The 5 trends businesses can’t afford to ignore in 2018

The 5 trends businesses can’t afford to ignore in 2018

Thanks to advances in technology consumers are expecting more than ever from businesses. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in the area of customer experience. If your business fails to keep up with the latest trends you could wind up losing out to a competitor.

Over the last few months, there has been a lot of talk about what we can expect to be trending next year in the experience design and management industry. Now that there are so many options to give a little more to their customers, businesses refusing to utilise any of the available technology are really putting themselves behind the competition.

Customers expect a great experience at all touch points, including awareness on social media, the transaction itself, and afterward. Successful businesses understand that it’s more time consuming and costly to attract new clients, than it is to maintain existing ones. Unfortunately, some businesses are simply too large to remember all of their clients by name, and it can be difficult to maintain contact with their client base. However there are many digital platforms to make your own, for the purpose of maintaining awareness with your clients, and the options grow frequently.

the very abilities we have seen in the movies are finally making their appearance

With this in mind, a number of new methods and technology platforms have emerged and will be shaking up the industry in 2018. Here is a list of what they are:

1. Speech self service

This year, we have seen a lot of ads about the latest Google device that responds to your voice commands. Google Home is really making inroads into our domestic situations. It still feels odd to ask the device out loud to turn on the lights and music, but I have heard that children are already using it for their homework assignments. Clearly they are not shy and in time, neither will we be, as the technology continues to get smarter.

2. Digital Privacy and Safety

Just because they share their entire life on social media, this doesn’t mean that Gen Y is not concerned about safety measures online. In fact, quite the opposite is true. The digital rights and governance group at the University of Sydney conducted a survey of 1,600 people and found that the majority of people in their 20s and 30s were most concerned. Online platforms like FortKnoxster are taking advantage of blockchain technology, decentralized storage, and advanced encryption, and creating potential solutions to help protect user safety as it becomes more important.

3. Hollywood Technologies

I call these Hollywood Technologies because the very abilities we have seen in the movies are finally making their appearance. Passwords will become a thing of the past as we start to see voice print as identification and with biometrics embedded into hand held devices, like iris scanning and face recognition. One company (Prellis Biologics) can now print organs on demand with a 3D printer. What was once the realm of sci-fi is now real.

4. Blockchain

A major mainstream credit card company is already using blockchain, a more secure and transparent method to pay, as it is said to be a more efficient method of paying. It also removes the need to swipe a credit card. MasterCard’s blockchain operates independently of a cryptocurrency, and instead accepts payments in local currency.

5. Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence is becoming more mainstream and businesses are staring to utilise it. We built a basic chat bot utilising an AI platform in just a week and a half. The great thing is that no longer are large enterprises leading the way – anyone can be involved. Companies are now making their AI tools accessible and easy to use, so we will see more experimentation and innovation from smaller businesses.

How is your business preparing for the year ahead? Are you planning to experiment with any of the above?

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Katja Forbes
Katja Forbes is a pioneer in the Australian experience design industry and founder of Sydney-based company Syfte. She is International Director of the Interaction Design Association Board. a global organisation of over 100,000 individuals focused on interaction design issues for the practitioner.

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