Historically, in companies the focus of developing competitive advantage used to rest with internal capabilities and resources, cost strategies, and innovations in products and services while CX was an afterthought at best. However, in the digital age, human connections can make or break a business. CX has now become a constant in business success.
A recent survey reveals that 94% of customers are more likely to return to a brand after a positive customer service experience. A company offering excellent customer service is more likely to be recommended by consumers. Therefore, building a CX-first organization is not just a winning weapon in an oversaturated market, but the key to a company’s survival. Keeping a real-time pulse on technological advances and dynamic customer expectations is the only way forward. On that note, let us explore the top CX trends that will shape businesses in 2023:
Focus on SMOT (Second Moment of Truth)
Effective customer interactions are one of the core building blocks of a customer's journey, which holds the potential to turn existing/new customers into brand loyalists. These interactions impact a series of customer decisions often denoted as moments of truth. After a customer has realized the need for a product or service (stimulus), checked online or sought product reviews (zero moments of truth), talked with a salesperson or tried a sample (first moment of truth) followed by making a purchase, the second moment of truth (SMOT) kicks in.
At this crucial stage, what customers experience, impacts their future buying decisions. Be it good or bad, these experiences are shared with others online and offline.
It only makes sense for brands to ensure customer expectations are met at this stage. Brands should look at extending solid customer support, promotional offers and updates, giveaways and more to increase customer loyalty, including upselling and cross-selling opportunities. In the end, the quality of the experience/service provided combined with recurring customer relationships will make a difference in the world of CX.
From online to in-store interactions and purchases, data continues to fuel smarter decisions and high-quality, personalized experiences. To elevate these experiences, companies are employing emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to analyze both quantitative and qualitative data. With recent advances in natural language processing, AI can use emotion or sentiment analysis to glean customer insights through tone of voice, facial expressions, and other non-verbal cues. Customer support agents will rely on intuitive, user-friendly data platforms to make interactions more relevant and personalized.
Evidently, automation will be one of the game-changing trends to watch out for in the customer service space. In a nutshell, the more data the company has, the more relevant, predictive, proactive, personalized, and engaging the interactions to become.
More Power to Customers
When it comes to optimizing CX, self-service has been in the spotlight for quite some time now. However, post-pandemic trends have prompted its acceleration as customers increasingly take it upon themselves to connect with brands. The ability to resolve problems on their own will require companies to provide customers with the resources and tools to do so.
In turn, this would help the enterprise workforce to focus on more serious challenges
Automation and Self-Service to Ease Staffing Shortages
There is another aspect to the self-service trend. Staffing concerns remain a problem for all companies. But brands can’t make excuses—they need to find creative solutions to work around challenges. Automating contact centers and warehouses reduces the need for human workers without sacrificing customer experience. In 2023, self-service options will soar and expand to short videos and voice memos to allow customers to solve problems and get answers on their own time.
Fragile CX Budgets Mean Teams Need to Do More with Less
The majority of CX leaders think their budgets will increase in 2023, but a fragile economy puts those budgets at risk. CX teams will have to do more with less and focus on projects with the highest ROI. In 2023, we’ll also see the separation between great and mediocre CX teams, with the teams that thrive being the ones that can continually showcase their value.
2023 brings new challenges and opportunities for brands. Understanding customer demands and the trends coming down the pipeline can help brands prepare to adapt and deliver amazing experiences in the New Year and beyond.