Global Response's 2023 Guide to the Top CX Trends

The Top 7 Customer Experience (CX) Trends for 2023: What You Need to Know

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As we head into 2023, companies face the challenge of adapting and differentiating in a market with so many unknowns.

Global leaders face a new year with the same old problems: inflation, economic instability, staffing shortages, and international upheaval. But we’re also facing some incredible opportunities: growth in technology, improvements in quality of life, increases in consumer spending, and greater resources for employees and employers alike.

In the face of these changes and challenges, customer experience has risen to the forefront of global business strategy. Blake Morgan, author of The Customer Of The Future: 10 Guiding Principles For Winning Tomorrow’s Business, says, “It’s never been more important to understand your customers and be willing and able to change and evolve.”

The battleground for market share is staged in customers’ hearts and minds. Companies that want to stand out in 2023 need to be leaders in customer experience. So, to kick off the year, we’re predicting the top CX trends for 2023 and what business leaders need to know about them. 

Why CX is More Important Than Ever in 2023

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Entering into 2023 is all about building strategies for resilience in a down market. Whatever you want to call it – inflation, recession, downturn – it’s certainly not the best news.

1

Happy customers = better business

A happy customer is almost always a loyal customer. Experiences that make customers feel “wow” can drive incredible value: improving trust, increasing customer retention, generating more recommendations, and increasing sales.

All of these benefits help do one crucial thing: boost revenue.

0 %
will keep their business with the brand
0 %
will increase their spending with the brand
0 %
will recommend the brand to their friends, family, and colleagues

PwC found that 73% of consumers rank CX as one of the essential factors in their purchasing decisions. Only “price” and “product quality” were ranked higher.

It’s simple math! Keeping customers happy keeps business growing.

2

CX is the #1 differentiator in a down market

Customer experience management becomes a true superstar in an economic downturn. Studies even show that the best way to prepare for recession is to differentiate through CX.

It’s easy to see how:

0 %
of companies that improve their CX report an increase in revenue.
0 %
of customers are more likely to make another purchase after receiving excellent service.

When the economy is down, it’s time to focus on what makes your company resilient. Happy customers are resilience strategy No. 1.

3

Smarter CX helps you do more with less

Companies are tightening their budgets and reducing their headcounts across industries. Smarter CX strategies build game-changing efficiencies into your workflow and workload.

Automation, integrated cloud platforms, and outsourced contact centers are all critical strategies to do more with less.

1

Prioritizing human connection

As Walt Disney once said, “You can design and create and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.”

No matter what the economic outlook is, customers still want human connection. Companies that can make business human will win loyalty from their most valuable customers. We’re seeing a shift in prioritizing empathy, authenticity, and personalization.

And customers are willing to pay a premium for that human connection. According to PwC, 42% of customers would pay more for a friendly, welcoming experience. Harvard Business Review found that companies that showed the most empathy saw twice as much financial return as the least empathetic companies.

Here are a few areas where customers consistently say they want human assistance:

Getting a new mobile plan

Scheduling a medical appointment

Signing up for a new bank account

Making large purchases (TV, car, etc.)

Getting tech support

Resolving billing issues

Getting medical support

Prioritizing empathy stands out even more in a tough market. A McKinsey study found the following about the 2008 financial crisis:

Resilient companies focused on maintaining loyalty among high-value customers that were central to the company’s growth post-recession. Think of public examples like Hyundai’s Assurance program, which allowed customers to return cars if they lost their jobs. In some cases, the resilients in our database were forgoing revenues they could have earned through pricing changes. By contrast, industry peers (who were not as financially resilient) were more likely to try and maintain revenue at any cost, applying price reductions haphazardly to products and services and sending mixed marketing messages.
2

Focusing on feedback

Empathy sounds great, but how is it built? By listening. A key strategy in the coming year will be finding more and better ways to get close to your customers and listen.

Whether through conversational analytics, automated surveys, outbound calls, or other strategies, businesses can’t improve unless they hear from their customers. A study by Qualtrics found that the strongest leaders through the Covid-19 pandemic were checking the pulse on customers the most frequently. These leaders noticed small changes and deviations in customer feedback and were more adaptive to those changes.

Feedback doesn’t always mean direct reviews, either. Companies must be sharply attuned to patterns and trends among their customer base. Only one in 26 unhappy customers actually complain.

New sets of customer needs

Emerging signals and patterns

Rapid shifts in the customer environment

3

Driving ethically conscious opportunities

“Conscious consumerism” has risen in popularity in the past decade. Fragile global markets can further increase consumers’ desire to be responsible in their purchasing.

Companies should introduce ethical options as part of the buying experience to stand out. Some examples of this include:

Allowing customers to round up purchases and make a charitable donation at checkout

Including ethical sourcing information in your product details

Informing customers of the CO2 emissions associated with each garment or purchase

Offering customers the option to choose drop-off points for delivery to reduce the carbon footprint of “last mile” transportation.

Building these ethical opportunities within the customer journey can increase trust, loyalty, and a positive brand reputation.

4

Engaging employees

Competition for talent in the workforce is fierce. Companies are giving higher raises to their current employees to stave off the continuing impact of the “Great Resignation.”

Engaging employees may not seem like a CX trend, but it is. The most innovative CX companies are deploying Employee Engagement strategies and platforms. These tools may use gamification, performance reporting, dashboards, and more to keep employees connected and engaged.

According to CX Today:

Focusing more heavily on employee and agent experience in the new age of work will help companies to not only delight their customers, but also retain key talent in the age of the Great Resignation.
5

Adopting new technology

The tech industry may be hurting, but tech solutions to our work are still on the rise. Some leading forms of technical innovation in CX are around new forms of customer self-service and AI personalization.

In fact, according to Zendesk,
0 %

of customers

say they prefer self-service in many areas of brand interaction.

Harvard Business Review reports that
0 %

of customers

attempt to address issues themselves before contacting the company.

Another trend in tech is the rise of “phygital” CX. Phygital experiences integrate the physical and digital – used most effectively for large purchases like homes or cars. While the metaverse isn’t panning out how Mark Zuckerberg thought, CX is taking the lead in immersive customer experiences.

These digitally integrated experiences can include store experiences meant to be shared on social media or virtual tours and reality.

6

Doing more with less

McKinsey studied the 2008 financial crisis and analyzed which businesses managed not just to survive but to thrive. Their results, published in the Harvard Business Review, showed some critical insights.

But by the time the recession had reached its lowest point in 2009, the resilients had increased their EBITDA by 10%, on average, while industry peers had lost nearly 15%. The resilients seem to have accomplished this by reducing operating costs earlier in the recession cycle, and more deeply.

In August 2022, most CX leaders projected that their budgets would increase in 2023. The survey, published by Forrester, called these projections “overly optimistic.” Now, as some of the most successful companies lay off thousands of employees, we can see that tightening the operational belt will be a significant factor in 2023.

The key in 2023 will be to find ways to do more with less – cutting operational costs without sacrificing customer satisfaction.

7

Outsourcing CX

With the increasing need to cut costs while simultaneously boosting customer satisfaction, many industry leaders are turning to outsourced contact centers.

Outsourcing CX can deliver far more flexible solutions than in-house CX departments. Instead of taking on the cost and effort of recruitment and hiring, salaries and benefits, equipment purchases, and office space – companies are outsourcing it for a flat or customizable fee.

Contact centers often offer flexible choices between onshore, offshore, or nearshore customer service teams. These options allow you to build a service plan that works best for your budget and your customer’s needs.

Cut costs

Reduce your internal team’s workload

Make it easy to scale coverage up or down

Reach more of your customers with multilingual support

Increase customer satisfaction

Because of these benefits, outsourcing is likely to be a leading strategy in the most resilient companies in the coming year.

How to Outsource CX Management for Better Results

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With an outsourced solution, businesses can solve the challenges of economic downturn while ensuring that a CX expert keeps them on top of all the most critical CX strategies.

When looking for an outsourcing partner, finding a reputable and experienced contact center with a track record in your industry is critical.

YOU WANT A COMPANY THAT SHOWS SUCCESS IN SOME OF THESE MOST VITAL TRENDS:

Empathetic service and support, with agents showing high EQ and excellent people skills

Well-defined CX strategy and processes that can also remain flexible to integrate conscious consumer options and other benefits to your customers

A strong employee culture and employee engagement strategy

Extensive data analytics to interpret customer behavior and catch critical patterns as customer feedback

Evident financial savvy, with customizable pricing options and proven ability to scale

The best in new technology and AI-powered, cloud-based solutions

Your CX partner should have all this – and more. To learn more about pricing, CX strategy, and how to start outsourcing today, get in touch with one of Global Response’s leading customer experience specialists.

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