As 2023 unfolds, it’s time to think about what to expect from the new year. Trends will always come and go, especially in customer service, but improving customer experience is far from a fad. Over the last decade, we’ve witnessed the inevitable switch from in-person account services to digital customer service, completely transforming how businesses interact with their customers.
During this shift, one main theme has stayed the same: customers want to have a positive, customised, satisfactory experience, be it on the phone, via online chat, or in person. However, achieving the same level of customer experience (CX) across several customer touchpoints isn’t exactly straightforward.
At Vizolution, we recognise how difficult it can be for businesses to implement new customer experience practices in an efficient way, but also the impact that doing so can have. In this article, we’re going to look at some of the predicted trends we expect to see in 2023 in customer experience, and lend our voice to how businesses can leverage the upcoming trends to their advantage.
First, however, let’s look at some of the top stats you need to know about customer experience, and how they’re likely to impact your business in 2023:
|10 Customer Experience Stats You Should Know for 2023|
1. Customer experience is the biggest priority for 45.9% of businesses – more so than product pricing or actual products (SuperOffice)
2. 86% of consumers are willing to pay more money for a product or service in exchange for a better customer experience (PWC)
3. Customer experience is the main brand differentiator, overtaking product quality and price (Walker)
4. Billion-dollar companies can increase their revenue by 70% over the course of three years after investing heavily in customer experience (Temkin Group)
5. 95% of consumers cite customer service/experience as a deciding factor in brand loyalty (Microsoft)
6. Businesses that focus on their customers are 60% more profitable than those that don’t (SuperOffice)
7. Companies that provide a good customer experience have staff that are more engaged (Experience Matters)
8. The number one reason consumers switch to a different brand is because they don’t feel appreciated (Vonage)
9. Consumers typically tell nine people about a positive brand experience, compared to 16 people about a negative brand experience (Deloitte)
10. Good quality customer experience can reduce customer serving costs by a third (Deloitte)
It’s undeniable that now more than ever, customer experience counts. With so many brands and so much buying power at their fingertips, consumers are looking at one key differentiating factor when deciding between brands: the experience. You could have a great product and a great price, but if the service on offer doesn’t match up, customers will go elsewhere. There’s little keeping them within your reach; there are always alternative businesses doing the same as you, so the only thing you can do to keep customers coming back is to offer them an unbeatable experience.
Good customer service has a direct impact on brand loyalty. Previously, many businesses focussed solely on getting new customers and paid little attention to the ones they already had. You’ve likely heard countless complaints or complained yourself about new customers getting great introductory offers whilst existing customers continue to pay higher rates across a myriad of services. Things like this can quickly result in increased customer churn and mean your business becomes unsustainable.
If you can’t keep your customers, your business is fundamentally flawed. The problem is, the push for great user experience has only recently trickled down to the masses. Personalised and detailed customer experience used to be reserved for data rich or luxury brands, but now, everyone wants and expects an exemplary level of service – and rightly so. As a successful business, you need to do all you can to achieve this for your client base, and that means being proactive in your approach.
To help you stay one step ahead of the competition, here are five customer experience trends you’re likely to see really come to the forefront in 2023, along with professional insight from Rommon Thompson, Head of Demand Generation here at Vizolution.
- Self-service will increase in popularity
|“Customers have become extremely competent with serving themselves, and in most cases, they prefer to self-serve. With the exception of professional services, most businesses across industries need to provide self service capabilities to customers to ensure they are providing them with the ability to choose how and when they want to engage and transact with an organisation.”|
Whilst customers want a comprehensive experience, a lot of people aren’t looking to actually speak to a person if they can help it. With people working longer hours, taking longer commutes, and trying to complete personal errands alongside working, there’s a growing demand for customers to service themselves where possible. In a sense, it’s no different to self-service checkouts: people like autonomy and often feel like they can resolve solutions themselves.
With the right self-serve tools and information provided, a lot of customers are more than willing to try and solve their problems themselves. This means your business could start thinking about the resources you have available on your site for customers to use when they encounter problems. Good examples are FAQ sections, an automated chatbot with multiple choice questions for troubleshooting, or video guides and tutorials.
Not only will this help customers who need advice in a pinch for a minor issue, but it will also help to reduce stress and workloads for your customer service team, too.
- Focus will shift to improving employee experience to bolster customer experience
|“Equipped agents and advisors are more satisfied and provide a better service and customer experience. With more and more focus on delivering a better customer experience, it will be interesting to see in 2023 how many organisations ensure they are improving employee satisfaction to improve their customer service.”|
Research has shown that happy and engaged employees provide better customer service, although this connection has only just been established. Now we know that businesses with happy employees tend to have more happy customers, it’s likely that the shift in focus will be towards creating a positive employee experience.
If an employee is happy in their job, they will strive to provide the best service possible. They will feel a sense of pride in their work and do everything they can to uphold company standards and values that they find important. This trickles down into the service they provide customers, because if an employee isn’t engaged or happy with their job, they won’t care too much about the service they provide or the impact a poor customer experience could have on the company’s reputation.
From incentivising staff with added perks to investing in technologies that could make their jobs more efficient and easy, there are myriad ways you can look to better the experience of your employees and therefore improve the experience of your customers.
- Interactive customer service will come to the forefront
|“An engaged customer is not only more likely to repeat a transaction; they are also more likely to become an advocate. Having the capability to visually present information, co-browse content or demonstrate products in real-time can often be the key to engaging customers in a way that meets their needs.”|
In a similar breath to providing a self-service approach, we’re likely to see a shift to interactivity. In the early days, it used to be that the novelty of having a website or an app was enough to keep customers engaged, but this isn’t the case anymore. Every company has a website and the majority have apps, so you need something else to differentiate your brand from all the rest.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to make the service you offer interactive. Rather than just reading from a script, you could look to weave in things like co-browsing software so that your customers can have a more hands-on, interactive experience. Being an early adopter of this software is a great way to position yourself ahead of the curve.
- Fluent omnichannel experiences will become vital
|“Omnichannel is a term that’s been thrown around for years; however, very few companies truly deliver it for their customers. Being able to engage with businesses for support, services and transact via any device at any time has become the norm, but having the ability to shift from one channel to another in a seamless journey isn’t yet. Businesses that deliver a seamless omnichannel approach to engage and support their customers will continue to dominate their markets and garner organic loyalty from a growing customer base.”|
Customers are on every platform, so it’s important that you are, too. You might have some customers who prefer to come and chat to you in person, some who don’t mind picking up the phone, and others who would rather deal with things online. This means you need to tailor your service to suit every customer, but you need to ensure the service you’re providing marries up across platforms.
No matter what entry point customers are coming to you from, the service they receive needs to be in-depth, personalised, and fast. Prioritising one touchpoint over another is a sure-fire way to alienate a group of people from using your service, so make sure investment is equal across all platforms.
- Customer journeys will become life journeys
|“Focusing on or measuring customer lifetime value is not a new concept. The key will be moving from thinking of the customer journey as linear to cyclical instead, and focusing on improving experiences to ensure you create an approach that leads to lifetime value.”|
Brands are so used to tracking the customer journey and value over a set period, mostly focussing on a smaller picture. However, as businesses start to prioritise customer experience over everything else, it’s only a matter of time before they also begin to think further afield and look at creating customer lifetime journeys.
Thinking about how you can retain customers, reward them for their loyalty, and keep them within your brand over the long-term is going to be vitally important. Again, this is something that luxury brands have been doing for decades, but B2B organisations are starting to recognise business customers are people too, and great customer service can produce similar loyalty in every sector and every business.
At Vizolution, we are at the forefront of dynamic customer experiences and enabling great customer journeys. We help brands succeed and stay one step ahead every day, and based on the pain points our clients come to us with, we’re certain that 2023 will be a year of integral customer focus.
If your company is looking to leverage these changes and position itself as a market leader, speak to us today to find out more about how our smart software solutions can help your company excel.