Recommended Reading: Top CX and Digital Transformation Content for 2018

Customer preferences for customer service channels continue to shift rapidly – with consumers increasingly naming digital channels as their preferred mode of communication. Additionally, the digital communication landscape continues to grow more complex, with the number of channels that customers expect to use to communicate with businesses on the rise.

The stakes are high – we’ve all seen what happens to businesses that fail to keep up with the pace of change. Today’s consumers have high expectations, and are willing to switch companies if those expectations are not met. Unfortunately, many companies have yet to fully invest in their digital transformation plans, leading to an expectation gap when it comes to digital customer service.

This has created a challenging environment for decision-makers when considering the actions that need to be taken in the implementation of their digital transformation strategy – which is further complicated by the rapid pace of change; it can be hard to get a handle on the current state of CX and digital customer service trends, since statistics from even two or three years ago can seem hopelessly out of date. Even more confusing is the proliferation of old information masquerading as news.

So here we’ve pulled together our favorite CX and digital customer service reports – all of which have been published within the last year – along with content previews and links to get the rest of the report.

Digital Transformation Resources

2018 State of Digital Business Transformation

This report by IDG Communications summarizes the results of their 2018 Digital Business Survey, which includes questions about businesses approach to digital technology and actions undertaken toward digital transformation. Sample content:

“Connected devices are flourishing as predicted, with the number of connected IoT endpoints set to top 30 billion in 2020 and reach 80 billion by 2025 according to IDC. But for most enterprises, the transition to a digital-first business model has been more cautious and methodical, according to IDG’s 2018 Digital Business Survey.”

“More than a third of organizations (37%) have already started integrating and executing a digital-first approach, and 7% say they’re already an enterprise-wide digital business. Still, almost half (45%) of IT and business leaders surveyed say their companies are in the very early stages of becoming a digital business – either gathering information or just beginning to formulate a digital-first strategy.”

Find the rest of the report here.

PwC: (Don’t) take it to the bank: What customers want in the digital age

This report by PwC provides an excellent look at the rapid evolution of consumer banking trends and preferences – from human-centric to omni-channel to omni-digital. Sample content:

“Omni-digital customers don’t use physical channels like branches or call centers to interact with their financial institutions. Instead, they use all digital channels seamlessly—mobile phones, PCs, and tablets—to interact with the bank for everything they do.”

“Our recent survey shows 46% of consumers now interacting via digital form only, skipping physical channels altogether. This represents a huge jump from the 27% share we saw in 2012. Smartphones are an essential part of the change, given that 81% of consumers now own a smartphone, and 60% of these smartphone users now report using mobile banking in some way, up from 36% in 2012.”

Find the rest of the report here.


This report looks at the results of a survey conducted of 340 senior executives from large global companies in nine industries, and draws out information pertinent to the challenges of making the leap from digital transition strategy to digital transformation execution. Sample content:

  • Many enterprises are still focusing on isolated, low-impact digital projects.

  • Companies lack visibility into the processes that drive business operations and customer experience-two prime targets for digital transformation.

  • Although there is widespread investment in transformative technologies such as cloud, mobility, and analytics, investments in digital “seed technologies”-such as APIs, DevOps, and micro-services-is lagging.

  • A strong data backbone is at the core of digital transformation, yet companies continue to be overwhelmed by the volume and variety of available data.

  • Many enterprises lack tools to accurately measure the impact of digital transformation initiatives.

  • While companies report a shortage of digital skills and resources, a relatively small percentage are leveraging their ecosystem of vendors and partners.

These all lead to the central finding of the study: Although 70% of the companies surveyed claimed to have a formal digital strategy, documented and agreed on by all stakeholders, just 10% said they have a plan to fully deploy that strategy! It comes as no surprise, then, that only 26% reported they are reaping the benefits of digital transformation projects.

Find the rest of the report here.


PwC: How AI is pushing man and machine closer together

This report by PwC examines the results of a survey which “sampled 2,500 US consumers and business decision makers via a nationally representative online survey to explore attitudes towards artificial intelligence and its current and future implications on society”. It examines current consumer attitudes toward AI both in the present and for the future. Sample content:

“With a market projected to reach $70 billion by 2020, AI is poised to have a transformative effect on consumer, enterprise, and government markets around the world.1 While there are certainly obstacles to overcome, consumers believe that AI has the potential to assist in medical breakthroughs, democratize costly services, elevate poor customer service, and even free up an overburdened workforce.”

Find the rest of the report here.

Customer Experience Resources

PwC: Experience is everything: Here’s how to get it right

This report by PwC looks at the growing importance of customer experience, and six key reasons why businesses need to be making customer experience a priority. Sample content:

“The price premium is real—and it’s big.  The payoffs for valued, great experiences are tangible: up to a 16% price premium on products and services, plus increased loyalty. In return, among U.S. consumers, there’s a sharp increase in willingness to give up personal data: 63% say they’d share more information with a company that offers a great experience.”

“Across all the industries surveyed, an average of 48% of U.S. consumers point to friendly, welcoming service as uniquely defining success in an industry; fewer (32%) pointed to having the most up-to-date technology. Most people only make the connection between technology and customer experience when tech fails, is slow or disrupts the process. Yet the number of companies that say creating better customer experiences is a digital priority have dropped to just 10% in 2017, down from 25% in 2016, according to PwC’s Digital IQ survey.”

Find the rest of the report here.

The zero-touch customer experience

This report by Ericsson examines the results of an extensive survey, including both quantitative and qualitative research conducted in Brazil, China, Germany, South Korea, Sweden, the UK, and the USA. The findings of this report examine in detail current consumer experiences with digital customer service. Sample content:

“Consumers feel exhausted by interactions with telecom service providers:

  • On average, it takes smartphone users 2.2 attempts and 4.1 days to successfully complete an interaction with telecom service providers.

  • High customer effort impacts satisfaction levels – the number of satisfied users decreases by 30 percent if it takes more than 1 day to get things done.

  • Consumers crave a personalized experience. Only one-third of consumers believe their telecom service provider understands them as a customer.”

Find the rest of the report here.


This report by CCW Digital looks at the results of a survey conducted of customer experience, contact center, marketing, customer care, IT, and operations professionals in August, September, and October of 2017. Sample content:

  • The “frictionless revolution” will continue in 2018. Reducing customer effort ranks as the #1 customer experience priority for the coming year.

  • Organizations are not merely marveling at the idea of chatbots – they are prepared to implement the technology. Leveraging automated engagement tools is the #2 priority for 2018.

“When it comes to customer contact strategy, there is no universal priority for 2018. There is, in fact, no singular objective that even ranks as a top priority for the majority of businesses.”

Find the rest of the report here.


This report by Microsoft Dynamics examines the results of a survey conducted of 5,000 people from Brazil, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. It breaks down in great detail customer attitudes toward customer experience and preferences for customer service channels. Sample content:

“Regardless of industry, service organizations are a customer engagement focal point for brands around the world. Our report reveals that 96% of respondents say customer service is important in their choice of loyalty to a brand. And because customer experience is a key differentiator, empowering your service organization to deliver personalized and contextual interactions throughout the customer journey is a strategic imperative.”

“The bottom line is this: customers want their experience to feel effortless, regardless of whether it’s through self-service or with the help of an agent. Unfortunately, that’s not the case when looking at the 80% of respondents who believe it takes some or even too much effort to resolve their customer service issues. While this number uncovers room for significant improvement globally, brands can seize this as an opportunity to improve customer perception by providing frictionless customer service engagements.”

Find the rest of the report here.

2017 Global Customer Experience Benchmarking Key Findings Report

This report is the 20th edition in Dimension Data’s annual Customer Experience Benchmarking report, with summaries of key findings from the full survey. Sample content:

“The research shows that digital transformation is not a debate, but a necessity to compete. In every geography, across all industry verticals, what was once viewed as a competitive advantage has now become an act of survival. Relevance in the digital age requires connections with customers that not only include multiple channels, but the interconnection of those interactions. The report shows a stark realisation that CX providers want to move faster and those who do will truly redeem themselves.”

  • 81% of companies recognise CX as a competitive differentiator

  • CX is the no1 most important strategic performance measure

  • 79% can evidence cost savings; 84% an uplift in revenue/profits

Find the rest of the report here.

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About the Author: Anna Kreider