2017 Customer Experience Trends, “The Year of Purpose”

2017cxIt’s once again the time of year when I publish Temkin Group’s CX trends. In my post last year, we named 2016 “The Year of Emotion.” With my previous post, we declared 2017 “The Year of Purpose.”

During this year, companies will be:

  1. Elevating Purpose. Over the past year, we’ve seen more articles discussing purpose, and leaders are beginning to recognize the role that it plays in motivating employees. At the same time, we believe that the uncertainty around the world creates an increasing desire for people to find purpose and meaning in their lives. For these reasons, we’re calling 2017 “The Year of Purpose.” In 2017, we expect to see more leaders sharpening and sharing their organization’s purpose.
  2. Operationalizing Emotion. After our push to Intensify Emotion in 2016, I’m happy to say that the needle is moving! As we anticipated, many companies started to recognize the importance of emotion, with the help of many vendors who are working to demystify this key area. In 2017, we expect to see even more organizations focus on customer emotion and start to embed these efforts in their ongoing operations.
  3. Orienting Around Customer Journeys. Customer journey mapping continues to grow in popularity as companies recognize the need to develop a more customer-oriented viewpoint. That’s why we see so much demand for our customer journey mapping workshops. However, this tool only affects a small portion of an organization. To help companies embed thinking about customer journeys into day-to-day decisions across the entire organization, we created Customer Journey Thinking©. In 2017, we expect more companies to realign their metrics, analytics, experience design, and innovation around customer journeys.
  4. Continuing… Mobile, Mobile, Mobile. Mobile continues to become an increasingly dominant interaction channel… and now can be accessed through increasingly varied types of devices (including those described as “Internet of Things”). In 2017, we expect more companies to shift to a mobile first strategy and to design customer offerings with the assumption that the primary interface may be a remote digital device.
  5. Embracing Employee Engagement. Employee engagement (EE) has been one of Temkin Group’s Four CX Core Competencies for more than six years. While EE has always been critical to how we view customer experience, companies are finally starting to recognize that it’s a limiting factor to their CX efforts. In 2017, we expect to see a jump in EE activities and we hope to see CX and human resources groups finally coming together to work on engaging employees.
  6. Federating Customer Experience. We’ve seen many companies make great strides in their CX efforts by using strong centralized teams. However, as these efforts mature, companies often find that they need to distribute CX efforts across their organizations. In 2017, we expect many companies to shift to a federated CX model by developing CX Centers of Excellence, Enterprise CX Coordination, and Distributed CX Skills and Mindset.
  7. Predicting Through Behaviors. With the rise of digital and mobile interactions, companies have more data on what their customers are doing. This behavioral data can both provide rich insights into what drives customers and fuel strong predictive models. In 2017, we expect more companies to start collecting behavioral data and then using it to predict customer attitudes and future activities.
  8. Tapping Into Speech Recognition. Text analytics tools have become mature enough that they are now frequently a staple in customer insights toolkits. As these tools mature, companies are setting their sites on the next vein of unstructured data – customer calls. At the same time, we see a rise of voice interfaces, from Comcast’s XFINITY remote control to Amazon’s Echo. In 2017, we expect more companies to increase their use of speech recognition for insights and interfaces.
  9. Smartening Self-Service. Our research shows that people prefer to handle of lot of their interactions using self-service. While companies have been enabling these capabilities for years, technology is getting better for anticipating and customizing these interactions. In 2017, we expect more companies to incorporate technologies such as virtual agents and interactive guides to enable even smarter self-service.

The bottom line: Please join us in Elevating Purpose in 2017!

Written by 

I am a customer experience transformist, helping large organizations improve business results by changing how they deal with customers. As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. I am also a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Simply put, I am passionate about spotting emerging best practices and helping companies master them. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. My “title” is Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm that helps organizations become more customer-centric. Our goal is simple: accelerate the path to delighting customers. I am also the co-founder and Emeritus Chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.

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