The Evolution of Modern Customer Experience – Key Trends to Watch in 2018



Key Trends Shaping Modern Customer Experience

In today’s highly competitive business landscape, delivering a seamless and exceptional customer experience has become imperative for companies looking to stay ahead. The modern customer demands personalized interactions, seamless engagement across channels, and quick and convenient self-service options. In this blog post, we will discuss the key trends shaping the modern customer experience in 2018 and beyond, and explore how companies can leverage emerging technologies to meet these evolving expectations.


Personalization is no longer just a nice-to-have feature, but a necessity for businesses. Customers crave personalized experiences that cater to their individual preferences and needs. In fact, a study by Salesforce found that 84% of customers say being treated like a person, not a number, is crucial to winning their business.

Data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) play a vital role in delivering personalized experiences. By leveraging customer data and AI-powered algorithms, companies can gain insights into customer behavior, preferences, and purchase history, enabling them to provide tailored recommendations and offers.

For example, Amazon excels in personalization through its robust recommendation engine, which suggests products based on a customer’s browsing and purchase history. This not only enhances the customer experience by providing relevant suggestions, but also drives sales for the company.

Omnichannel Engagement

The rise of multiple communication channels, such as social media, mobile apps, and live chat, has made it crucial for businesses to adopt an omnichannel strategy. Omnichannel engagement refers to the seamless integration of these channels to deliver a consistent and unified customer experience, regardless of the touchpoint.

Implementing an omnichannel strategy offers numerous benefits, including improved customer satisfaction, increased customer loyalty, and higher conversion rates. However, it also presents challenges, such as maintaining consistent messaging and branding across channels and integrating data from various touchpoints.

A company that has successfully implemented an omnichannel strategy is Starbucks. Its mobile app allows customers to order and pay for their drinks in advance, providing a seamless experience from online to in-store. The app also integrates with their loyalty program, further enhancing the customer experience.

Self-service and Automation

Today’s customers value convenience and self-sufficiency. As a result, self-service options are becoming increasingly popular, allowing customers to find information, resolve issues, and make purchases without the need for human assistance.

Automation plays a crucial role in enabling self-service and improving customer support and service. Chatbots and virtual assistants powered by AI can efficiently handle routine inquiries and tasks, freeing up human agents to focus on more complex issues. This not only saves time and resources for businesses, but also provides customers with quick and accurate responses.

Bank of America has successfully implemented self-service and automation through their virtual assistant, Erica. Customers can use voice commands or chat with Erica to perform tasks such as checking account balances, transferring funds, and obtaining financial advice.

Emerging Technologies Impacting Customer Experience

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the way companies interact with customers. AI-powered technologies, such as chatbots and virtual assistants, can understand and respond to customer queries in real-time, providing personalized and efficient service.

Chatbots have gained popularity across various industries, including e-commerce, travel, and customer support. They can handle a wide range of customer queries, provide recommendations, and even process orders. With advancements in natural language processing, chatbots are becoming increasingly sophisticated in understanding customer intent and providing relevant and contextual responses.

Predictive analytics and machine learning are also playing a significant role in improving customer service. By analyzing vast amounts of customer data, companies can make accurate predictions about customer behavior, preferences, and churn, allowing them to proactively address customer needs and cultivate loyalty.

Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to transform the customer experience by creating connected ecosystems between consumers and brands. Smart devices, such as wearable fitness trackers, smart home appliances, and connected cars, allow companies to gather valuable data and interact with customers in new and innovative ways.

For example, a smart refrigerator can monitor food inventory and automatically place an order for groceries when supplies are running low. Smart home security systems can alert homeowners on their smartphones in case of a break-in. These applications of IoT not only enhance convenience for customers, but also enable proactive service and customization based on their real-time needs.

The Role of Customer Feedback and Voice of Customer (VoC)

Listening to customer feedback is crucial in understanding their needs and improving the overall customer experience. Gathering and analyzing customer feedback provides valuable insights into their satisfaction levels, pain points, and areas for improvement.

There are various techniques for capturing customer feedback, ranging from surveys and focus groups to social media monitoring and online reviews. Analyzing this feedback allows companies to identify trends, make informed decisions, and prioritize improvements that will have the greatest impact on the customer experience.

Voice of Customer (VoC) programs involve systematically gathering, analyzing, and acting upon customer feedback. It goes beyond individual comments and aims to capture the collective sentiment and preferences of the customer base. By effectively utilizing VoC, companies can identify areas where they can enhance the customer experience and develop initiatives to address these needs.

New Customer Experience Metrics and Measurement

Traditional vs. New Metrics

Traditionally, customer experience has been measured using metrics like Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT). While these metrics provide valuable insights, they only offer a limited understanding of the overall customer experience.

Customer Effort Score (CES) is an emerging metric that focuses on the effort customers need to exert to resolve an issue or accomplish a task. By minimizing customer effort, businesses can improve satisfaction and loyalty. Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV) is another important metric that calculates the projected revenue a customer will generate over their lifetime.

However, it is essential to take a holistic approach to measurement by combining multiple metrics. This provides a comprehensive understanding of the customer journey and allows businesses to identify areas for improvement at various touchpoints.

The Future of Customer Experience

The customer experience landscape continues to evolve rapidly, driven by advancements in technology and changing customer expectations. There are several anticipated advancements that will shape the future of customer experience.

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)

Virtual reality and augmented reality have the potential to create immersive and engaging customer experiences. VR can transport customers to virtual settings for product demonstrations, while AR overlays digital information on the physical world, allowing customers to visualize products in their own environments.

Voice Technology and Voice-Activated Interfaces

Voice technology, powered by virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri, is becoming increasingly integrated into our daily lives. Voice-activated interfaces provide hands-free and intuitive interactions, allowing customers to perform tasks, like ordering products or controlling smart devices, simply by using their voice.

Hyper-personalization and Predictive Customer Experience

Advancements in AI and data analytics will enable hyper-personalization, where individualized experiences will be delivered at scale. Predictive customer experience will leverage AI algorithms to anticipate customer needs and provide proactive recommendations, ultimately enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.


The modern customer experience landscape is constantly evolving, driven by key trends and emerging technologies. It is crucial for businesses to stay informed and adapt to these changes in order to meet the evolving expectations of today’s customers.

Personalization, omnichannel engagement, self-service and automation are key trends that companies must embrace to provide exceptional customer experiences. Emerging technologies, such as AI and IoT, have the potential to revolutionize the customer experience by enabling personalized interactions and creating connected ecosystems.

Listening to customer feedback through VoC programs and utilizing new metrics, such as CES and CLTV, allow companies to gain actionable insights and continuously improve the customer experience. Looking towards the future, advancements in VR, AR, voice technology, and hyper-personalization will shape the customer experience landscape.

By staying at the forefront of these trends and leveraging emerging technologies, businesses can ensure that they meet the ever-increasing expectations of the modern customer, leading to increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and ultimately, business success.


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