As CX evolves, it’s important to keep ahead of the trends that are driving experience and success. In 2023, CX will continue to change and evolve in order to meet new expectations and deliver outstanding experiences. We’ll explore nine customer experience trends to watch out for in 2023, including competing on customer experience, predictive analytics, total experience (TX), automation and AI, personalization, omnichannel, prioritizing agent experience, securing data, and the mobile-first approach.
Digitalization has completely transformed how brands support their loyal bases, creating a customer-centric model that places satisfaction at the forefront. In the digital age, great care is an essential part of any experience journey, and it requires organizations to rethink how they provide support.
This means taking a closer look at what kind of digital solutions may positively impact operations and streamline your CX, and using them as augmentations to the everyday operational work of your teams. Digital will be hugely important across all areas we’ll discuss today, especially as enablers of omnichannel, better workflows, and performance management.
As promised, here are the 9 trends that will dominate the approach to CX and shape how it evolves over the next year - and beyond. We’ll go through each of them in a bit more detail and give you some insight into why they’re important and how they could impact your business in the future.
Experience is becoming a key differentiator for brands as expectations are rising. Loyalty is increasingly driven by positive experiences, and 66% of consumers say a bad CX interaction can ruin their day. That makes their choice of brand even more weighted than ever in history - why would anyone pick a product or service if they worry there’s a 2 out of 3 chance that it’ll end in frustration or stress?
Brands can’t just deliver support that meets their audience’s needs in order to be competitive. They have to build outstanding, authentic, and engaging practices and relationships with people, as a key element of their strategy. Forging these relationships can be a key differentiator, and may even make up for lapses in service, product quality, or innovation. It’s no wonder that companies that are customer-centric tend to be 60% more profitable than companies that are not.
This year, ensuring that you prioritize excellent CX as a core piece of your business strategy will be vital to your success. In an ever more competitive market and considering global economic downturns that may touch several key geographies, people will be more careful with where they spend, and you want to ensure that they spend with you.
Mobile, chat, voice calls, chatbots. The world isn’t just moving more and more into the digital sphere, it’s streamlining from the desktop all the way down to the phone or tablet in your hand. It’s faster, more convenient, and accessible from anywhere you are - so long as the brands you’re contacting are there to meet you. That’s why mobile-first has been, and will continue to be, a crucial customer experience trend over the next year.
Expectations are shifting, and more and more, they are using mobile devices as the primary device of choice for interactions. CX needs to be tailored to meet their needs on mobile devices, whether that means better interfaces, multiple channels, optimization, seamless interactions, or self-service options.
And to be clear, it won’t just be enough to appear on a mobile channel - what will help you stand out is how you appear there, and make the most of your presence. In fact, Forrester predicts that 70% of B2B marketers will adopt an “always on” digital engagement strategy, in order to meet consumers where they’re at. It’s important to note that success with this kind of strategy is only possible with an abundance of relevant data to base strategies on. Regardless, mobile-first has been a buzzword for many years, and will continue to be.
What drives improvement and innovation in great CX? More than anything, it’s customer data. Unless you know what you’re working with, what your consumers need, and what could be just on the horizon, it’s almost impossible to craft a powerful and efficient experience. This data can be used to identify behaviors and trends, allowing organizations to anticipate needs and provide tailored solutions.
Organizations can use predictive analytics to gain deeper insights, develop strategies that are customer-centric, and optimize support operations. By managing this kind of data, a brand may be better equipped to predict peaks in service, new solutions to old problems, and get ahead of the game before their consumers even know what they need.
All of this makes predictive analytics an essential tool and customer experience trend in 2023, and one that will continue to grow in importance as we move further and further into the digital sphere. With better anticipation will come greater loyalty, and with that, lifetime value and cost reduction. Sounds like a dream come true, right?
When we talk about securing customer data, security and privacy are of course paramount - it’s crucial to understand the limitations of storing and using it in the proper way. This is becoming increasingly important for businesses in 2023, as trust and loyalty are closely tied to data security. More and more, not just in traditionally sensitive industries, customers are aware of how their data is being used and eager to find ways to protect it.
Organizations must ensure data is secure, private, and compliant with all applicable laws in order to build trust and protect privacy. With the rise in threats of hacking, data leaks, and the desire for personalization without the loss of privacy, it will be a balancing act to find the line between safe handling of personal data and bespoke support.
That’s why securing data is a key customer experience trend for 2023 and must be prioritized. Ensuring your business has the necessary security certifications will enhance consumer trust, and sanitizing all personal information will mean you can deliver personalization without compromising personal privacy.
Total customer experience (TX) refers to experiences that are personalized, provide value, and create loyalty. TX encompasses all touchpoints within the CX journey, from initial discovery and contact to post-sales service. For that reason, over 77% of leaders say their service department could be a revenue driver, which makes it the perfect moment to capitalize on this trend.
With TX comes an awareness of brand values, security and privacy, personalization, consistency, and implementation of omnichannel and other solutions that help to create a seamless and responsive experience to meet customer needs. With the right, holistic approach, a business will no longer simply be patching up holes or fixing errors in their process, but looking at their strategy as a whole.
This kind of prioritizing is crucial to delivering even higher value and loyalty, particularly lifetime value of the user base. In the digital age, that combined with a mobile-first approach and awareness of current trends will drive further growth, making it a customer experience trend that is here to stay.
It all starts with your teams. If they are happy and performing at their best, empowered by excellent technology, then that will leave your users loyal, satisfied, with a positive experience behind them. That’s why agent experience is an essential customer experience trend in 2023, as a key driver of business growth and added value.
Agents must be equipped with the tools and training necessary to provide a service that meets expectations and drives loyalty. In a positive work environment, a business can reduce turnover, attract top talent, and provide CX that stands out from the competition. That means your teams need to be very well trained, equipped with the latest knowledge, and able to adapt to varying situations and stressors.
A positive service experience starts with a positive agent experience. And from there, the possibilities for upselling, post-service care, and ensuring better wellbeing will open up to your business.
In recent years, automating workflows and creating integrated platforms with these kinds of solutions were all the rage. Whilst automation is still an incredible improvement on manual entry, data movement, and other administrative tasks that otherwise eat up both your agents and users time, the world is already moving ahead towards implementing AI solutions in the same place.
And whilst the horizon looks very promising, it comes with certain caveats. 64% of customer want bots to provide the same level of interaction as humans, which means investing more time and resources into training, machine learning, natural language processing, and analysis. What’s more, before you even begin to look at artificial intelligence, you need to ensure you’re doing it for the right reasons with clear goals in mind.
That makes this a customer experience trend that has the potential to become the norm in daily operations, provided that businesses ensure it is done well. According to Deloitte, 56% of the contact centre leaders stated that AI is a focus area, ready for broad adoption - creating a digital customer experience (DCX) is a necessity in today’s hyper-connected era, not just an option.
Your users want, and increasingly need, to be able to contact you in various ways on multiple different channels. Creating a cohesive omnichannel strategy that spans phone, social media, chatbots, email, and others, will be a significant differentiator for your brand. It’s no wonder that 76% of businesses report increasing their investments in offering multiple channels for customer service.
As brands dive deeper into how an omnichannel approach can and should be realized, what becomes clear is that each channel has to be optimized on an individual level and then as part of a greater whole. They cannot be individual, siloed efforts, and must in fact work cohesively together to provide a seamless experience.
On the individual level, businesses should recognise the diversity of their audience and adapt to their specific needs and behaviors. This together with a list of pragmatic initiatives and strategic KPIs will help you to both determine measures of success and increase value in channels that are currently underperforming. With this holistic approach, this customer experience trend can significantly increase revenue, whilst maintaining high levels of satisfaction and loyalty.
Personalization will be essential in 2023 as expectations are shifting. Your users want experiences that are tailored to their needs and preferences, and organizations must prioritize personalization in order to remain competitive and successful. With this, you can provide added value, create loyalty, and improve satisfaction.
Taken together with a mobile-first approach, omnichannel, and securing data, personalization has been a growing trend in recent years and will only continue to increase in importance in the near future. Who doesn’t love it when a service is tailored specifically to their needs, and even goes the extra mile in anticipating what they may require next?
A customized approach to marketing and communication will also enable companies to better sell the products and services to those looking for them. Gaining new users and expanding to novel markets is no longer the only way to grow - upselling and cross-selling to current users can provide even higher value in the longterm.