Customer experience trends for 2023 are largely being shaped by the possibility of an economic recession, which makes retaining customers all the more important. In MyCustomer’s recent survey of customer experience leaders, 32% of respondents said that economic conditions and the cost-of-living crisis are their top concerns for the next 18 months.
Despite a cloudy economic outlook, many CX leaders are anticipating increased budgets in 2023. 43% of the leaders surveyed by MyCustomer anticipate that their budgets will rise over the next 18 months.
Where will CX leaders invest that money? Let’s look at the respondents’ top choices.
Customer Experience Trend 1: Voice of the Customer
We can sum up the trends in 5 words: data, data, and more data. Voice of the Customer is the top investment for 2023 and beyond, according to 35% of respondents.
“When it comes to what they anticipate they will be investing in, their plans are very much aligned with their CX priorities—with our findings revealing a pronounced focus on data, insight and Voice of the Customer,” MyCustomer’s report says.
Of course, that may not be much of a surprise given that voice of customer tools span an incredibly wide range, from simple surveying tools like Google Forms all the way to purpose-built voice of the customer cloud platforms.
A voice of the customer program is essential for fine-tuning your overall customer experience with customer feedback, identifying pain points and improving customer satisfaction.
Voice of the customer provides proven results. Wyndham Destinations Asia Pacific increased customer satisfaction over 6% in 6 months after implementing a voice of the customer program.
“If the end goal is to improve commercial outcomes, CX leaders need in-depth insight into what matters to their customers and what triggers certain behaviours. So, getting to grips with the impact you have on them in terms of brand identity and behaviour, your value proposition, the quality and choice of interaction and the experiential ups and downs of getting to an outcome is vital,” says Martin Hill-Wilson, founder of Brainfood Consulting.
Customer Experience Trend 2: Customer Journey Analytics
32% of respondents identified customer journey analytics as a top investment in 2023 and beyond, making it a close second to Voice of the Customer. Again, data is king.
“Customer journey analytics platforms provide insights into the whole customer journey, including the touchpoints, pain points, and also the drivers of customer satisfaction. This information also can be used to optimise the customer experience and identify areas for improvement,” says Susanne Fries-Palm, chief customer officer at Yonder, and a founding member and senior advisor of ECXO.
Understanding the customer journey is key to providing a superior customer experience, revealing opportunities for improvement in the onboarding process, and it helps your team to address problems proactively—the best customer service is no service.
Customer Experience Trend 3: Customer Relationship Management
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) was highlighted as a top investment by 29% of respondents. CRM tools like Close and SugarCRM help you track customer interactions and align your sales and customer service teams.
“CRM systems provide a centralised repository of customer information, including their interactions with the company. This information is used to provide a personalised and seamless service which leads to a better experience across all customer touchpoints. And the quality of the data is crucial, for me especially in the CRM,” says Susanne Fries-Palm, chief customer officer at Yonder, and a founding member and senior advisor of ECXO.
CRMs are invaluable for practically every organization these days, but the one downside is that the necessary data entry creates a lot of overhead for your teams. That’s one place where TextExpander can help.
Here’s a video demonstrating how you can use TextExpander to streamline your SugarCRM workflows:
Not able to play the video? Click here to watch the video
Whether you use Close, SugarCRM, or another CRM like HubSpot or Salesforce, TextExpander can ease data entry, make customer notes more consistent, and even help navigate the interface. Check out our Public Group of sample Snippets for SugarCRM.
Customer Experience Trend 4: Customer Data Platforms
Further proving the desire for more customer information, 29% of respondents identified customer data platforms (CDPs) as a chief investment over the next 18 months.
A customer data platform aggregates data from multiple sources to build a complete profile of every customer. This helps you better learn about your customer’s needs, but a key benefit is that it avoids dreaded data silos, storing all of that invaluable information in one central place, where it can be accessed by marketing, sales, and support.
Customer Experience Trends That Aren’t
Several hot topics are being discussed in the customer experience space, but are businesses investing in them? The MyCustomer report reveals some surprises.
For instance, there’s a lot of discussion surrounding chatbots and AI, but only 19% of respondents anticipate investing in them over the next 18 months.
Personalization is another hot topic in customer service, and many studies have indicated that personalization is crucial to the customer experience. For instance, a recent report from ZenDesk says:
- Seventy-six percent of survey respondents expect personalized experiences, which could include (but is not limited to) engagement over their preferred contact method, account type or status, and product recommendations based on purchase and search history.
- Seventy-one percent of customers surveyed said that they expect companies to collaborate internally so they don’t have to repeat themselves.
Despite that, only 13% of respondents said they plan to invest in personalization tools.
Two other hyped topics over the years have been the cloud and social media, but only 11% say they plan to invest in social media monitoring tools and 5% say they’ll invest in cloud contact centers.
The takeaway? Just because a given technology is all the rage, that doesn’t mean that companies are actually buying it.
The other takeaway is that as companies expect a demonstrable return on investment from their customer service teams, collecting and analyzing customer data and sharing that information with marketing and sales grows increasingly essential.