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Zendesk CTO deep dives into 2023 CX Trends Report - Part 2

The time is now to invest more in CX to meet expectations and drive revenue

Published January 25, 2023

The combination of high stakes and economic uncertainty has prompted businesses to examine their customer experience (CX) to ensure it’s meeting the new standards of service set by customers in 2023. As explored in part 1 of this series, we are seeing a shift towards immersive CX which includes seamless interactions with AI and fluid, natural experiences where the customer is in control.

Let’s unpack the remaining trends (italicized) identified in this year’s report:

  • 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

Customers are eager for deeper personalization
Our report shows that more than half of consumers feel companies could be doing a better job personalizing their experiences in store and online. They know companies have information about them and want it to be used to give them better options and solve problems. This ability to provide deep personalization benefits business as well – it builds trust, loyalty and lasting relationships.

For example, online retailer Wine.com has agents that work as personal sommeliers based on a customer’s contact and purchase history. Hyper-personalized recommendations are delivered at scale, with impressive handle times and CSAT. Agents can log in and see the customer profiles, including past purchase or status as a stewardship customer.

Looking ahead, there is a massive opportunity for businesses to think bigger for customer personalization when it comes to reward programs. With web3, physical purchases are evolving to a token economy and customer interactions are becoming primarily digital engagements. Leaders who get ahead of the curve and create innovative ways to build customer loyalty, such as with digital collectibles, will be able to take CX to the next level.

Consumer well-being and sentiment are reshaping CX
Customers want to be heard and brands must listen. It’s critical that leaders have a pulse on what customers are feeling – the good and the bad – and understand the pain points of a frustrating experience. However, businesses are unprepared to support customer well-being and emotions – only 22% of leaders say that customer sentiment is used to personalize the experience a customer receives.

This is an opportunity to improve customer understanding with the help of technology. This year, companies will continue leaning into automation and AI to predict customer intent and sentiment. With advanced capabilities, support teams will be able to dig into these customer insights and also share them across the business – for example, flagging to the product team where real-time changes are needed.

British cosmetics retailer Lush knows that understanding customer sentiment around the globe is a 24/7 endeavor. “What might work in Dorset might not have the same cultural relevance in Japan or Eastern Europe,” says Naomi Rankin, Global CX Manager at Lush. “Zendesk enables us to quickly spot when a product, or perhaps a joke on our website, didn’t quite land right outside of the UK.”

CX teams are breaking down silos as they become more integrated
Customers want a natural and fluid experience across every interaction with a brand, from bot to agent to sales rep. Gone are the days of “surprise and delight” – most customers don’t want to be wowed, they just expect service to work seamlessly.

To achieve this level of efficiency, internal ownership of CX can no longer be confined to tight swim lanes and be viewed solely as a matter of reactive support. Leaders must continue to break down team barriers, integrate responsibilities, and foster collaboration within their organization.

In some cases, this may mean combining teams and responsibilities to maximize efficiency – in fact, our data shows that 64% of leaders say their organization has plans to merge CX responsibilities or teams this year. By maximizing efficiency on the internal side, this helps minimize any interruptions to the customer and makes for a more seamless experience.

Where do we go from here?
Every year, customers expect more and more from brands. This year was no exception – elevated expectations will drive businesses to develop the ideal CX which customers now expect to be seamless and immersive. Companies of all sizes and across all verticals must invest in CX technology in order to drive maximum impact and better results, especially during uncertain times.

For a refresher on the evolution of AI experiences and emergence of conversational experiences, visit part 1 here. Read more in the 2023 Zendesk CX Trends Report here.

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