Reflecting on the efforts and strategies of 2017

What will be the key customer experience trends this year

Firstly, allow us to wish you a prosperous 2018. Who knew when Caesar got us all on the same page by instituting the 1st of January as the first day of the year, civilizations across the world would look forward to the date when we can ‘reset’ our hopes and expectations until the next year.

Who doesn’t want to start the New Year off on a good foot – To tighten our belts, kick bad habits and get into shape?

Businesses must look beyond just changing bad behaviours and practices of the past. In the over-saturated market of similar products and services, customer service is becoming increasingly important in the customers’ eyes. Good customer service should capture the fundamentals of a great experience: seamlessness, usefulness, and sentiment. And that is much easier said than done. Just like a fad diet or detox might deliver short term results, serious long-lasting results require a lifestyle change.

As with any New Year, it’s good to reflect on the efforts and strategies implemented to generate business.

Self-service is by no means a new concept, but according to Forrester it was the top trend in 2017 and its not going to go away soon. Self-service is no longer a “nice to have”. It’s a necessity to providing a positive customer experience. Dimension Data reports growth in every digital channel and a 12% decrease in phone volume with customers of all ages moving away from using the phone to using self-service — web and mobile self-service, communities, virtual agents, automated chat dialogs, or chatbots — as a first point of contact with a company.

Shockingly, the Northridge Group’s State of Customer Service Experience 2017 report reveals that businesses are still struggling to deliver the fundamentals of great customer experience, with 57% of consumers saying that they frequently have trouble finding answers on a company’s website.

It’s fair to say that many businesses will start a New Year with great ambitions for their customer experience strategy, however ambitions will quickly fall short without dedicated investment and strategy. Like getting fit and healthy, were one must invest in both the diet and training, any technology investment requires strategy first.

With so many industry buzzwords like AI, bots, physital and omni-channel set to create more headlines in 2018, here are a few short guides to help you break through the noise.