Thursday, January 4, 2018

Where Will CX Go In 2018: Four Predictions For The New Year

After the holiday season, many of us turn our focus to setting our new year resolutions. While I’ve already set mine, one of the things I’m most excited about this year is to see how customer experience (CX) evolves. Here at Lumavate, we spent some of our holiday looking into our crystal ball, and have forecasted four ways we believe CX will evolve this year.  

    1. The Death of Keychain Fobs and the Rise of Customer-Centric Loyalty Programs
      Think about all of the usernames, passwords, and even keychain fobs you have collected for the countless loyalty programs you’ve joined at one time or another. A lot, right? If you’re like me, you signed up to snag a great deal at the cash register at one point in time, but know very little about all the program entails and may not even interact with the brand any longer. This year, we expect brands to evolve their loyalty programs. A truly consumer-centric program would not only increase program participation, but will increase customer satisfaction and long-term customer loyalty. Look for 2018 to be the year of increased customer loyalty thanks to strategic and customer-focused loyalty programs.
    2. Self-reliant Customers Want More Options
      Consumers are growing more and more self-reliant. Gartner predicts consumers will manage 85 percent of their interactions with brands without speaking to a single person by 2020. Consumers, rather than calling into a call center to sit on hold for what seems like forever, are turning to the internet and social media to quickly find answers and troubleshoot problems. This “I need to know now” trend will drive brands to use technology, like chatbots, more in 2018.  To keep up with consumer expectations, chatbots are a great way for brands to connect with self-reliant customers on a channel they are already using. Offering brands a serious advantage, expect to see chatbot technology continue on into 2018.
    3. Mastering the Omni-channel Experience
      Customer expectations have shifted. Multi-channel experiences are no longer enough. When the average customer interacts with a brand, they want a consistent, personalized experience in real time across all channels. In 2018, brands will have to work to create and master personalized omni-channel experiences to meet customers’ expectations to keep them engaged. Look for brands to work to match (and hopefully exceed) these expectations throughout 2018.
    4. The Future Is Bright with IoT, Big Data, and Analytics
      The Internet of Things (IoT), big data, and analytics have started to change the game of customer experience. With these tools, it is becoming easier for brands to use connected products to gather real time data. What lies ahead in 2018 regarding IoT will depend on how brands use this information. With specific information to a product or person, brands can optimize highly-personalized customer experiences, and even proactively predict customer needs. In 2018, we predict more brands will turn to IoT technology, big data, and analytics to not only provide better performing products, but exceptional, proactive customer experiences.

And, with that our crystal ball has spoken: 2018 is sure to be an exciting year for CX. Developments in technology are giving brands more options to better connect and serve customers throughout their entire customer journey. Take advantage of these changes in technology and customer expectations, and you are sure to win the CX game in 2018.