Pega predicts: 5 customer engagement trends for 2018

Don Schuerman,

As 2018 approaches, it’s time to look toward the future: What are the coming trends or disruptions? What will matter most?

In our recent webinar, Pega CMO Tom Libretto and I revealed our predictions on not only the most important advances in technology, but also the critical outcomes that organizations should strive to achieve in 2018.

1. It’s all about the context.

It’s not enough to just have a personalized message. What organizations need is a message that is also tailored to the context of what the consumer needs in the moment. How does that customer feel? What are they trying to achieve? The customer wants to know that you understand them, and organizations that can demonstrate a deep level of understanding will succeed. New data signals are being collected in real-time from all kinds of digital inputs. With this data, businesses can demonstrate new levels of empathy towards their customers on a broad scale. To do that, you’ll need the ability to analyze all types of data in a centralized system. AI, analytics, customer history, and emotional, behavioral, and motivational data all contribute to understanding the customer’s context and the recommended best action based on that context.

2. Every employee becomes customer-facing.

The line between “front-office” and “back-office” is blurring. It’s about empowerment. Give your employees the information they need to do their jobs. Systems that automate the work in the background free up workers from mundane housekeeping tasks and allow them to focus on that all-important one-on-one engagement with your customers. And we’re not just talking about front-line service agents. Think of IT as customer-facing: Your brand lives in your technology. Advances in AI and robotic automation will blur the lines between agents, salespeople, marketers, and developers – and even between humans and machines. Brands like Transavia are already making this a reality. Make it easy for your workers to work. After all, happy employees lead to happy customers.

3. More control and transparency, please.

As the use of AI grows, so does concern from customers. The forthcoming European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was created to address these concerns and will give customers control of their data, forcing companies to be more transparent about personal data and how it is used. This will drive organizations to adopt technology that is able to expose details on customer data at multiple levels. Enterprises will need to balance AI technologies across their portfolio based on potential value, but also on transparency and risk. Interest from technology and business leaders will grow significantly in this area, as they realize that providing transparency and control will be essential to building trust with customers.

4. Everybody gets a robot!

We’re talking personal assistant, software robots like Siri and Alexa, but for the business side. Think about a bot listening in on a customer service call and automatically grabbing all the relevant data that a customer service rep needs. Chatbots, robotic automation, robots that talk to other robots – all working together to improve productivity and customer satisfaction. In the webinar, Tom and I give you tips on where to start. One telco we work with in Australia saved $18 million and created $2 million in value with its robotic automation deployment. Can you afford to wait?

5. Low-code is fine, but “no-code” is where it’s at.

New visual tools will give all of your staff the power to design and build a better customer experience. Your organization will be more reactive to contribute to and change your rules and processes as demands change. With this no-code empowerment, businesses will be able to launch new services, adjust features on the fly, and expand into new channels like mobile and chatbots faster. It’s about innovating to deliver more immediate results, like reacting to buying trends or better meeting the needs of customers. Let the people who know and work with customers provide direct input into your systems.

Get started right now!

We know that organizations that provide outstanding customer engagement see a 4x increase in top and bottom line growth, and a 3x increase in customer acquisition. Start realizing these benefits by implementing some of the digital trends described above. Empower employees. Build context into your systems. Focus on the individual customer experience. Start designing for that one new outcome your organization wants to achieve in 2018.

Learn more:


  • Industry: Consumer Services
  • Topic: Analytics
  • Challenge: Customer Engagement

About the Author

Don Schuerman is Pega’s CTO, vice president of product marketing, and an evangelist for customer engagement and digital transformation.