The past 5 years have been a whirlwind for customers and businesses alike. As we’ve taken the time to transition back to in-person experiences, the way that we show up and interact with each other has changed greatly.For many businesses, 2023 will be an extension of 2022 – keeping digital top of mind but finding ways to enhance in-person experiences.To keep you ahead of the curve and ready for the new year, in this blog, we’re taking a look at the 2023 trends, in addition to reflecting on the year passed.
Let’s get started.
A Look Back at 2022
2022 introduced a whole host of new and engaging trends. For many, this was the first year, back in person. Customers vied for more personalization and human connection while businesses tried to balance in-person and digital experiences.
From the continued growth of contactless communication channels to the rise of automation, and finding new ways to improve in-person journeys, customer experience (CX) rallied as a unique point of focus for businesses around the globe.
With CX separating the good businesses from the great, they found inventive ways to improve the overall well-being of their customer and employees. One of the more prominent ways of doing this was by tailoring the experience to the individual’s preferences and going out of their way to ensure unique needs are being met.
With that top of mind, 2022 also posed as a year full of labour shortages. Ones that forced many businesses to scramble towards automation and bots that work in tandem with employees. The goal; to improve efficiency, reduce strain on capital and resources, and maintain business as usual. For most businesses, labour shortages actually proved beneficial with the introduction of automation and a new way of working efficiently.
Taking a similar stride with 2022, 2023 promises to further bridge the gap between in-person and digital interactions. Keeping an exceptional experience top of mind, let’s take a look at how 2023 will shape up.
Customer Experience 2023 Trends
A Focus on Holistic Experiences Online and Offline
For years the customer experience online and offline was fragmented; A conversation had in person wouldn’t translate online and vice versa. Where we saw growth in connected contactless channels in 2022, 2023 will continue to bridge the gap by focusing on a holistic customer journey. That means keeping a consistent brand narrative from the beginning of the customer experience to the end.
Keeping in mind the growing trend of “channel hopping”, ensuring consistency in conversations across multiple channels will be paramount. In that, technology will play a crucial role. Connected inboxes offering a single location for multiple channels will solidify the consistency of conversation along with quicker response times and more connected employees.
Omni-channel as a Necessity
If you’ve been keeping up with our posts, by now you probably understand how vital omni-channel is for businesses’ communication efforts.
Today it’s critical for survival. With 86% of shoppers regularly channel-hopping across at least two channels, and 73% of consumers shopping on more than one channel, businesses can’t afford to not have multiple channels. The key here, however, is knowing what channels your customers are using and being cognizant of 2023 trends that could affect channel usage.
New generations are leading the way into multi-channel spheres with social channels at the forefront. As new channels emerge, it’s important to not get swept up in the hype, but rather observe what your audience is doing and then formulate a strategy to adopt a cohesive and consistent experience. The whole essence of omni-channel is a unified experience, so before you adopt a plethora of channels, make sure you have the capacity to take them on and that verbiage on every channel reflects your typical brand presence.
If adopting an omni-channel strategy is something you’ve been considering, we highly recommend checking out our eBook: An Introduction to Touchpoints & Channels. It’s a great starting point to understand core channels in virtually every industry. With so much to consider, an in-depth look into what channels are available and the requirements for implementing them is vital.
A Focus on Service
With customers wanting more face-to-face interaction, a new focus on service emerges. In 2023, service will be a major selling point and loyalty driver for customers. And while many may assume “business as usual” will suffice, expectations will be higher. In fact, according to Hubspot, 93% of customer service teams say customers have higher expectations than ever before.
To stay ahead of customer expectations, 2023 will look to technology to deliver insights on employee performance and ways to improve operational efficiency. Tools that elicit feedback can be beneficial in highlighting opportunities for improvement.
Help Customers Help Themselves
Since the pandemic and the growth of digital, customers globally shifted toward a self-sufficient mindset. They want to do things on their own, but they also want the support of your team when they need it.
For 2023, having open lines of real-time communication online and in person will be vital. As we’ve seen throughout the year immediacy has become a normal preference that when not met can lead to frustrated and angry customers. It’s important to show support but also be timely in responses so you can recover the experience and drive long-term loyalty.
Loop Tickets, for example, are an exemplary way to assist customers in helping themselves. It creates real-time tickets, assigns the task to the appropriate department and provides updates on ticket progress so teams can stay aligned.
According to Forrester, 75% of consumers say the pandemic will drive long-term changes in their behaviour.
With so much fluctuation over the past 5 years, data becomes one of the only consistent and viable ways to understand current and customer 2023 trends. Having a solution that provides insight into customer experience while also highlighting operational improvements is vital. Every inch of your strategy should be backed by data – further, teams should be consistently updated on trends, along with the status of their performance.
While 2022 put in-person experiences back into practice, 2023 will be about furthering strategy and leading with exceptional experiences.
Customers today continue to feel the ripple effect of the pandemic, and the desire for more personal experiences is only amplified. Whether you’re engaging in-person or online, remember to deliver on their need but also build meaningful connections with compassion.