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Zendesk CTO deep dives into 2023 CX Trends Report - Part 1

With high stakes and economic uncertainty, organizations need to be doing all they can to improve CX

By Adrian McDermott

Published January 18, 2023

The last several years have brought about not only constant change, but immense change – this is our new reality. Businesses face more uncertainty and cost pressures, in addition to elevated customer expectations. With the rapid acceleration of change, service teams are being asked to play a bigger role – most likely without additional resources or investment.

The stakes for customer experience (CX) are higher than ever. Our data from nearly 100K Zendesk customers shows the importance of CX in meeting customer expectations and driving business revenue. The report findings show that leaders recognize the critical and expanded role of CX – they are investing more in CX to remain competitive and to drive key business results.

The new standards of customer service signal a shift towards immersive CX. According to our data, 61% of consumers are excited about CX evolving to an immersive state where experiences feel natural, convenient and fluid. In a two part post, we’ll dive into the following:

  • AI experiences are becoming more evolved and seamless

  • Conversational experiences are empowering consumers

  • Customers are eager for deeper personalization

  • Consumer well-being and sentiment are reshaping CX

  • CX teams are breaking down silos as they become more integrated

AI experiences are becoming more evolved and seamless
Customers are more comfortable interacting with AI and now expect near-perfect interactions when receiving support. Given this adoption of the technology and breadth of AI use cases for CX, we will see more companies this year extend the power of AI across the entire customer journey – specifically, beyond reactive service and into proactive and preventative service. As the report shows, 72% of businesses say expanding AI across CX will be a main priority in 2023.

Additionally, the evolution of AI will lead CX leaders to leverage new use cases that have opened up from large language models (LLMs), like generating text and altering speech to help their support teams. This is in line with customers’ expectations for seamless support – 64% of consumers want bots to provide the same level of service as humans.

Other use cases include creative tasks like thoughtfully written responses from a short prompt. For example, the recently released ChatGPT created a response to: “Write a biblical verse explaining how to remove a peanut butter sandwich from a VCR.” The response was not only the correct writing style, but also with the knowledge of how VCRs work and where peanut butter sandwiches belong in 1611. Incredible!

Conversational experiences are empowering consumers
Customers want fluid, natural conversational experiences in which they are in control – they can choose where the conversation goes across channels as well as when the conversation pauses and resumes. Businesses are building a more fluid CX, especially as a majority of consumers would spend more with companies that allow them to start a conversation on one channel and pick it up on another – without needing to repeat themselves.

In building this new standard of CX, brands must also think about how it can work seamlessly across both physical and digital realms. For example, with the emergence of digital environments like the metaverse, it is critical that customer support is easily accessible and always present. Businesses will need to keep consumers in the experience, whether that’s shoppers in a digital store, players in a game or even employees in a meeting. Eventually, the ease of conversing with a business will exist everywhere you go, which is why 71% of leaders are rethinking the entire customer journey to ensure they build an experience that can assist a customer in any way they need, at any time.

What’s next?
Revisit the Zendesk Newsroom soon for part 2 which will cover customer personalization, including how brands can use customer well-being and sentiment to shape more tailored experiences. Additionally, it will explore how breaking down team silos and sharing knowledge across the organization creates a single detailed view of customer data that translates to better experiences.

Read more in the 2023 Zendesk CX Trends Report here.