In 2023, CX is More Critical than Ever.
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In precarious economic times, consumers are more discerning than ever about where their money goes and expect positive, progressive, and consistent customer experience (CX). After all, consumption is not a sterile transaction; it’s emotional, too. When consumers spend money, they want to feel valued by the business they’re interacting with, end-to-end.
Take a moment to think of a time you had a remarkable CX. Positive or negative, what you have in mind was memorable and colored your overall perception of the associated business, directly impacting your patronage.
High-quality CX directly correlates to revenue.
Perhaps surprisingly, then, is Forrester’s report, Predictions 2023: Customer Experience1, predicting 20% of CX teams will disappear this year. Cutting costs in the throes of economic uncertainty is standard practice, but choosing to pare down CX may prove a critical mistake.
CX Tips for 2023
Businesses should revisit their organization’s “why.” Forrester advises that prioritizing CX “requires an enterprise-wide effort to put customers at the center of an organization’s leadership, strategy, and operations.” 2 When ethos is course-corrected and the customer is truly centered in all facets of operation, priorities and policies can then be reimagined.
Identify and monitor metrics.
Keeping an eye on KPIs and quality scores may seem like a no-brainer, but this list would be incomplete without mention of numbers. CX efforts may be slow to exhibit ROI, but metrics still talk. Ultimately, they will inform CX funding (or lack thereof) each fiscal year.
If in-house CX hasn’t fallen prey to budget cuts, don’t rest on your laurels. Instead, Forrester recommends organizations take this time to fine tune CX programs to be “as effective and efficient as possible to insulate themselves against unexpected budget cuts.”3 Getting comfortable or going into CX autopilot is unsustainable. Instead, anticipate financial turbulence and take a magnifying glass to CX design and flow. When you presuppose CX issues and comb through them before they ever occur, the team doesn’t have to be in a chaotic cycle of “finding and fixing” in real time. Essentially, you don’t have to play whack-a-mole if the moles are deterred from arriving in the first place!
Lean on the experts.
Join forums with fellow CX leaders, attend events, and keep up with what others are doing. CX isn’t static, and there’s no one-size-fits-all. Customer desires and needs shift, products evolve, and technology advances. It behooves CX professionals to stay on top of trends and changes.
Use a multi-pronged approach.
Businesses are making the mistake of fully relying on automated proactive service recovery (PSR) to remedy poor CX. According to Forrester, “companies should avoid mistaking PSR for a real CX strategy or risk missing out on big-picture CX differentiation.” 1 The best plan of attack involves robust PSR serving as a complement to overall CX strategy, not a replacement.
Solicit feedback, then act on it.
To provide a personalized experience, you need to understand your customers’ needs and preferences. Collect data on their buying habits, feedback, and preferences, and use that information to tailor your CX goals with them in mind. Who better to consult than the very people you’re looking to impress? Customer expectations are rising, and showing effort and being transparent can go a long way. In exchange for consumers feeling heard, they’re giving clarity on the parts of CX you should prioritize next.
Play the long game.
A big part of CX deterioration seems to be tied to lackluster ROI. Upon first consideration, it makes sense that a department not “making numbers” would be trimmed. However, it’s vital to not cut prematurely. While CX deliverables and customer satisfaction can seem nebulous, many enterprises are paring down their CX initiatives before they truly have time to blossom, take hold, and inform business perception. Stay the course.
CX needs to be efficient and effective, sure, but it also needs to be enjoyable. Not only does it lead to recurring business, happy customers often become positive mouthpieces and recommend a business to others, boosting reputation and revenue.
This is an opportunity.
In terms of CX in 2023, Forrester summates many businesses are “shifting from strategy to proactive service recovery.” 1 This change in tide is an opportunity for businesses who continue to prioritize CX to set themselves apart from competitors, creating loyal consumers with brand affinity and strengthening the ability to sustain erratic economic circumstances.
When it comes to business, if the quality of the product or service is king, CX is its crown. It’s the differentiator, the game-changer, the pièce de resistance, and shouldn’t be neglected. You can stand out in 2023 by being one of the few businesses ramping up CX initiatives, laying a foundation that’ll help your business thrive for years to come.
1. Predictions 2023: Customer Experience, Forrester Research, Inc., October 25, 2022.
2. Widespread Drops in US CX Quality Point To Major Failures In Brands’ Customer Focus, Forrester Research, Inc., June 6, 2022
3. Planning Guide 2023: Customer Experience, Forrester Research, Inc., August 23, 2022.