The top digital customer experience trends in 2023
Brands are ramping up their digital customer experience (CX) investment in 2023 to better engage customers and inspire loyalty. In fact, seven in 10 companies will spend more on digital CX this year, according to a new survey conducted by TELUS International in partnership with Statista.
The survey — Digital customer experience priorities in 2023 — drew upon responses about the year's customer experience trends from 250 enterprise leaders throughout the U.S. and Europe. Importantly, it found roughly a third of companies will increase their digital CX budgets by more than 25%.
Top of mind for allocating resources are cloud technology, data protection, artificial intelligence (AI), interactive voice search and navigation and omnichannel experience. Read on to explore some of the driving factors behind these five digital customer experience trends.
Survey results: Digital customer experience priorities for leaders in 2023
TELUS International, in partnership with Statista, surveyed 250 enterprise leaders to explore where they plan to invest in digital customer experience (CX) technology in 2023. Uncover the results.
The surveyed business leaders ranked cloud technology as one of the top digital customer experience trends for 2023. That's no surprise: In recent years, brands have raced to adopt the cloud to improve both customer and employee experiences. Continued growth in the market is anticipated with Fortune Business Insights projecting that the global cloud computing market size will grow from $480 billion in 2022 to $1.7 trillion by 2029.
Digital transformation will continue to serve as a catalyst, says Jujhar Singh, executive vice president and general manager of industry clouds at Salesforce, in a Deloitte Insights article. "The pandemic was a wake-up call that helped many companies realize that digital transformation needs to happen in weeks and months, rather than years," he highlighted.
Evolving customer expectations surrounding faster service, more meaningful personalization and a broader range of self-serve or automated options are all facilitated by the cloud. Whereas legacy systems require expensive additional hardware and software to support growth, the flexibility of the cloud allows brands to scale computing resources based on demand in a cost effective manner. And the hyperconnectivity facilitated by the cloud aids in the development of omnichannel experiences — another important trend for 2023.
Cloud technology ensures continuity and access to digital CX tools and data across teams, wherever they are in the world. With the cloud, balancing the management of various systems and scouring them for relevant information becomes a thing of the past.
Privacy and data protection
The privacy and data protection regulatory environment is changing. New laws like the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), which paves the way for a federal U.S. privacy law, follow a growing global push to align regulation with more customer-centric privacy, data protection and transparency.
According to authentication company Ping Identity's 2021 Consumer Survey, 60% of consumers have dropped an online service entirely over privacy concerns. Most customers want to know how brands share their personal information, but 72% of Ping's respondents said they struggle to find out exactly what brands are doing with their data.
"Consumers have demanded more transparency about how their information is used, but the list of brands that provide this type of insight is a short one," says the Ping Identity report. The disconnect presents an opportunity for companies to build loyalty and trust by implementing customer-centric identity management and more transparency. U.S. -based business leaders have taken note, with nearly half (49%) of those surveyed by TELUS International indicating transparency and data security as one of the most important characteristics of the digital CX providers with whom they work.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning
Whether a brand is building predictive analytics applications to gain insights into their business, a chatbot to streamline customer support, or automated content moderation programs to aid in keeping the digital world safe, it's evident that AI plays a significant role in creating high-quality customer experiences.
In fact, a third of those surveyed by TELUS International say AI and machine learning are core investments for 2023. And generative AI's recent rise in popularity is likely to further bolster investment. According to Grand View Research, the generative AI market is anticipated to reach $109.37 billion by 2030.
Generative AI's ability to create high-quality content at impressive speeds will revolutionize the chatbot experience. It also has the ability to rapidly scale the creation of personalized emails, web pages, ads, imagery and more. With nearly endless use cases, the impact of AI on the digital customer experience knows no bounds.
Interactive voice search and navigation
Interactive voice/visual response (IVR) has been a popular tool for brands looking to streamline the customer journey for many years, and its hot streak continues. Around a quarter (22%) of businesses surveyed by TELUS International say they will be investing in IVR this year.
One of the reasons IVR has proven so sticky is the widescale adoption of voice assistants like Google Home, Amazon's Alexa and Apple's Siri. According to insight from Insider Intelligence, more than half of internet users in the U.S. will use a voice assistant by 2026.
Visual IVR has also emerged as a tool for customers to navigate a menu directly on their phone without downloading an app, making the process more efficient and less voice-reliant. As this technology evolves, brands will have an opportunity to improve customer experiences further.
As today's customers follow a non-linear path to checkout — shifting between mobile and desktop or social media to websites — designing omnichannel experiences is critical for brands.
According to Salesforce's 2022 State of the Connected Customer report, 78% of customers have used multiple channels to start and complete a transaction and 68% of customers have experimented with a new way of buying products in the past two years.
Consistency is key. Customers need to be able to move easily between channels without encountering silos or conflicting experiences, ensuring that each interaction builds upon the previous one. Getting it right means collecting and consolidating customer data across channels to build a complete customer profile.
To remain competitive, brands will need to invest in omnichannel experiences. This means collecting and consolidating customer data across channels to build a complete customer profile.
Staying ahead of the trends
In today's fast-changing digital landscape, brands need to understand their customers' expectations and where they are going.
A digital customer experience partner with a finger on the pulse of emerging trends and best practices can help brands keep up with new technology and shifting customer preferences. With the latest technology advancements at their disposal, the right digital CX partner can work with brands to build long-lasting customer relationships and boost their bottom line. Contact our team to discuss how your company can lead with digital CX.