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Article 3 min read

4 ways CX leaders are preparing for the future

By Paulette Chafe, Senior Director, Product Marketing, Zendesk

Last updated May 13, 2024

We’re on the precipice of a new era of customer experience (CX), ushering in a radically different landscape driven by advancements of artificial intelligence, data, and emerging technology. Across the industry, leaders are leaning into change, staying ahead of the curve, and charting a course for the future.

Zendesk recently asked 1,300 global senior CX leaders how they are preparing for the new era of CX. Senior CX leaders have a clear consensus on the shift ahead—86 percent believe CX will undergo a period of unprecedented change over the next three years, transforming the industry as we know it. Their anticipation is backed by a strong belief in the evolving role of AI and a firm expectation of a dramatic increase in the volume of customer interactions, underscoring a future where traditional CX models are reimagined.

CX leaders painted a picture of a more seamless, immersive customer journey—where agents and admins leverage AI to enhance operational efficiency and increase customer satisfaction. Customers will experience more effortless, consistent experiences across AI platforms, with tailored responses via AI agents and enhanced security.

Navigating this new era is not without its challenges—as CX leaders evolve their strategies and develop new capabilities, the importance of personal touches, privacy, and security are also top of mind. Despite these challenges, leaders are optimistic about the direction of the industry and are identifying key strategies to propel them forward, with a clear focus for the next three years.

Here are the top 4 priorities for CX leaders for the next 3 years

  1. Infusing AI across the customer journey

    The integration of AI into every touchpoint is imminent—85 percent of CX leaders believe AI agents, or evolved chatbots, will be capable of handling questions of any complexity. This will not only streamline interactions but also empower human agents, who, augmented by AI, will focus on high-value, complex tasks. A staggering 88 percent of leaders foresee their agents becoming deep experts, co-piloted by AI to enhance their decision-making and problem-solving capabilities.
  2. Embedding data for proactive and instant personalization

    Instant personalization is set to become the norm, with 89 percent of CX leaders agreeing that every experience will be tailored in real-time to reflect who the customer is, driving more intuitive and anticipatory experiences. Emotional intelligence in AI will also take a leap forward, adapting interactions to the customer’s mood and ensuring that every engagement is not only effective but also resonant with the brand’s voice.
  3. Building richer, more informative, and immersive experiences with new technology

    CX leaders predict that customer interactions will evolve into dynamic blends of commerce, service, and support, with 89 percent believing that self-service options will expand beyond websites, flourishing within apps, SuperApps, IoT, and augmented platforms. This will ensure that personalized, efficient service is always within reach, transforming the role of agents who will utilize real-time data for sophisticated, informed customer support.
  4. Putting transparency and security at the forefront of the consumer journey

    Transparency and security will seamlessly integrate into the customer journey, bolstering trust without compromising convenience. An overwhelming 91 percent of CX leaders believe that Explainable AI—AI systems designed to transparently articulate the data and logic behind their decisions—will play a crucial role in enhancing trust by providing transparent, understandable explanations for AI decisions and data usage.

As these CX initiatives unfold, their impact will ripple throughout the entire customer experience ecosystem. From frontline agents to the admins working behind the scenes, and most importantly, to the consumers themselves, each group stands on the cusp of significant changes. The transformation promises to reshape not just how businesses interact with their customers, but also how customers perceive and engage with brands.

Check out Zendesk’s CX Trends hub for a look at the technologies and trends shaping the future of customer experience. With fresh content released regularly, you’ll stay ahead of CX developments all year long, including our full report on the Future of CX.

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