Keeping track of emerging trends is crucial for any business, but for industries where customer experience (CX) is paramount, it’s especially important to keep track of customer experience trends and use them to your advantage. According to McKinsey & Company’s The Business Value of Design, companies prioritizing customer experience outperform their competitors. Given the importance of delivering high-quality customer experience in the contact center industry, we’ve compiled a list of the top five contact center trends shaping the customer experience in 2023. By leveraging these trends effectively, your contact center can deliver exceptional customer experience and stay ahead of the curve.
1. Omnichannel Support
Now more than ever, we have a variety of ways and channels to communicate: voice, chat, email, instant message, video calls, and even social media. As a result, many customers now expect to seamlessly communicate with businesses across these channels. The latest customer experience trends emphasize the importance of omnichannel support capabilities to meet these rising expectations. Embracing an omnichannel communications platform allows contact centers to reach customers more efficiently and effectively while ensuring consistency and continuity in interactions, regardless of the channel used.
2. Agent Training and Development
While many customer experience trends fluctuate as customer demands and needs change and evolve, one aspect of the customer experience remains constant: customers want to interact with agents who are well-trained in customer service strategies and tactics. According to PwC, 86 percent of customers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience, highlighting the significance of well-trained agents. Contact centers should invest in ongoing training and development programs so agents are equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to provide exceptional customer service.
3. Decreasing Hold Times
According to data from Gartner, minimizing hold times and ensuring efficient interactions can boost customer satisfaction and loyalty. Customers who have a low-effort experience are 94 percent more likely to buy from the company again and 88 percent more likely to increase the amount they spend with a brand or company. Contact centers should look for technology that offers advanced call routing, predictive analytics, callback options, and efficient queueing systems to have more control over wait times.
4. Self-Service Options
Even though customers want agents who can quickly and efficiently get them the help they need, this isn’t always the case — sometimes customers want to answer questions or address their concerns on their own. Zendesk’s Customer Experience Trends Report found that 69 percent of customers prefer self-service options such as knowledge bases, FAQ pages, and chatbots. Contact centers should ensure these resources are easily accessible, up-to-date, and user-friendly so they can enhance the customer experience and improve overall service quality.
5. Customer-Centric Culture
Customer experience trends place high importance on fostering a culture that revolves around customer satisfaction and loyalty. Research by Deloitte shows that businesses with a customer-centric culture are 60 percent more profitable, proving it’s essential to emphasize customer-centricity. Contact centers should encourage employees to be empathetic toward customers, focus on delivering a personalized experience, and recognize agents when they deliver exceptional support.
Staying Ahead of Customer Experience Trends in 2024
CX trends are likely to remain prominent as we look toward 2024, so businesses must keep these trends in mind. Staying in touch with trends in contact centers and customer experience is key. By leveraging these trends, contact centers can stay ahead of the curve and elevate their contact center’s performance in 2023 and beyond.