Top 10 customer experience (CX) trends in 2023

Food Digital breaks down the Top 10 customer experience (CX) trends taking centre stage for 2023, including predictive analytics, AR, metaverse and more

Compared to just a few short years ago, customer experience looks very different today than it did even in 2020, paying attention to current trends and statistics can help organisations navigate the minefield that is a customer experience (CX) strategy. 

“If you’re not constantly listening and constantly ready for change, you’re going to miss the opportunity,” said Ben Chestnut, CEO and Co-founder at Mailchimp.

Key customer experience statistics:

  • 53% of customers would switch to a company’s competitor after one bad experience
  • For companies that focus on CX, they experience up to 80% increase in revenue
  • 80% of leaders plan to increase customer service budgets over the next year
  • 90% of businesses report that they have made CX a primary focus

Omnichannel

Providing a seamless customer experience across multiple channels, an omnichannel customer experience integrates all touchpoints within a single system. This approach allows both customers and service agents to pick up where they left off across different channels thereby creating a seamless, effective, and efficient experience. 

What makes this different to a multichannel approach? Put simply a multichannel approach includes the selling of products across a range of physical and virtual channels that function as standalone entities, instead of linking the touchpoints to provide a seamless service. 

Typical channels and services that form an omnichannel strategy include retail stores, ecommerce, mobile services, email communication, and social media. 

Companies that offer omnichannel services: Salesforce; IBM; and Microsoft.

Chatbots

One way that organisations are striving to gain a competitive edge is the use of chatbots to provide 24/7 customer service support. Many companies are already using chatbots to answer questions; provide keyword-based resources; offer recommendations; troubleshoot problems; and collect customer feedback and data. 

At the centre of a chatbot is natural language processing (NLP) technology to analyse the text presented to them before responding following a complex series of algorithms that interprets, identifies, and infers what a user wants. 

Companies that offer chatbot services: Drift; Intercom; IBM Watson Assistant; and ServiceNow Platform.

Self-service

According to recent findings, 75% of respondents reported that self-service is a convenient way to address issues, with 67% preferring self-service over speaking to a company representative. Additionally, 40% of customers only contact a call centre if they have looked, and can’t find answers to their questions via self-service. 

This popularity of self-service continues to rise in this fast-paced world, with customers seeking quick answers without having to wait on hold. 

Companies that provide self-service options: Amazon; Apple; Netflix; and Google.

Predictive analytics

The process of using data to forecast future outcomes, predictive analytics uses data analysis, machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), and statistical models to find patterns to predict the future. 

With the use of predictive analytics, organisations can make more informed decisions and take proactive actions to improve their performance or mitigate disruptions in the industry. According to Insider Intelligence, 73% of customers expect brands to understand their needs and deliver personalisation in a way that matters, with 62% expecting companies to anticipate their needs. 

Companies that offer predictive analytics services: IBM; SAS Institute; Oracle; and Salesforce.

Virtual assistants

Those struggling to bounce back from the great resignation are turning to virtual assistants to fill the talent gaps when it comes to customer support, social media management, research and more. 

A virtual assistant is a remote employee that offers administrative support for businesses, usually on a part-time basis as an independent contractor. They help companies in a number of ways including gaining back time, improving turnaround, reducing costs, and increasing the scale of operations. 

Companies that provide virtual assistant services: Fancy Hands; Time etc; and Uassist.ME.

Augmented reality (AR)

While augmented reality (AR) isn’t new, its potential for customer services continues to be developed. AR technology integrates digital information with a user’s environment in real time. Unlike virtual reality (VR) which creates a completely artificial environment, AR builds on the real-world environment, generating perceptual information overlaid on top. 

To enhance the customer experience, AR is being used by the likes of L’Oreal and Dulux so that customers can ‘try before they buy’.

Companies that use AR services: Dulux; L’Oreal; Apple; and Nike.

Hyper-personalised experience

Expanding on the use of data, organisations are increasing their use of analytics and data to create a  hyper-personalised experience. By adopting a data-driven marketing approach organisations can optimise their communication with customers based on their information to predict needs, desires, and future behaviour. 

By doing this organisations can create a personalised marketing strategy for the highest possible ROI. According to Adverty, organisations experience five to eight times higher ROI when using personalisation. 

Companies that provide data-driven marketing services: Adverty; Segment; and Funnel.

Customer loyalty investment

According to Pareto Principle, 20% of an organisation’s customers fall into the loyal customer category and drive around 80% of sales. They also tend to spend more than the average customer and are worth 10 times more than their initial purchase. 

As such, loyal customers are not only repeat buyers but advocates for the organisation. But it is the experience that keeps a customer coming back, according to recent findings, 53% of customers would switch to a company’s competitor after one bad experience so it pays to invest in a customer loyalty program to ensure that it is easy to use, meets customer needs, and provides real value.

Companies that provide customer loyalty services: Comarch; Giftbit; LoyalZoo; Loyalty Gator; and FiveStars

Data transparency

Circling back to data, being transparent and secure with customer data is essential to gaining customer loyalty. According to a recent Software Advice survey, 35% of customers would stop shopping with a store completely if their data was hacked, with 33% reporting that they are more likely to shop with a retailer if they know their data is secure. 

With this in mind, more and more organisations are investing in solutions to combat and protect their data from breaches and hacks to ensure data integrity is maintained. 

Companies that provide data security services: Cisco; McAfee; Palo Alto Networks; and Rapid7.

The metaverse

Seen as the next iteration of the internet, the metaverse is a vision of a single, shared, immersive, persistent, and 3D virtual space where humans can experience life in ways they are unable to in the physical world. 

While still in its infancy, the metaverse has the potential to be applicable to customer experience strategies to further the omnichannel experience of meeting the customer wherever they are. 

Companies that provide metaverse services: Meta; Apple; The Sandbox; and NVIDIA.

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