The landscape of customer experience and customer service continues to evolve at a rapid pace. According to reports from market leaders such as Salesforce, 80% of customers now consider the experience a company provides to be as important as its products and services. In addition, 66% of customers expect companies to already have a clear understanding of their needs and actions.
To stay ahead in today’s competitive landscape, especially in the face of fluctuating economic conditions, companies must stay ahead of consumer expectations. A clear view of the CX trends shaping the landscape could be the key to standing out from the competition in the new year.
Here are some of the CX and customer service trends that will change the landscape through 2023 and beyond
1. Harmony Between Humans and Automation
As customer demand continues to rise and the service process becomes more complex, companies are relying on more than their human workforce to deliver exceptional results. Automation has emerged as one of the most important tools for the CX and enterprise efficiency landscape. In fact, Gartner predicts that automation will be one of the most important trends to watch in the future.
Introducing automated elements into the customer service landscape can help businesses in many ways. With automation, companies can quickly gather customer experience data and implement it into the CRM system. They can also use bots to create automated customer journeys and provide agents with instant access to useful service information.
However, to be truly successful in 2023 and beyond, companies must also strike the right balance between automation and humanity. While many aspects of the customer journey can be automated, others must retain their human elements, such as empathy and creativity.
Along with things like speed and simplicity, personalized experiences are among the most important decision factors for customers when choosing which company to do business with. We live in a world where companies have infinite access to data and AI tools to help identify patterns and trends. As a result, customers expect their journey to be unique to them.
In the future, the companies that invest the most in personalized strategies are likely to outperform their competitors. According to one study, companies can increase revenue by about 15% just by implementing personalization elements.
Automation will be an important factor in bringing personalization to the forefront of the CX experience, as it will help capture valuable data and ensure that employees have access to this information when interacting with customers.
3. Evolutions in Self-Service
The demand for self-service has been on the rise in the CX landscape for some time. Consumers have become more resourceful and self-reliant, especially with access to Internet-based tools and bots. The right self-service solutions can make a big difference in filling the gaps in the current CX environment.
Currently, about 67% of customers say they prefer self-service options to speak with a brand representative. However, it’s not enough to simply use chatbots and virtual agents to handle conversations. Companies must ensure that the tools available for self-service are as intelligent and contextual as possible.
Simple question-and-answer chatbots are likely to become a thing of the past in the future as consumers look for smarter tools to help them diagnose, troubleshoot and solve problems. Companies will need to invest more in concepts like AI, machine learning, workflow automation, and conversational analytics.
4. The Rise of Proactive and Predictive Care
Today’s customers don’t just want quick solutions to their problems, they want companies to actively predict what’ll happen and protect them from problems. According to Gartner, by 2025, proactive customer outreach and service solutions will surpass reactive strategies.
Companies must take full advantage of AI and analytics to ensure they’re prepared for this shift to a proactive and predictive mindset. Historical customer data collection tools can facilitate the identification of trends that can help companies predict when potential issues or spikes in demand may arise for their business.
At the same time, it’ll be important to use proactive monitoring tools and real-time insights to help companies respond to issues as they arise. With access to artificial intelligence and machine learning to assist, companies should be better able to identify issues before they occur and minimize problems for customers in the coming years.
5. The Growth of Total Experience
Moving into a new era of customer experience requires companies to think beyond the “CX” strategy. In recent years, we’ve begun to discover that several factors contribute to the success of a company and its relationship with its customers. For example, employee experience or employee engagement has a direct impact on how satisfied your customers will be.
Gartner predicts that the new focus for businesses in the future will be on “TX” or “Total Experience,” meaning that every part of the experience journey will be considered holistically. Business leaders will need to consider how various factors such as business, user, and employee experience affect the end result for the customer.
In the future, more companies are likely to invest in innovative tools to support and engage their employees. This will be especially important in the new age of hybrid and remote work, where employees are distributed across the globe.
6. Rising Focus on Privacy and Security
While customers are willing to share their information and experiences with companies if it gives them a personalized experience, they also want to know that their data is protected. In 2023 and beyond, companies will need to do more to prove they’re storing and using data efficiently, securely, and correctly.
As data privacy policies and government regulations evolve around the world, companies will need to take additional steps to protect their business and network. Companies can better earn the trust and respect of their customers if they can demonstrate what they’re doing to keep their data as secure as possible.
In the future, every aspect of the CX landscape will be implemented with a high level of access control, security, and privacy policies.
7. Connected, Omnichannel Experiences
The emergence of omnichannel customer experiences has been around for some time. However, as we move into 2023, this environment is likely to become even more complex. According to research, some 69% of customers want a consistent experience with a company across all physical and digital channels. Unfortunately, few companies are delivering on this desire.
Customers today want to be able to move effortlessly from one channel to another, taking the context of their conversation with them. This requires companies to create more connected environments for handling customer service.
As we move into 2023 and beyond, the channels that businesses need to connect are likely to evolve even further. We’re already seeing video become a common service channel alongside messaging and voice. The emergence of XR could lead to customers requesting more connected journeys on XR and in the metaverse.
Looking Forward to 2023 and Beyond
Customer experience trends are constantly evolving as your audience’s expectations change. Now more than ever, customers have varying levels of trust when it comes to interacting with businesses. To feel confident in their interactions and transactions, they need to ensure that the companies they work with are willing to put CX and service first.
Developing a strong customer experience strategy in 2023 will require companies to have their finger on the pulse of customer expectations while taking advantage of emerging technology opportunities. If you want to work on your CX strategy to meet the trends of 2023, contact Bulb Technologies today to learn how we can help.