In the two years after we collaborated on The 2015 Customer Experience Outlook, much changed in the world of customer experience — and much of that change was digital. Speech interfaces, artificial intelligence, wearables, and robots gained significant traction and seemed poised to take over our customer interactions.

And yet, when we reached out to some of our favorite customer experience authors, designers, and industry leaders to find out what they were thinking about at the beginning of 2017, the theme of digital innovation took a back seat.

Instead, they focused on our need to connect with each other: To build bridges across our organizations. To communicate honestly. To be kind to one another.

We believe this Outlook’s focus on the human aspects of customer experience reflects how 2017’s political and social forces shaped the way we do business. Certainly, it was —and still is — a time for us to reflect on the work we’re doing and the world we’re creating.

Contributors include: Josh Bernoff, Kerry Bodine, Megan Burns, Dave Carroll, Martin Dowson, Tomas Edman, Matt Inman, Oliver King, Ingrid Lindberg, Lisa Lindström, Peter Merholz, Keith Pearce, Fernando Straminsky, and Stina Nilimaa Wickström.

We’re confident you’ll still find the ideas in this 2017 eBook both inspiring and relevant.

Kerry Bodine — Co-author, Outside In
Lisa Lindström — CEO, Doberman