Customer Experience Management: 4 trends for 2023
Customer Experience Management (CXM) is a hot topic. More and more companies are recognizing that providing a great customer experience is the route to business success and growth. Is your organization ready to put CXM into practice? In this blog, read the key CXM trends of 2023.
What exactly is Customer Experience Management?
Consumers are expecting more and more in terms of online customer contact. To meet those expectations, companies are turning to Customer Experience Management (CXM).
CXM is an approach to customer relationships that goes beyond marketing tools, business processes and software. The goal is to create a digital transformation that puts the customer at the center. This mindset prioritizes the orchestration and personalization of a seamless customer journey on every channel, in real time. Your customer is put at the center of every process, in every department. So not just by your customer service colleagues or by marketing, but also by IT, Finance and HRM.
When you deploy CXM properly:
✓ You have more satisfied, lasting customers.
✓ Improve your brand image.
✓ Lower your costs thanks to more efficient processes.
of customers find a positive experience with a company more influential than good advertising
of consumers will not do business with a company if they cannot use their preferred channel
Bron: Metrigy research, 2022
of companies are automating (parts of) customer contact. This percentage is going to increase next year.
Bron: Techtarget, 2021
Trend 1: Personalization
Did you know that 76% of your customers expect personal attention in order to want to engage with you? By now, personalizing customer communications is the rule rather than the exception. We make full use of merge tags in emails and target customers based on their purchase history or click behavior. This year, companies are taking it a step further. Investing in data & analytics is high on the agendas.
Yet real concrete personalization plans remain on the bookshelf. Four reasons:
- No concrete roadmap in place
- Not enough budget available
- IT processes are too complex; where do you start?
- Other projects get priority
A shame, we say. Because today’s technology combined with artificial intelligence allows you to communicate with your customer more personally than ever before. And customers expect that from you. If it’s not personal enough they’ll switch to your competitor.
When you combine data and technology properly, you can keep going one step further. You can fully personalize any channel, from emails, videos to streaming services. Take Spotify, for example. A now widely cited example, but for good reason. Using machine learning models and based on playlists, listening and clicking behavior and audio analytics, the streaming service learns what content you find interesting. In this way, Spotify ensures customer loyalty, because your entire Spotify account is – if all goes well – liked by you. The algorithm thinks proactively with you.
But the most important reason for personalization as far as we are concerned: a customer who never has to reintroduce himself. There has to be some form of recognition. When someone reports to you for the second time with a question or need, you should already know who he or she is. Regardless of which channel that person uses. This ties in nicely with the next trend, omnichannel customer contact.
Trend 2: Omnichannel customer contact
We expect a consistent customer experience at any time and on any device. The online experience should be as good as the offline experience. And of course connect seamlessly. With an omnichannel strategy, you connect all your touchpoints, such as your social media, customer portal, store, app and website. This ensures that your customer can move smoothly from touchpoint to touchpoint. The rapid development of artificial intelligence ensures that the technology is getting better and better to make digital self-service optimally possible across all your touchpoints, without forced channel switches.
By now, many companies offer an omnichannel customer experience or have this plan ready to go. And that’s just as well. An omnichannel strategy significantly increases your sales and makes for more efficient processes. Your customer introduces him or herself once and then you reuse and enrich that data at every touch point in the customer journey. The technology to, for example, optimally enable digital self-service across all your touchpoints, without forced channel switches, is well developed and promising thanks to artificial intelligence. The trick is mainly to draw up a good roadmap and optimally connect technology, processes and people. Starting from a good CX ambition with central ownership in organizations.
TIP: Don’t be too quickly blinded by all those technical marvels. See where the need lies first. Step into your customers’ shoes as they move from touchpoint to touchpoint, and then see what technology fits that need.
Trend 3: Selfservice
More and more people and companies are embracing self-service. Thanks to technological developments, it has become part of our daily lives. Various self-service options exist, such as: customer portals, voicebots, chatbots or a Digital Colleague. Sometimes through the cloud and open source technology so that the system is more accessible for adjustments when customer needs change.
Self-service has benefits for your organization. Repetitive tasks are automated and you offer 24/7 service to your customer. Again, in the case of a customer portal, it is important to step into your customer’s shoes. People should be encouraged to use self-service capabilities and the capabilities of the customer portal should match their needs. When you get this right and set it up very simply, you can help more customers, reduce costs and increase the customer experience.
It is also important that your processes and systems are well aligned when you offer self-service. When you send an offer from your marketing automation system, it must also be visible to your customer in the self-service portal. So here again the omnichannel piece comes back. All customer journeys across the different touchpoints must flow into one another.
One form of self-service is a Digital Colleague
Make your customer contact scalable & affordable
✔ Automate repetitive tasks
✔ Lead your customers through any process simply and enjoyably
✔ Reduce your customer service wait times
Trend 4: Conversational AI
Conversational AI uses data, natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) to increasingly mimic human interactions. This can be written or spoken text. By now, the technology has reached the point where conversations are indistinguishable from real human interactions. This gives you the opportunity to set up your customer service more efficiently, without losing sight of the human touch.
Chat and voicebots can increasingly understand the context of a conversation, recognize the customer and handle repetitive questions. This does not mean that customer service employees should fear for their jobs. Artificial Intelligence also has its limits. It cannot (yet) teach the level of empathy that people sometimes need when they are angry, sad or worried. And sometimes a client simply can’t get there with an AI chat or voicebot. So we continue to advise our clients to always offer an escape to a live agent.
Ultimately, customer service agents and AI will have to embrace each other to make work easier, more efficient and more accurate. AI takes over the repetitive tasks, while your agents focus on the customers who really need your help.
Find the right balance between efficiency, accessibility, and human contact in your channel strategy
A successful channel strategy requires a balance between efficiency, accessibility, and human contact. Excessive channel steering can lead to customer frustration and loss, while listening to customer needs and providing diverse channels enhances customer satisfaction and creates a positive brand experience.
A well thought out and effective channel strategy can make the difference between satisfied customers and customers going to competitors. Let's look at the importance of a proper channel strategy in serving your customers in the best way possible.
Aspire CEO Kaspar Roos on improving customer experience, managing digital transformation and the future of artificial intelligence
Kaspar is the CEO and founder of Aspire, a consulting firm specializing in Customer Communications Management and Customer Experience Management. Dialog Group and Kaspar have the same mission: to help companies with their digital transformation to improve the customer experience company-wide.