Analyst firm Forrester recently predicted that the number of customer experience (CX) executives will increase by 25 percent in 2020. That’s just one of many changes coming this year in the world of CX. But why? According to Forrester Research Director Harvey Manning, the new mandate for CX success is business results, and for many, this can be a “career-defining” pursuit in an industry that by many measures is still relatively new. 

A Changing Workforce

With a demand for better business results comes an increase in pressure on customer experience professionals at all levels. In fact, Forrester predicts that one in four CX employees will lose their jobs this year. At the same time, the push for more people in the executive ranks of CX will lead to hiring new and emerging roles, including Chief Customer Officer and Head of CX Strategy. To do this, companies will recruit experienced leaders with a track record of CX success, according to Forrester.

No Shortcuts to Success

Forrester warns companies not to get caught up in “dark patterns” that trick customers into doing things to improve conversion rates. To combat this, major consumer tech players, including Apple, Google, and Samsung, will offer moderation tools and features like “deception blockers.” Governments are also getting involved with legislation aimed at protecting consumers. Forrester cautions CX professionals not to take shortcuts by resorting to practices that may deliver near-term results, but hurt customer trust and loyalty in the long term.

Customer Insights Evolve

Forrester’s 2020 predictions also look at the increasingly important role customer insights play in delivering today’s increasingly data-driven experiences. According to the firm, “Companies that are advanced at being insights-driven outcompete the majority of less insights-mature firms by a wide margin.” As a result, changes in the way companies collect and use customer data are in store for the coming year. Businesses are expected to move away from collecting data via customer feedback forms and surveys. In fact, analytics efforts are expected to increase by 20 percent with companies adding data science and analytics professionals to their CX teams, according to Forrester.

Finally, while firms will attempt to build their own customer insights platforms during the year, “many will falter,” according to Forrester. Instead, companies will turn to external help for customer analytics and insights strategies and solutions to deliver data-driven experiences. In a year where business results and customer insights will take center stage with customers, the important role of data analytics in delivering the experience that today’s customers demand cannot be ignored.

For more insights into the future of customer experience, see Forrester’s 2020 Prediction Guide here.