Fourth quarter is upon us, and as the year winds down, it’s time to start taking stock of what we’ve accomplished in 2018 and how we hope to move into 2019. This year saw a big trend towards customer experience, and companies everywhere are refocusing efforts on relationships with their customers.

The Temkin Group outlined 15 trends in customer experience (CX) to keep an eye on in 2018. While some of the things they pointed out are pretty high touch and difficult to roll out quickly, there are some pretty basic ideas that you can keep in mind for the final quarter or even for a great way to start 2019. Let’s break down a few of the highlights.

Companies are revamping underperforming CX metrics.

It’s time to trim the fat and figure out what works and what doesn’t. With the growing popularity of CX, plenty of systems, softwares, and measurement tools have arisen. It’s important to distinguish the important data and feedback from the simply well-intentioned. Technology is growing exponentially while marketing budgets are at their slowest pace in years, so optimizing data collection will help ensure other resources don’t suffer.

Brand promise alignment is a priority.

Clarifying a mission and delivering on that promise are of rising importance as brands try to establish an identity. Businesses are realizing that customers care less about the company history and growth and more about how they’re going to establish a relationship of value together.

Companies are realigning analytics around the customer journey.

Sales reports aren’t the only important numbers on the table anymore. Quantifying and tracking the customer journey is a key to ensuring retention, making sure that service is up to standard across the network, and predicting growth. CX metrics like the Net Promoter System have proven to be inextricably linked to growth, so it wouldn’t hurt to look at what analytics you’re using now to see how they measure up.

Newly energized executives will rush to embrace the idea of CX.

CX has become more than a buzzword in discussions of what drives growth, and more and more senior leaders are getting excited about it. Maybe too excited. While they know it has clear benefits, they may have an unrealistic idea of what needs to be done to get results. Many marketers and operations people assume that managers and execs understand what they’re asking for when they ask for it. It’s important to understand and explain the ins and outs of CX metrics to the entire company so everyone is on the same page and working towards the same tangible goals.

More and more efforts will emerge to create customer-centric cultures.

This trend is here to stay. Businesses are recognizing the importance of CX, and giants like Apple and Amazon have been focused on it for years. With so many options in every industry, consumers are shopping for an experience and a brand they can trust, not necessarily a product or service. They notice when a company culture is about relationships, and they’re more likely to stick around when they do. The best time to start is now, because wait too long, and you’ll fall behind the curve.