Customer experience (CX) is the convergence of three elements – human, process, and increasingly, technology. With 100% of customers clamoring for self-service options + Read More
2023 looks to be a year of great change in customer experience (CX). With economic uncertainty ahead, some organizations are asking employees to make do with fewer resources, while others are increasing CX investment. This is all occurring against a backdrop of incredibly high CX expectations across industries and ever-developing technology.
To help make sense of the year ahead and plan for the ever-shifting CX landscape, we’ve asked five experts in the field for their CX predictions for 2023.
Shep Hyken, Customer Service and Experience Expert and New York Times bestselling author, predicts:
“If you want to have a good customer experience (CX), there must also be a good employee experience (EX). That will be a major focus in 2023 (and beyond). It has been called The Great Resignation, The Big Quit, and other names to describe what seemed like a mass exodus of employees. It turns out employees weren’t quitting work altogether. They were leaving to move to better jobs.
Companies that haven’t been as employee-focused as they should have been are struggling to retain their best people. Smart companies are spotlighting the employee experience, as much if not more, than they are on the customer experience. They have learned that it’s just as important to attract and keep good employees as it is to attract and keep customers.
The cost of employee turnover is more than just hiring and training expenses. The organizations that can’t hold onto their best people are seeing it negatively impact the CX. This goes back to something I’ve been saying for years – what’s happening on the inside of an organization is felt on the outside by the customer. This is more important than ever, which is why my 2023 prediction for CX is a focus on EX.”
Comm100 comment: As unemployment rates stay low due to labour shortages, factors like increased retirements among aging populations have many predicting that the workforce may not rebound anytime soon. With workers harder to come by, employers will need to do more to attract and retain talent in the years ahead.
Jeff Sheehan, Customer Experience Practitioner and active member of the global CX community, predicts:
“Customers always want value for their money. During economic downturns, this need is often intensified as businesses shrink their portions, hours, service levels, speed of delivery, and other elements that customers highly value. Meanwhile, as customers have less disposable income, businesses often do less to earn their revenues.
Treating customers poorly during a downturn may harm your brand when economic times turn bullish. Bring this understanding of what your customers value highly into your CX governance process, advocating for them during decision-making that impacts changes to products, services, and operations. As economic outlook worsens in the months ahead, expect to see businesses that have invested in customers to rebound first.”
Comm100 comment: Providing excellent customer service is a proven way to boost customer retention. As the cost of retaining existing customers is significantly lower than the cost of acquiring new ones, excellent CX becomes crucial for all businesses looking to grow profits, especially in this economy.
Colin Taylor, CEO and Chief Chaos Officer at The Taylor Reach Group, Inc., predicts:
“In the coming year, we are going to see the centers that deliver CX right-sized. They will rationalize and rebalance their staffing and service levels for all contact channels. Centers will continue to leverage AI and automation to reduce live-agent interactions. ChatGPT and real-world RPA applications will make these technologies more accessible. These measures will ameliorate the labor shortages centers face, but these alone won’t solve the problem.
No, if centers want to deliver superior experiences, then they need better and more engaged front-line agents, and they will need to make frontline roles more attractive. This will mean better pay, better training, better tools, better support, and a better work-life balance. All of this will be expensive and play havoc with CX budgets.
At the end of the day, the winners will be the agents who receive a living wage and are better equipped to do their jobs, resulting in more satisfaction, engagement, and retention. Customers will also be winners, as we can finally stop hearing about “higher than normal contact volumes” and get back to receiving the customer experience we want.”
Comm100 comment: For teams that manage high support volumes, automation will become increasingly essential. Chatbots can manage more than 80% of all queries as they resolve the common requests while agents spend more of their time handling complex requests. As well as improving CX, it’ll also improve job satisfaction as agents won’t have to deal with repetitive queries and tasks.
Chris Bechtel, VP of Marketing at Comm100, predicts:
“As technologies mature, they tend to follow a predictable adoption curve. The innovators and early adopters are the first to try new technologies, and when they get positive results, other organizations follow suit. AI in customer service is at this point now, seeing the beginnings of mass adoption across industry.
In 2023 and beyond, I anticipate the continued adoption of AI across organizations of all sizes and in every industry. Chatbots and other AI tools have long since shown value for organizations and acceptance by customers. As media coverage of AI applications like DALL-E and ChatGPT continues, remaining hesitancy around AI and chatbots in customer service will give way as even the hardiest of sceptics see the value it brings in the form of efficiency, productivity, and CX.“
Comm100 comment: A key driver for the adoption of AI in customer service has been its ability to reduce costs. One expert’s CX predictions indicate that cost cutting will be the leading reason for AI’s adoption in customer service in 2023. With the technology now widely available in the form of chatbots, companies of all sizes can now introduce AI to gain the same edge as their larger competition.
Nate Brown, Co-Founder of CX Accelerator and Senior Director of CX at Arise Virtual Solutions, predicts:
“The future of CX is not some new technology. It’s still just people serving people…but in all kinds of exciting ways. But, naturally, the technology will help to enable these creative new capabilities. As Jonathan Shroyer has mentioned, it’s fun to think of the future of service in the form of Jarvis from Iron Man. Jarvis is an intelligent guide who is always right there to proactively help you accomplish your goals…with the capability to see and anticipate things that we never could. Having such an advanced partner available 24/7 is a pretty exciting thought.
I love to take this vision a step further and introduce the “Pepper” element. Pepper (played by Gwyneth Paltrow) acted almost as Iron Man’s conscience…helping him to do the right thing for the right reasons. She was really the motivation and purpose behind Iron Man’s courageous actions. This very human capability, combined with the power of Jarvis, enable Iron Man to quite literally save the universe. This is the true future of service…technology combined with the human relationship to help customers achieve things they would have never thought possible.”
Comm100 comment: AI can’t replace customer service agents yet, but it can make them better at their jobs. Tools like Agent Assist allow customer service agents to automate aspects of their role while still providing the ability to customize responses to more sensitive queries.
Comm100 can help you meet all of these 2023 customer experience predictions, and more. As a global provider of digital omnichannel customer engagement software, we offer the tools needed to provide an excellent customer experience, including live chat and AI-powered bots and automation. Find out more about Comm100 today.