Customer experience management is integral to the success of any organisation. Being on top of the latest trends can help organisations anticipate customer expectations and the technological changes that will soon mark their respective industries. Knowledge of what to expect can help organisations create meaningful experiences for their customers.

Evolution of customer experience metrics

Customer experience metrics have always been the go-to tools for analysing the effectiveness of (and redesigning) customer engagement strategies. The Net Promoter Score, customer satisfaction score (CSAT), social media metrics and churn metrics are the traditional CX metrics that organisations use to improve customer experience.

Unfortunately, research shows that out of the 65% companies that do collect CX metrics, only 20% have structured programs and processes in place to implement and use the metrics. This has created a need for organisations to reimagine CX metrics and find simpler, implementable ways to measure customer experience.

2018 may see new CX metrics being created, which are easier to plan, implement and control.

Implementation of speech analytics

Alexa, Cortana, Amazon Echo and XFINITY have captured the minds of the global populace for the past few years. But the number of businesses who have implemented speech analytics in their operations are few and far between.

If the recent past has taught us anything, these speech analytics tools and technologies have been providing superior customer service, reducing operational expenses and improving ROI for businesses, not to mention providing valuable insight into customer language and web searches.

This 2018 will see an increased integration of speech analytics technology into digital products and applications.

The rise in prominence of experience design

One of the best ways to connect with prospects and customers is to create a culturally-relevant and emotionally-charged digital experience. Research of the previous 10 years’ shows that investment of as little as $10,000 in UX results in a significant increase in ROI. Take the examples of Apple, CocaCola and IBM. The companies outperformed the S&P index by 228% between 2003 and 2013. Studies also show that 86% buyers are willing to pay premium prices for a better customer experience.

Experience design is slowly becoming one of the most sought-after fields in marketing and 2018 may see a dramatic increase in customer-psychology-based website and product design.

Transformation of chatbots into superior AI tools

2017 was the Year of the Chatbots and had seen a CAGR of 24.3% for chatbots. Experts believe that chatbot implementation will see a CAGR of 37% in the next couple of years and by 2020, an estimated 55% of companies will have implemented chatbots in messenger apps, mobile applications and websites.

This ‘fad’ for chatbots is slowly creating a niche for designers and developers, to create superior, AI-driven technology that can deliver greater real-time insights that may help organisations get insights into the customers’ digital experience. 2018 may also see chatbots being designed to act as human-replacements for jobs (including medical diagnostics, gaming support etc.) that are traditionally labor intensive, thereby further improving the digital experience.

Emergence of a hyper-localised marketing culture

Hyperlocal social marketing is taking roots in the world of customer experience management. Organisations are finding it increasingly beneficial to connect with customers on a personal level, using resources that can be identified with.

Giving employees an opportunity to interact with customers in a more personalised way, on a social platform can help connect multiple people who are located geographically close to each other. This is a great way of satisfying the customer’s need for the customised, personalised and the artisanal. Hyperlocal social marketing is also a great way to help employees observe visible benefits of their marketing and sales efforts and allows organisations to tag work-and-rewards easily.

Combined, this makes for highly-fecund marketing culture that places both customers and employees on a pedestal. 2018 will see more long-term and mutually-beneficial relationships forged between employees and customers.

Shift in the usage of design personas

Customer targeting has for long been one of the cornerstones of a customer experience strategy. The use of design personas helps organisations get valuable customer-related information, which can help improve customer targeting efforts.

Although organisations have been using design personas since the 1980s, 2018 will see a shift in the way personas will be developed, implemented and analysed. Marketers and designers will soon start incorporating intuitive insights about customers, instead of solely relying on stereotypical beliefs and expectations about customer behaviour. Context of product/service use will be the key to effective design personas in 2018.

The inclusion of EQ into customer experience management

Research shows that 80% of organisations believe that they provide superior customer experience. Yet, only 8% of consumers concur with this belief. One of the biggest hurdles in customer experience management is the mismatch between the mindsets, feelings and expectations of marketers and customers.

But with leaders more open to join the front lines and more willing to address problems of emotional mismatch, 2018 may see a dramatic shift in organisational ideologies. Marketers have begun accepting the importance that emotions play in customer experience and are working towards being more empathetic to customers in their interactions.


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