2018: The year of a more leveled CX playing field
This isn’t the year of futuristic innovations and a complete industry overhaul, 2018 is about customer experience maturity across the board.
Year after year, we see people talking about the next 12 months as announcing a fantastic revolution, with innovation transforming life as we know it and redefining the standard in customer experience.
There is no denying that computing power has been increasing at an insane pace and that the gap between great innovations has been reduced time and time again, but computing power is not the only ingredient to enhanced customer experience.
Call me cynical, but after years of exploring the latest innovation in customer experience (tech-enabled or otherwise), my personal prognostic is that we won't see a massive leap in customer experience in 2018 – beyond extremely niche offerings or PR stunts.
Over the past few years, we've been promised a completely changed playing field through augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR, chatbots/artificial intelligence (AI) and smartwatches. Very few situations have been able to become more than simple gimmicks; good for PR or for die-hard fans.
Maybe 2018 is the year it happens, but I doubt it.
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On the contrary, I believe that the excitement this year should be around a more leveled playing field. It's about those businesses who are newer to the CX-mindset. They are the businesses that have been getting their house in order, dealing with legacy systems and inside-out strategies to truly focus on their most important stakeholder: the customer.
I believe 2018 will be the year where more and more businesses become mature enough to demonstrate their own take on customer experience and how they use technology to enable their unique proposition to shine through and scale.
We won't see a massive leap in customer experience in 2018 – beyond extremely niche offerings or PR stunts.
I'm genuinely excited to see how two, three or four businesses will be competing with each other using strong customer experience as a major vector.
Gartner predicted it a few years ago, and all points towards it are finally materialising itself: 2018 will be the year of diversity. So open your eyes and witness how the same technology and capabilities can offer vastly different solutions to customers based on an organisations' DNA.
This is just the biggest trend I see happening.
However, I'll still be looking out for (and reporting back on) the cutting-edge examples. Fear not, Customer Experience Next Practice is definitively part of the agenda for 2018.
This prediction is an excerpt from CX Network’s Customer Experience Predictions for 2018 report. For more insights into what industry experts from Thomas Cook, Danske Bank, Nissan, Virgin Galactic and more believe will be defining the industry in 2018, click on the below banner and download your complimentary copy of the report today!