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Like all other domains in the world of business, customer experience too is something that is constantly changing and evolving with time. With the evolution of technology, trends, and customer preferences, the concept of what constitutes a “good customer experience” also keeps evolving.
Organizations that can ensure a good customer experience enjoy a range of benefits including increased customer loyalty, higher customer retention, and an increase in their overall competitiveness. Moving forward, let’s explore some customer experience trends that we’re seeing in 2023 and CX predictions to keep an eye out for.
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Let’s take a look at 5 customer experience trends to keep an eye out for in 2023:
In order to provide a truly seamless customer experience, it is integral to to have omnichannel capabilities that allow all buyers to shift from one channel to another without any friction. Siloed departments and organizational practices will need to be torn down and integrated to create a smooth buyer journey that successfully integrates all channels.
Customers value their privacy and are therefore unlikely to support brands that are unable to safeguard their sensitive data or that may misuse their data. Brands that do so will lose the trust of their customers, who will instead switch to competitors that can ensure data security. Hence, brands must invest in cybersecurity to provide their customers with data privacy.
Studies show that many parts of the customer’s journey today are completed on mobile devices. Companies must therefore ensure that they are mobile-friendly by creating phone apps or mobile versions of their websites. By tailoring all parts of the buyer journey so that they can be performed using mobile devices, brands can ensure smooth and frictionless buying experiences for all mobile users.
Another trend we’re seeing in 2023 is the use of sophisticated artificial intelligence technology in customer service. Although the use of AI chatbots as a customer service tool has been around for sometime now, in 2023 these chatbots are more advanced and can provide great customer support and guidance. Companies that can successfully integrate AI into their business practices to enhance CX will not only enjoy greater customer satisfaction and loyalty but will also experience reduced costs (less dependency on human agents).
An increasing number of brands have been leveraging augmented and virtual reality to enhance various touch points within the customer journey and enrich overall customer experience. AR can be used with interactive apps to give customers a better impression of a product to enable quicker decision making. Additionally, it can be used for virtual product testing, allowing customers to experience a “trial-run” of the product before the purchase.
Here are five predictions on the future of customer experience:
We’re starting to notice brands pay more attention to personalization – whether it’s through targeted ads on social media or personalized product recommendations for each user on their website. This is due to the fact that brands have realized that personalized interactions result in stronger brand loyalty and, ultimately, an increase in revenue.
What we’re seeing right now is only the start of it. Personalization is going to take place at a much larger scale in the coming years. Businesses are continually gathering more and more data on their customers and are always trying to find new and innovative ways to leverage this data in a way that improves customer satisfaction whilst being profitable to the business. Brands that are able to use customer data to provide a seamless customer experience will enjoy reduced customer churn and higher revenues.
As brands realize just how integral CX is to their long-term success, they will start integrating customer centricity into the core of their business practices and decisions. This will become a key requirement to providing excellent CX as customer centricity can only be achieved when companies genuinely believe in it and integrate it into their everyday practices.
Firms that don’t keep CX at the front of mind are unlikely to experience success in the long term. Instead of waiting for tangible returns from investments in CX, brands will identify the ability of CX performance to contribute to improved financial performance and market differentiation.
For decades now, businesses have been reliant on survey-based systems to gather customer data and improve customer experience. We are now going to see a significant shift from survey-based systems to predictive customer insights.
Predictive insights involve leveraging internal data on customer transactions, interactions, and profiles to develop an understanding of preferences and behaviors so that predictions can be made. Predictive customer insights therefore allow companies to more accurately predict loyalty, satisfaction, and customer behavior through the analysis of vast data sets, making survey-based systems appear less effective in comparison.
In the past few years, brands have been working toward creating seamless omnichannel experiences for their customers as a means to provide an enhanced customer experience. However, an omnichannel experience will soon turn into a baseline expectation by customers and will therefore become a core expectation of all brands to fulfill in order to provide a seamless customer experience.
To fulfill this expectation, companies will have to break down organizational and channel silos that stand in the way of providing a seamless customer experience. These channels must then be integrated in a way that allows customers to move from one touchpoint to another effortlessly.
We’ve already seen brands invest in automation and AI to improve the quality and efficiency of certain business practices. This is a trend that we will continue to see increase as technology will continue to evolve, presenting brands with more tools using which they can automate more business practices. New technology such as augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) has already started creating a new standard for customer experience in certain industries.
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As customer expectations keep evolving, brands will have to continue to find new ways to deliver an excellent customer experience. Technological development will be a key driver of change in customer experience, with automation and artificial intelligence being increasingly leveraged to make predictive insights that enhance customer experience. Additionally, companies will learn that the key to providing excellent CX will be to integrate customer centricity into the core of all business practices to ensure that all business decisions are carried out with customer’s interests in mind.
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