When it comes to businesses, the last three years have truly been transformative in various ways, as they have been forced to drastically change almost every facet of their operations. The main area that has seen major changes has been customer service and experience as there has been a large shift in customer expectations.
New perspectives are emerging in 2023 and it is the perfect time for businesses to make significant changes in order to gain a competitive advantage. It is clear that customers want immersive customer experiences and they are not willing to stay loyal to businesses that don’t provide it. Businesses that fully satisfy the needs of their customers will experience tangible results. As your trusted advisors in customer communication management, we have compiled the top five trends in customer experience that you can expect to see in 2023.
- Artificial Intelligence
- Conversational experiences
- Consumer well-being and sentiment
- CX teams are becoming more integrated
Advances over the past year have shown that in the scope of customer service, artificial intelligence(AI) has made huge developments due to investments made in the industry. Even though the evolution of AI in customer service is far from complete, companies have begun to see its vast potential and believe that AI bots are becoming more natural and human-like whilst being a reliable business tool.
Many consumers state that AI bots perform well when answering simple inquiries, respond faster than customer service agents, and can be relied upon to surface accurate and helpful information, this has caused customer expectations to rise as they enjoy better experiences with bots. However, this trend holds both enormous potentials for businesses, as well as a real danger. Ultimately, AI will shape more rewarding experiences and those expectations provide a clear roadmap for businesses that calls for significant investment and a cohesive vision for how this key element in immersive CX will come to pass.
The second trend that points to a future of immersive customer experience is the rise of conversational experiences. This also centres on the concept of seamless service. Conversational experiences involve consumers reaching out to a business and expecting interactions that are natural and conversations that they can control. A typical example of this would be moving a conversation from one platform to another seamlessly or pausing a conversation and having it continue with a new agent in an error-free manner.
Considering how a single unsatisfactory experience with a business can make a customer seek services elsewhere as well as the costly process of acquiring new customers, developing conversational experiences will become supreme. Business leaders who recognise this new trend will notice a measurable payoff in customer services due to stronger relationships with customers. When it comes to providing excellent conversation experiences, it all begins with a basic customer service skill: receiving assistance immediately. As those conversations unfold, consumers expect any agent they interact with at the company to have the full context of their purchase history and previous interactions. Business leaders need to have a clear goal in mind when it comes to what their business will need to accomplish to meet consumer expectations for conversational experiences whilst making customer service feel more conversational and less transactional.
Many companies have already adjusted their business processes in order to deliver personalised experiences, however, their efforts may not be enough as consumers are seeking more personalisation when it comes to immersive customer experience. Companies need to take full advantage of the large amount of data they possess in order to provide personalised experiences that surpass typical marketing efforts.
Companies that are able to adopt a more personalised approach will reap many benefits such as meaningful and longer-lasting relationships with their customers as well as increased customer retention. Once a business leader is able to go beyond the scope of marketing and leverage the full potential of the customer data that they have retained, they will notice the success of improved customer experience. Business leaders must adopt plans that will connect data on the back end whilst creating systems that ensure that the right data is provided when agents need it.
When consumers have a negative experience with a company, they are left feeling infuriated and in distress. They will not hesitate to tell others about this experience no matter how much time has passed since the interaction. How consumers feel about their support interactions with a business directly impacts the business itself and it can cause long-lasting damage to the business's reputation and future endeavours. Therefore, it is clear to say that the well-being of a consumer ultimately affects the customer experience.
When a consumer feels as if a company cares about their emotional state they are more likely to become repeat customers and recommend the business to others. Business leaders who want to lead their companies towards immersive CX, will not be able to ignore customer sentiment and well-being but rather formalise ways to capture and understand consumer emotions in order to create new opportunities that tailor the customer experience and prevent the frustration that many consumers experience. Businesses may want to use AI-driven technology that enables support services to predict consumer sentiment and boost customer understanding which will lead to satisfied customers and increased revenue.
Business leaders are becoming aware of the benefits associated with creating immersive experiences for their internal CX organisations. A successful business will no longer view its customer service organisations as cost centres but rather as key revenue drivers. By achieving true integration between customer service, marketing and sales, businesses will be rewarded with increased efficiency, better customer experiences and ultimately increased revenue.
In 2023, many business leaders should consider merging teams and sharing responsibilities in order to get rid of dedicated support teams that are narrowly focused and increase integration as a whole in order to improve customer experience. Customers expect their experiences to be unified across channels and for companies to be prepared to help them with any scenario. As business leaders attempt to redefine customer support by merging teams and reimagining responsibilities they will need to leverage technology that enables cross-functional collaboration.
It is clear to say that customer experience has a large impact on a business and it is time to start getting it right. Contact your trust advisors in customer communication management to future-proof your business today.