The Top 20 CX Articles of 2018
Digital Next | Industry Savvy

The Top 20 CX Articles of 2018

on / by Rachel Bodony

In 2018, CX content overflowed with insights. So, we picked out the best and brightest this year had to offer.  What’s more, they’re categorized for your personal reading pleasure! Here’s to preparing ourselves for a strong 2019.

AI and Customer Experience

If there was one topic covered the most this past year, it would be AI and Customer Experience. Many people took to the page to explain how AI will influence the CX Industry. Four of the best:

Fast Forward to a modern and relevant customer experience by H&M
September 6, 2018 | H&M (@hm) |Youtube

H&M’s video shows a fully integrated omnichannel shopping experience. They cleverly use film to introduce new features rolling out in 2019 including visual search and “in-store” mode. Love the approach, and look forward to new and integrated retail experiences in 2019.

4 Ways You Can Use AI to Enhance Every Step of the Customer Journey
January 25, 2018 Nandini Rathi (@Nandini_M)Entrepreneur 

Nandini Rathi offers four critical points on how to integrate AI into your marketing strategy. As CMO of Betaout (recently acquired by Bluecorp), she understands the nuanced ways AI can make a huge difference in understanding your customer’s needs.

10 Customer Experience Implementations Of Artificial Intelligence
February 8, 2018 | Blake Morgan (@BlakeMichelleM) | Forbes 

By 2025, an estimated 95% of customer interactions will be supported by AI technology.” Companies are already integrating AI in incredibly cool ways, from Ticketmaster’s fight to end ticket fraud, Domino’s Facebook Messenger ordering system, and 1-800-Flower’s super smart bot – the article covers concrete examples of the possibilities of AI on customer experience. And who doesn’t love a list of real-life examples?

The AI Revolution In CX Measurement
August 3, 2018 | Maxie Schmidt (@maxieschmidt) | Forrester

There’s a lot of content out there about AI — but Forrester’s Maxie Schmidt offers an authentic and comprehensive article that cuts through the usual commonplace generalizations of AI in favor of detailed and acute strategies you can employ to make AI work for you. Highly recommended for those interested in developing an AI strategy at scale.

UX Articles

UX is, without a doubt, an integral part of CX.  Two of the most interesting UX articles from the year:

The Importance of Feedback from a Product
October 26, 2018 | Eugen Esanu (@eugenesanu) | UX Planet

Forward-thinking topics like audio and immediate feedback make this a contender for best article of the year. Poignant quotes and examples are the icing on top. There are countless elements of psychology in feedback, and Esanu sums it up, “In the end, a feedback system should inform the user and please his nervous system that his actions are right.”

The State of UX in 2019
December 17, 2018 |Caio Braga (@caioab) and Fabricio Teixeira (@fabriciot) | UX Collective 

It’s easy to forget the weight of our work. OK, so maybe you spent all day running tests to launch a single element, but UX ultimately has a real impact on society’s relationship with technology. In the fourth edition of their annual Trends Report, UX Collective condenses this year’s biggest topics and determines conclusions for the coming year. Strategic tips, moral musings, and debates over design methods make this behemoth a worth-while end-of-the-year wrap-up.

“It took businesses a while to shift their focus from being business-centric to being user-centric. We are now quickly approaching a new era where the companies that win are the ones who can shift from user-centric to society-centric — from singular to plural.”

Guides to Developing Your CX Strategy

When we engage with content, we’re usually looking for tips and tricks to make our jobs and lives easier, more efficient, and more effective. These articles offer accessible pointers on improving CX regardless of your digital maturity.

6 Ways to Build a Customer-Centric Culture
October 2, 2018 | Denise Lee Yohn (@DeniseLeeYohn) | Harvard Business Review

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the immense amount of CX data? How do you aggregate all of it, and even then, how do you make it actionable? HBR provides a great step-by-step guide to deal with these issues, covering topics like building empathy, democratizing feedback, and how to facilitate customer-employee interaction. Chock full of great use-cases.

8 Tips to Win Executive Buy-in
February 22, 2018 | Dom Nicastro (@DomNicastro) | CMSWiRE

It’s likely that your goals and objectives are perfectly powerful to you, but don’t align with the goals of your executives. It’s helpful to know how to adapt your language and actions to meet those executive’s needs, which isn’t always intuitive.

Ultimate Guide to User Feedback
October 1, 2018 | Usabilla (@usabilla) | Usabilla

Just starting your digital transformation? Recently receive more funding for your CX program? Just want to learn more about CX in general? Our Ultimate Guide covers everything from the broad concepts of CX to specific best practices for survey design.

So What Is CX Strategy Anyway?
August 27, 2018 | Ryan Hart (@RHartCX) | Forrester

It’s always useful to go back to the basics. Thought leader Ryan Hart from Forrester brings us all down to earth with this short but effective blog on what CX means at its core.

Customer Experience Best Practices: A Framework for Designing Outstanding CX
January 17, 2018 | Linda Saindon (@lindalou) | CMSWiRE

Saindon interviewed CX Professionals and executives from customer experience strategy companies, aggregating the insights she found into 3 of the most important CX best practices. She hits all the right chords. One favorite: you can’t manufacture customer empathy- which she explores with Scot Gillespie, Chief Technology Officer at the Washington Post. 

CX Principles

For the true CX enthusiasts among us, it’s both useful and exciting to reacquaint ourselves with the basic pillars of customer-centricity.

What’s even better is finding an article that opens our eyes to new concepts or reshapes our perspective on a tried and true convention. Whether enlightening, broadening, enriching, or humanizing, all the articles below are bound to expand your understanding of CX.

Your Best Opportunity For Growing Business: The Customer Experience
April 1, 2018 | Shep Hyken (@Hyken) | Forbes

If you haven’t read Shep Hyken’s work yet, consider Nike’s slogan and just do it. “Customers are smarter than ever when it comes to customer service and experience, and they expect more than ever before.” We’ve heard this time and again, but Hyken breaks down the importance with hard facts and a fresh perspective.

The Most Successful Brands Focus on Users — Not Buyers
February 7, 2018 | Mark Bonchek (@MarkBonchek) and Vivek Bapat (@vivek_bapat) | Harvard Business Review

If you’re ready for an in-depth and enlightening read, look no further. This HBR article compares the values of legacy and traditional brands to those of newcomers and digital brands. The result? Ultimately, investments in experiences, as opposed to products, offer the largest opportunity for businesses.

The next chapter in customer transformation for utilities
July 19, 2018 | Neil Parekh (@Accenture) | Accenture

Although geared toward utility companies, Accenture’s bright and brainy article on why companies are becoming more customer-obsessed is relevant for all types of organizations. Accenture’s super-smarts offer a reliable source to dig into the concepts at the heart of customer-centricity. This short article covers a wide range of topics on how to transform your organization in big and small ways to find long and short-term success.

Happy Customers Are the Biggest Marketing Opportunity of 2018
May 10, 2018 | Kipp Bodnar (@kippbodnar) | Hubspot 

The hard truth about customer-centricity. Straight-forward and honest, Hubspot applies its own data to show readers how to hack their own sales’ funnels for insights.

For the last decade, inbound marketers have been telling stories that demonstrate value and build lasting trust. But if those stories don’t feature your customers’ voices, you’re missing out on the biggest growth opportunity of 2018.”

The Future Of Retail CX Is Human
August 22, 2018 | Denise Lee Yohn (@DeniseLeeYohn) | Forbes

Technology is what guides better CX, but contrary to what the word ‘technology’ implies, people want more human interaction, not less. In a variety of ways, technology is being used to enhance and advance human connection. It helps retailers understand people so that they are no longer designing for the ‘average customer’ but instead for individuals.

Procrastination-Worthy Clickables 

Now for the fun stuff! There’s huge opportunity coming for the field of CX, and there’s really no better way to start the day than being inspired. Click away!

Customer Satisfaction at the Touch of a Button
February 5, 2018 | David Owen (@NewYorker) | New Yorker

What’s the deal with those little kiosks in airport bathrooms and at the entrance of mattress stores? What’s the value of all those button presses? Turns out, they’re kind of brilliant. Find out how HappyOrNot’s feedback terminal completely changed the way a Swedish sofa retailer viewed a problem they’d been trying to solve for years.

Wanted at Blue Origin: an astronaut experience manager to ‘help delight customers’
March 8, 2018 | Loren Gush (@lorengush) | The Verge

Start working on your resume for the Astronaut Experience Manager position at Jeff Bezos’ spaceflight company, Blue Origin. The listing reads, “As the Astronaut Experience Manager you will work with a team that is creating a highly differentiated offering that culminates in the customer becoming an astronaut.”

The stakes have never been higher.

Tom Fishburn’s Voice of the Customer Cartoons & Commentary
December 2, 2018 | Tom Fishburn (@marketoonist) |  Marketoonist

The survey fatigue is real. We don’t want to fill out 100 question surveys anymore (actually, we never did), and who doesn’t avoid making eye contact with the employee holding a clipboard asking shoppers if they’d be willing to, ”just answer a few short questions about their experience today.”

You’ll love Marketoonist’s hilarious visualizations of the outdated ways companies capture the voice of the customer.

All jokes aside, Fishburn wisely remarked,  “Real customer experience insights often come from unstructured feedback that doesn’t fit neatly in a customer satisfaction survey.” Well said.

Ringing in the new year!

As 2018 rolls to a close, we celebrate the past year and look forward to a new one.

Happy reading!

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Article by

Rachel Bodony

Rachel is currently living in New York City as Usabilla's Content Writer. You can find her at her desk taking grammar quizzes, reading about AI, or dreaming up her next adrenaline-inducing adventure.

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  • Great post indeed! You have nicely explained the guidelines and thanks for this one.

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