.com is TechTarget’s CRM and call center resource that covers software, data management, sales and marketing automation, SaaS, and more. In their interview with Bluewolf Group CEO and co-founder Eric Berridge, SearchCRM explores customer experience trends and why predictive analytics was not more successful in 2016. As Berridge points out, voice is becoming the new ‘form factor’ for CX in 2017.

Three key points we like from Customer Experience Trends: Why Predictive Analytics Failed and More:

  • Companies need to prioritize getting into the path of the customer and treating them and interacting with them like human beings
  • Customer experience will be driven to a new level with cognitive platforms that make sense of voice, detect emotion, and understand what is happening with a customer in order to respond like a human being
  • Organizations that have a one-to-one relationship with customers can sell their products at a premium
  1. Gathering Personal Data for Customers’ Benefits
    @ArticleCube

In her customer experience article trends article, customer service writer Jenny Mark explains how technology and innovation have helped organizations meet customer expectations in ways that were nearly unimaginable five years ago. Mark also considers the importance of customer data in satisfying impatient prospects and customers; she highlights using personal data to benefit customers as a CX trend for 2017.

Three key points we like from Customer Experience Trends for 2017!:

  • Customers more readily share personal information if they recognize a company as being transparent and genuine
  • Customers prefer companies that use their data to deliver more relevant experiences
  • Using customer data and insights to provide a tailored customer experience will become more innovative
  1. Social Customer Service Shifts to Messaging Apps
    @Vocalcom

A global provider of omnichannel customer experiences platform and cloud contact center software for sales, support, and marketing, Vocalcom shares customer engagement trends in their article by Golriz Golkar. As Golkar points out, social customer service has grown because of the popularity of social media channels, but customers are shifting from social media to messaging apps.

Three key points we like from 7 Customer Engagement Trends to Follow in 2017:

  • Brands are increasingly using Facebook, Twitter, and similar platforms to deliver real-time customer service
  • With the rise of messaging app usage, especially among millennials, companies are engaging with customers via messaging apps as an offshoot of social customer service
  • Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Kik, among others, are laying the groundwork for conversational commerce and seamless customer experience, as brands can provide highly personalized and rich content
  1. Demonstrate the ROI of CX Programs
    @TheCXMagazine

Customer Experience Magazine (CXM) delivers the latest news, review, and cutting edge case studies from the world of customer experience. Nigel Shanahan, Rant & Rave founder, shares his customer experience predictions for 2017 in his CXM article. As Shanahan points out, CX will be valued more when companies can demonstrate the return on investment of such programs.

Three key points we like from Customer Experience Predictions for 2017:

  • CX programs have matured to the point that companies need to have a reliable method for measuring their business impact and ROI
  • CX programs must have clearly defined annual and quarterly goals
  • Organizations should use their data alongside resources to analyze CX metrics in depth
  1. Increased Emphasis on Customer Analytics
    @Servion
    @rosh3006

A customer experience management specialist, Servion puts more than 20 years of experience and implementations in more than 60 countries to good use. Their customer experience trends article, written by Roshini Cherian, focuses on cloud trends and their impact on CX in 2017. As Cherian points out, an increased emphasis on customer analytics is on-trend for the new year.

Three key points we like from 4 Cloud Trends That are Likely to Influence Customer Experience in 2017:

  • Organizations are more successful when they know the context of customer interactions sooner, in order to resolve issues more quickly
  • Customer analytics and the cloud come into play in helping companies be more proactive in delivering superior customer experience
  • Customer analytics are essential in determining Next Best Actions
  1. Convert Feedback to Actionable Insights
    @CallMiner

The leading cloud-based speech analytics solution for improving agent performance across all contact channels, CallMiner understands that taking customer experience seriously is imperative to company success. CallMiner VP of marketing and product management, Scott Kendrick explains in his article that converting feedback to actionable insights is one CX trend companies seeking to deliver exceptional customer experiences cannot ignore.

Three key points we like from 7 Tips for Providing Exceptional Customer Experiences:

  • Technology is necessary for converting feedback into actionable insights
  • Voice of customer data insights are key to helping employees do their jobs
  • CX analytics help VoC practitioners take historical and recent data and analyze it to identify trends, identify correlations, and conduct root-cause analysis
  1. Revolutionized Convenience
    @InteractRDT

A leading customer experience research consultancy, Interact RDT uses innovative technologies and methodologies to gain a full understanding of customer experience. Their blog post, Eight CX and Service Trends in 2017, explains that poor CX damages trust and hurts the bottom line, and makes it clear that every company should make staying on top of the latest CX trends a priority in the new year. One of those trends is revolutionized convenience.

Three key points we like from Eight CX and Service Trends in 2017:

  • Customers expect convenience because of the constant accessibility and availability brought about by mobile
  • Companies should adopt a CX strategy that makes simple tasks even easier for customers to win in customer satisfaction
  • Organizations should pursue innovative ways to bring smooth, frictionless experiences to customers
  1. Live Chat to Support Customers’ Queries
    @MyHubIntranet

MyHub provides cloud-based intranet solutions to help businesses communicate and collaborate. Their CX trends article examines how companies should use live chat to support customers’ queries.

Three key points we like from Company Intranets: 3 Ways to Improve the Customer Experience in 2017:

  • Companies increasingly utilize live chat to support CX, especially for prospects
  • Prospects and customers should not be lost because they cannot get an immediate answer or resolution to a query
  • Live chat gives customers and prospects a way to interact with the company without needing to leave the website, which provides the seamless experience they expect and often demand

 

  1. Customer Experience is Multisensory
    @GMRME

Gulf Marketing Review, a monthly magazine, covers marketing innovation, consumer insights, advertising, and communications. Their recent article, 3 Emerging Trends in Customer Experience, reports on Forrester research that determines the customer experience should be multisensory.

Three key points we like from 3 Emerging Trends in Customer Experience:

  • Companies will lose out if they focus solely on omnichannel because CX also is multisensory
  • Interactions now involve gestures, eye tracking, enhanced haptics, and audio
  • Utilize technology that allows for sense-based CX experiences
  1. Mobile is the Primary Channel for Customer Support
    @CMO_com
    @MichaelHinshaw

CMO.com provides digital marketing insights, expertise, and inspiration for and by marketing leaders like McorpCX CEO Michael Hinshaw. An industry influencer in customer experience, Hinshaw explains in his CMO.com article that companies should take note of the tech trends influencing CX in 2017, such as mobile being the primary channel for customer support.

Three key points we like from 11 Tech Trends You Can Bet Your Customer Experience Budget On:

  • One Adobe report finds that 92% of respondents claim their smartphone is their primary device
  • Mobile devices have surpassed computers as the top ecommerce source
  • Companies must consider their ability to deliver great mobile experiences or they will be left behind
  1. Intelligent Self-Service Tools will Replace Manual Query
    @tagove_

Tagove provides live chat software for video chat, voice call, and text chat with co-browsing and screen-sharing features. Their CX trends article highlights intelligence self-service tools because they are overtaking manual query as customers and prospects want quicker resolutions to issues and queries.

Three key points we like from Customer Service Trends That Will Drive Success in 2017:

  • Artificial intelligence and chatbots will be the leading self-service tools in 2017
  • AI chatbots will enable companies to provide seamless customer service in real time
  • AI is essential to analytic-driven organizations and meeting user demands
  1. Harness the Power of Emotion to Drive Affinity and Spend
    @forrester

Forrester works with business and technology leaders to develop customer-obsessed strategies that drive growth. Their 2017 predictions center on the customer as the fundamental driver of change, especially as behavior once attributed to millennials has gone mainstream. One CX trend that stands out in the report is the need to harness the power of emotion to drive customer affinity and spend.

Three key points we like from 2017 Predictions: Dynamics That Will Shape the Future in the Age of the Customer:

  • Organizations will quantify and get a better handle on the power of emotion to improve their bottom line and customer loyalty
  • Feelings of value, frustration, and disappointment can govern decision-making about brand loyalty and spend
  • Customers who experience disgust, anger, or a negative feeling during a brand interaction are approximately eight times more likely not to forgive the offending company
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Posted in Customer Experience