2022 is drawing to a close. It has been a tough, and strange, year. By all accounts it looks like 2023 may be even more challenging.
But challenges breed innovation. And in 2023 a great deal of that innovative energy will come from customer experience (CX).
With a recession on the horizon and COVID not going away, CX professionals will be under a lot of pressure. After all, companies that invest in improving CX are better equipped to weather a recession.
So we have picked four CX trends to look out for in 2023, just in case you need a few ideas for projects in January! There will be four more in part 2…
Let’s look at customer experience in 2023.
CX Will Be Everyone’s Responsibility
With a recession on the way, customer retention is more important than ever. But the good news is that better CX improves customer retention and increases recommendations.
Esteban Kolsky, Chief Evangelist at SAP, says 72% of customers will share a positive experience with 6 or more people. Customers are also much more likely to buy from a site that offers good CX.
But the whole organization will share responsibility for customer experience in 2023. Rather than one team that looks at the purchasing experience on a website.
There is no reason to keep the customer support team away from the design team anymore. The customer sees no difference between the two, so why should an organization? Silos in customer facing operations have to go.
With no silos the needs of the customer are more widely known across the whole business. Helping organizations build better relations with their customers.
Self-Service Everywhere, Even In B2B
Self service customer experience is common in the B2C space. People visit a website or store, pick out what they want and buy it. It is far less common in the B2B space But that is about to change…
We have spoken at length before about the need for a B2C style purchasing experience for B2B companies. This is due to shifts in customer expectations and due to changing demographics, those expectations are only going to go up.
In short, there are more younger, digital-native decision makers in the B2B space now. And they do not want to follow the same old, sales-led purchase funnel.
A 2023 recession will bring more emphasis on customer retention. So more B2B companies will start experimenting with self-service purchasing funnels. So companies and their CX staff need to think of customer purchasing journeys that work for their business. They will also need to integrate digital customer service into these purchasing journeys.
Like self-service, we have written about personalization before. If you need help building a personalization strategy, we have got you covered.
But 2023 will bring a new level of personalized experiences. Like self-service, this flows from increased customer expectations.
72% of shoppers, according to SmartHQ, will only respond to personalized marketing messages. This shows how that customer’s base expectations of their digital experience are only increasing. But for business, these increasing expectations need a lot of resources and effort.
Companies are investing a lot on personalization. Especially in retail. But these shifting expectations will soon spread to other niches, like B2B. So it will not be long before all customers, in every niche, expect some kind of personalized customer experience.
So if you are in B2B, do not think you can get away with not investing in personalization for your CX. Your customers are watching and it will not be long before expectations shift again.
Connected, Experiential Retail
In the retail sector, connected experiential retail will be the stand out trend for 2023. It will also start to cross over into other sectors, like retail banking, to encourage footfall in branches.
But what is experiential retail?
The goal of experiential retail is to build a community around your brand. This involves creating innovative experiences that are of value to customers. Sales should not be a prime motivation for this, though they are a nice side goal! The main goal is building community and engagement with your brand, preferably in a physical retail location. For your experiential retail experience to be successful, you need to create a shareable experience that people will love.
But in 2023 these experiences will be even more connected. Large brands already use AR and VR to create digital experiential retail experiences. This can be tough for smaller brands on a budget. But with the right technical partner, creating experiential retail experiences that connect digital and in-store events will make a brand stand out in a tough market.
For example a retail brand could use their app to create virtual games that give real rewards when the customer visits a store. This creates customer engagement digitally. But also builds the brand and presents an opportunity for physical upselling that did not exist before.
Learn more about CX in 2023 in part 2 of our series where we will tell you about four more 2023 customer experience trends you need to know about.
Talk to MAQE
Need a technical partner for your experiential retail project? Want to build a self-service purchase funnel for your B2B brand? Or maybe you want some organizational development help to become more customer centric?
Talk to MAQE via [email protected]. We specialize in creating commerce experiences.