Plenty of conversation these days revolves around the importance of elevating the customer experience (CX), but it seems things are not really paying off for many companies. In fact, CX progress overall appears to have stalled, and is even getting worse, according to Forrester Research.

In "Predictions 2018: A Year of Reckoning," the firm paints a sobering assessment of companies' customer experience efforts: Even as CX quality declined or plateaued overall in 2017, this year shows no signs that companies are adjusting fast enough to accommodate increasing customer expectations. Forrester's bottom-line prediction is that almost one-third of companies will suffer declines in CX performance in 2018, resulting in a one-point net loss in growth.

"Even as more companies are focusing on customer experience, customer expectations are rising," says Rick Parrish, principal customer experience analyst at Forrester. "Most companies are having trouble raising CX to the strategic level, which is where it needs to be."