Customer experience (CX) is top of mind for most business leaders—for good reason. CX directly impacts retention, customer lifetime value and revenue. But just thinking about CX isn’t enough to improve it. Across 13 industries, CX quality dropped in 2022 for the first time since 2017. The average U.S. CX Index score across industries was 71.3 (out of 100)—a score equivalent to a “C.”
But businesses can rebound. At CSG, we’re seeing them take steps that can reverse the trend of lagging CX—like investing in technology to orchestrate customer journeys, or refining their non-digital experiences alongside the digital. Why do we say that? You get a unique vantage point on CX when you orchestrate over 12 billion customer journey interactions and support over 710 million wireless subscribers a year. At CSG, we reviewed usage data from our solutions and compiled thought leadership to identify major trends. These trends will drive consumer behavior and CX business decisions over the next year.
Trend 1: Businesses Reorganize to Reinvigorate CX
Across industries, senior executives agree that new CX initiatives are essential to meet rising customer expectations, reduce costs and increase revenue. CX transformation starts with CX teams developing enterprise-wide strategic plans, increasing the CX budget and implementing effective technology. Many businesses rely on customer engagement solutions such as customer relationship management (CRM) solutions. Forward-thinking brands are using robust journey orchestration platforms in addition to CRMs to boost customer engagement, satisfaction and retention.
To strengthen CX, business leaders need to focus on these journey management capabilities:
- Creating comprehensive, unified customer profiles that include demographics as well as browsing and purchase history
- Analyzing customer data to understand past behavior and predict future behavior and needs
- Delivering proactive messages at the right time, via the customer’s preferred channel, to guide customers toward the desired outcome
Journey management tools automate those tasks, making it easier to deliver personalized interactions that increase customer satisfaction and boost sales. The shifting focus to journeys and experiences means CX leaders will bear more influence over the success of the business than in the past. The chief experience officer (CXO) will oversee the full spectrum of customer lifecycle activities, including those traditionally held by chief marketing officers (CMOs).
Related Study: Customer Engagement Solutions Drive Transformational CX and EX Outcomes
Trend 2: Embracing Non-Digital Interactions Amid Digital Transformation
Despite increased digital adoption spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, some consumers prefer non-digital, offline experiences such as printed documents and customer support from live agents. According to CSG’s 2022 Digital Experiences Survey, 26% of respondents preferred getting paper statements in the mail to setting up autopay online for their bills.
To satisfy consumers, businesses must balance online and offline interactions. Brands should encourage customers to adopt cost-saving digital channels, while also delivering high-quality traditional experiences. Digital tools can enhance non-digital interactions, creating hybrid experiences that combine the best of both worlds. For example, augmented reality (AR) technology facilitates remote troubleshooting by customer service agents and service technicians. The hybrid experience balancing act will continue as businesses forge ahead on digital transformation, bringing as many loyal customers as they can with them along the journey.
Trend 3: Lay the Metaverse Foundation Now
There’s plenty of work to be done before true metaverse use cases, like fully immersive virtual shopping experiences, become a reality. Businesses are nonetheless laying the technological and
organizational groundwork to participate in them because they present a potentially massive opportunity. According to McKinsey, the metaverse may have a market impact of between $2 trillion and $2.6 trillion on e-commerce by 2030. The metaverse, by their definition, is “the emerging 3-D-enabled digital space that uses virtual reality, augmented reality, and other advanced internet and semiconductor technology to allow people to have lifelike personal and business experiences online.” Through a sense of immersion and real-time interactivity, it will revolutionize education (by providing digital classrooms and training tools) and ecommerce (via an immersive advertising channel and virtual retail destinations).
Related White Paper: The BSS Building Blocks of the Future
To be metaverse-ready, businesses must implement the required technology. communications service providers (CSPs) need business support systems (BSS) that support the interoperable network functions of digital marketplaces. Other companies planning to conduct business in the metaverse need to shore up their capabilities to deliver digital experiences and support digital payments.
This only scratches the surface of insights and data you’ll find in the new State of the Customer Experience 2023 Report. For more detail on the trends, plus our recommendations for how your business can capitalize on them, download the free report now.