CX Predictions for 2017 are exciting and point to a year of mobile dominance, employee engagement, predictive technology and the even bigger growth of Big Data. A must-read list for any CX professional, these 4 topics can help you lay the foundation for this year’s strategies:

1) Mobile Becomes a Monolith. Remember the days when phones were used for just calling and talking to people? Well, in our current era, they are now used more for data than calling. In fact:

  • Forrester predicts mobile to generate 43% of all global web traffic in 2017 [1]
  • Cisco predicts that traffic from Wi-Fi and mobile devices will comprise 66% of all IP traffic by 2020 [2]
  • According to Forrester Research, Inc., there are now more than 200 million smartphones in the U.S., and the average consumer picks up or glances at their phone 150 to 200 times each day [3]
  • The Transactional Messaging Consumer Report found that 70% of customers prefer service-based messages be sent to their mobile phone [4]
  • 87% of millennials have their smartphone close at hand 24/7 while 80% say reaching for it is the first thing they do in the morning [5]

While these findings are interesting, they aren’t really shocking. Smart phone usage for pretty much every digital task possible has become so commonplace that it’s hard to remember a time when we survived without it. That’s why predictions are stating that mobile will be the dominant channel for customer experience in 2017, with a particular focus on:

  • Bringing app development in-house and bettering the mobile website experience to be on par with outsourced apps
  • Developing technology and CX strategies around mobile users and interfaces
  • Improving mobile texting and chatting to be more conversational and in-tune with best practices

2) The Focus on Employee Engagement Remains Strong. Employee engagement has been a popular area of focus for CX in the past few years. Research in this field has discovered that brands who engage their employees reap tremendous rewards including increased revenue, lower turnover and better customer experiences. For “… 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,” states Customer Experience Matters [6]. In fact, leading companies like Google already have dedicated teams for improving the employee experience and these teams function as branches of HR—a sign of structural changes to come for other brands thinking the same way.

3) AI, Predictive Technology and Chatbots Gain Prominence.These need to be used with careful oversight, AI is proving to have many useful advantages in the customer experience sector, namely making talking to a computer less frustrating and rigid, and more natural, intuitive and conversational. Forrester Research predicts that investment in artificial intelligence will triple in 2017 [7], with a huge focus on optimising natural language interactions via text or voice with digital artificial intelligence technology. One of the most popular forms of this technology is the chatbot, which stands to make huge strides with innovative companies in the next year.

However, as MyCustomer warns: “In 2017, bots that try to take on too much will fail and those that target a specific and simple task will be hugely successful. As brands experiment with chatbots in the new year, they should tread carefully—this technology is still in development, and if bots frustrate customers and complicate the customer journey, they will do more harm than good.”[8]

4) Big Data Continues to Grow. While customers demand more personalisation because of it Market forecasters IDC “…expect a 50% increase in revenues from the sale of Big Data and business analytics software, hardware, and services between now and 2019, as the thirst for deeper data analysis continues to be played out in terms of the technology businesses invest in,” states Chris Ward in post for MyCustomer [9].

This comes as no surprise considering that Big Data and analytics have been top priorities for brands over the past decade. In 2017, as technology gets more advanced, the amount of data that brands can collect is colossal, and it stands to grow exponentially with Internet of Things. However, it won’t generate positive changes for customer experience without specific segmentation, goal setting, metric measurements and strategic oversight.

[1] Forrester Research Inc., “Predictions 2017: Mobile Is The Face Of Digital Landscape: The Mobile eBusiness Playbook,” November 2016.
[2] Cisco Systems, Inc., “White paper: Cisco VNI Forecast and Methodology, 2015­2020,” June 2016.
[3] Forrester Research Inc., “Vendor Landscape: Mobile Engagement Automation Solutions,” November 2015.
[4] Vibes, “Transactional Messaging Consumer Report 2016: The Value of Service Based Mobile Messaging for the Enterprise,” 2016.
[5] Zogby Analytics Millennial Study, June 2014.
[6] “2017 Customer Experience Trends, ‘The Year of Purpose.’”www.experiencematters.blog Jan 4, 2017.
[7] Forrester Research Inc., “Predictions 2017: Mobile Is The Face Of Digital Landscape: The Mobile eBusiness Playbook,” November 2016.
[8] “4 Predictions Shaping Customer Experience in 2017.” Ganeshan, Susan. www.mycustomer.com Jan 9,2017
[9] “Customer Experience Management; What You Should Focus on in 2017.” Ward, Chris. www.mycustomer.com January 9, 2017