Customer Experience Trends 2023 and Emerging Tech: Expert Round Table

CX tech leaders predict some of the biggest trends of 2023

Customer Experience Trends 2023 and Emerging Tech: Expert Round Table
Voice of the CustomerInsights

Published: December 14, 2022

Charlie Mitchell

2022 has proven another disruptive year in the CX space, with emerging trends including the rise of more immersive experiences, hyper-personalization, and – most recently – ChatGPT.

What will 2023 hold? The continued rise of technology convergence, observable AI, and under-the-bonnet automation is likely – especially given the current economic uncertainty.

Our panelists delve deeper into these areas while spotlighting many other eye-catching trends and emerging technologies in the CX space. This month, they include:

  • Steve Bell, Senior Director of Product Marketing at Talkdesk
  • Joy Corso, Chief Marketing Officer at Vonage
  • Vasili Triant, Chief Operating Officer at UJET
  • Jim Davies, Chief Experience Officer at Calabrio
  • Koray Parmaks, VP of CCaaS at Intermedia
  • Jonathan Maher, Head of Contact Center Specialists for Avaya Europe

Read on to gauge each expert’s vision for the customer experiences of tomorrow.

Share an Example of a CX Trend You Expect to Come to the Fore In 2023

Bell: Brands will make customer intimacy a significant focus in 2023, according to Talkdesk research.

Why? Because consumers’ overall connection to a brand drives loyalty.

Realizing this, businesses will view the contact center as a CX hub, with agents as brand ambassadors.

Garnering a deeper understanding of what drives customer connections is also central to this aim as brands move away from VoC surveys.

Instead, they will look to harness untapped customer insights – structured and unstructured data gleaned from customer interactions.

With this insight, companies will strive to deliver more personalized customer engagements.

Corso: Consumers continue to value real-time personal engagement, with more organizations adopting video solutions to offer customers human support in moments that matter.

However, conversational AI will gain further momentum, automating more transactional contacts.

Indeed, these technologies are slowly becoming more popular, with 40 percent of consumers who contact a call center doing so after looking for online self-service first.

Recognizing such trends, brands will adapt to ever-changing customer expectations and adopt these channels propelling their transformation projects forward and avoiding being left behind.

Triant: As the economic outlook remains murky, UJET research shows consumers plan to cut spending, starting with brands that don’t provide stellar customer service.

Indeed, 87 percent of consumers said they will spend less or stop spending money altogether with brands that skimp on customer support.

Companies are also cutting costs, with many turning to chatbots for customer service.

Underlining this, Gartner expects a 40 percent increase in chatbot technology adoption. However, chatbots frequently underwhelm.

Downsizing during a recession doesn’t need to negatively impact customer service.

UJET’s research shows 54 percent of consumers will spend less with a brand in the future if they skimp on customer service, and 33 percent will switch brands altogether.

As such, changes a brand makes to its CX during times of crisis can impact its long-term bottom line.

Davies: In 2023, more channels will become available to customers – including WhatsApp, Google Messaging, and TikTok – to name a few.

Organizations must take greater control of their omnichannel environment to remain competitive, blending these modern channels with traditional ones for a consistent customer experience.

Linked to this is the opportunity to adopt a more proactive, reaching out to customers through digital channels to provide assistance before customers even ask for it.

Customer service teams may also identify and manage these consumer-preferred methods of communication to accurately forecast and schedule the associated impact on resources.

While doing so, contact centers can proactively train staff with personalized coaching on each channel to elevate their performance and enhance customer experiences.

Parmaks: Subject matter experts (SMEs) are increasingly crucial in quickly resolving customer queries. As such, more businesses will look for technology that makes it easier to pull SMEs into customer conversations.

Historically, frontline users using contact center applications were siloed. They could see other agents’ availability and collaborate, but it ended there. Finding an SME for answers required jumping into a siloed UC application.

Now, businesses want the benefits of a single business communications platform that combines UC and the contact center into one application.

As a result, agents resolve customer requests faster, enjoying better access to relevant expertise. Meanwhile, companies can capture cost savings by consolidating the tech stack.

Maher: Increasing support for more complex digital interactions will continue.

As such, businesses must improve their handling of situations where customers start a journey digitally but revert to another communication channel – perhaps even a brick-and-mortar outlet.

Whether these complex interactions are between a customer and a live agent or an intelligent chatbot, businesses must align their channels better.

Moreover, businesses should not rush to implement new messaging apps, social media platforms, or perhaps even a metaverse proposition. They do not want to end up with more dreaded siloes.

Consider optimizing the existing environment first, perhaps using in-chat authentication, purchasing and payment, or assisted website co-browsing, for example.

Currently, it is typical for consumers to escalate 30- 40 percent of digital-first contacts to voice, so there is significant room for optimization.

Which Facets of CX Should Brands Perhaps Pay More Attention to In 2023?

Bell: Part of getting closer to customers is knowing what makes them tick. For younger customers, this is often social responsibility pledges alongside ethical positions and actions.

Indeed, many “conscious consumers” have stopped using a company’s services or products due to their stance on topics like social issues and sustainability.

So how can companies get to know these consumers in 2023 and beyond? After all, traditional surveys rarely cut the mustard. Enter “VOC 2.0”.

Such an approach involves mining customer interactions and using these insights to drive personalized, intimate engagement across customer-facing organizational departments.

By taking on such a strategy, perceptions of the contact center start to change. It goes from a cost center to an intelligence center and ultimately to a business growth center.

Corso: Omnichannel is a term every CX professional knows, but implementing it is challenging – in terms of data aggregation alone.

Nevertheless, in 2023, it remains a massive opportunity to deliver better, personalized experiences.

Indeed, an omnichannel approach gives customers a consistent and cohesive experience on every channel, both online and offline.

Designed with the customer experience in mind, omnichannel provides a convenient interaction at every touchpoint — as context follows the customer as they shift between channels.

As such, customers can switch channels within the same interaction to continue their conversation without having to recap it from the beginning for a different agent.

The result is that customers no longer have to repeat themselves, and agents have access to the most relevant information to offer improved, personalized support.

Triant: Designing and deploying an effective marriage between virtual and live agents throughout the customer experience will come front and center for many businesses in 2023.

According to a recent report from UJET, 80 percent of consumers report increased frustration levels due to chatbots. Additional report data suggests:

  • 63 percent of chatbot interactions did not result in a resolution
  • 72 percent felt that using a chatbot was a waste of time
  • 54 percent said a live agent provides the fastest resolution and best overall CX

Nevertheless, when properly implemented, chatbots can help businesses manage costs and workforce levels by handling simple requests, boosting CSAT, and freeing up live agents.

Yet, proper implementation requires a comprehensive analysis of customer interactions to identify candidates for self-service and automation. Such an initiative should also flag the most common pain points and design resolution paths.

Unfortunately, this is rare, which leaves customers interacting with cookie-cutter chatbots that can only process simple requests.

Davies: Frontline agents can influence consumer perceptions, enhance customer loyalty, and boost profits. Yet, the broader business often overlooks their experiences at work.

In 2023, this facet of CX will garner greater attention as more brands recognize the correlation between engaged employees and customer experience success.

In simple terms, a greater emphasis needs to be placed on EX to drive CX.

Within customer service, leaders must place more time and energy into better understanding the employee experience and seeking ways to drive higher levels of engagement.

For example, shift flexibility, personalized coaching, and real-time interaction assistance – via automation and supervisor guidance – are all likely to help supercharge their experiences.

Parmaks: With economic uncertainty impacting customer budgets, businesses must pay more attention to resolution times coupled with customer effort to protect and grow their customer base.

As much as leaders love their CX teams, customers would rather solve their requests themselves.

After all, customers interact with frontline users as a last resort once they’ve exhausted every option to do it themselves (e.g., finding information online, making a purchase/return, etc.).

Recognizing this, CX teams must get the customer to the right employee with the proper support tools to resolve their queries quickly.

Maher: Today, the role of live agents is critical as they increasingly become an escalation point when transactions are too complex or nuanced for automated solutions to handle.

In these scenarios, informed, empowered agents – with instant, fingertip access to all information pertinent to the customer and their journey – are essential.

Automating much of the system/process work around handling the interaction will allow agents to focus entirely on the customer during the conversation.

Which Emerging CX Technologies Will More Businesses Turn to In 2023?

Bell: These emerging CX technologies share a commonality – they are all AI-based.

First, consider interaction analytics. It transcribes and analyzes speech and text interactions based on sentiment, intent, and keywords.

After, the solution triggers actions such as flags for follow-up coaching, automated communications, or the automatic creation of a CRM ticket.

From there, this insight becomes available for other departments to leverage.

Steve Bell
Steve Bell

Next, consider agent-assist technologies. Harnessing real-time analytics, these contextually trigger automations for answer retrieval and next-best actions to resolve queries faster and accurately.

Finally, there is AI-powered quality monitoring. These solutions automate contact evaluations, transcriptions, and sentiment analysis while using AI to generate annotations and interaction highlights. In doing so, they streamline and enhance agent experiences.

Corso: Conversational commerce solutions will gain further traction in 2023. These harness AI to streamline customer engagement in-channel via the web, social platforms, or messaging apps.

Implementing conversational commerce also allows businesses to offer native buying journeys and give customers instant access to products or services.

Joy Corso
Joy Corso

The addition of virtual agents helps to answer product questions and make personalized recommendations based on customers’ categories and shopping preferences.

These technologies keep customers engaged throughout their commerce experiences, which has been historically difficult to do.

Triant: The next stage of e-commerce technologies and optimization for mobile devices will come to the fore in 2023.

A few years ago, people would look up info on their phone out of convenience but shift to a laptop for the action – i.e., make a purchase, book a flight or hotel, etc. However, companies have evolved their e-commerce capabilities and optimized for the 6-inch screen.

Customer service providers need to keep pace. Brands must communicate via text, picture, or video, depending on the situation and customer preferences.

In addition, consider blending multiple forms of communication into one efficient conversation without losing context or collecting information via chat before transitioning to a phone call. Doing so helps customers quickly get the support they need.

Vasili Triant
Vasili Triant

Focusing on mobile technology will enable brands to verify customer identity with face ID or fingerprints – technology consumers use daily.

As hyper-scalers begin to dominate the industry, they will focus CX investments on mobile-based technology to meet consumers where they are most comfortable.

Davies: Not necessarily an “emerging” technology, but Voice of the Customer (VoC) suites will likely become a hot investment area in 2023.

After all, many brands now realize that the contact center hosts a wealth of untapped information and feedback, locked within the myriad of conversational data, reports, and surveys.

Jim Davies
Jim Davies

Blending these data sources and analyzing them holistically provides a complete view of the operational performance, individual agent performance, training opportunities, and well-being.

Moreover, the strategy unlocks insights that can have far-reaching impact across the entire organization – from product development to marketing and beyond.

Parmaks: Employee engagement is taking center stage as businesses strive to become more productive with the resources they have.

There are several ways of doing so, with these three examples gaining momentum:

  1. Ensuring employee activities align with the highest priorities of the business
  2. Frequently remind employees of those priorities,
  3. Recognizing teams when their actions move the business closer to achieving its goals

AI can support the last activity as it becomes more accessible for businesses of all sizes.

Koray Parmaks
Koray Parmaks

Now, CX leaders can leverage AI to cut through the hundreds, if not thousands, of daily customer interactions to focus on the interactions that have the most significant impact on the business.

AI (specifically sentiment analysis) combined with keyword alerts support such an initiative as supervisors streamline their performance review workflows.

Also, it helps align feedback with mission-critical business objectives.

Maher: Many organizations have dabbled in AI, often through chatbots.

Success in this area varies by industry and use case, but some organizations with numerous routine or repeatable customer journeys have used this technology to significantly reduce demand.

Jonathan Maher
Jonathan Maher

As this technology matures further, businesses with more complex customer journeys will use AI-powered chat and see similar results.

However, automated chat is not the only enabler of conversational AI. Indeed, more organizations – in 2023 and beyond – will also use the technology for voice automation, sometimes repurposing their models for digital channels.

Miss out on the previous CX Today roundtable? Check it out here: Reinventing Customer Feedback



ChatGPTConversational AIhybrid workOmni-channel

Brands mentioned in this article.


Share This Post