Global CX Trends in 2023
2023's CX Trends Report features the biggest trends businesses will face in 2023 and best practice tips on how you can do great CX.
All is not well in CX
We genuinely believe great CX is inspiring. It catches you off guard. It delights. It finds a way. Great CX can and will change the world. And because we believe this, we want everyone, no matter who you are or what you do, to deliver great CX.
CX Trends is our ongoing yearly series where we leverage our expertise, data and research and predict the biggest CX Trends businesses and people will face in the coming year. And we have some news: All is not well in CX, and in fact, it may be the worst it's ever been. But there is some good news: we are here to help.
Hear the trends and take away best practice tips on how you, your team and your business can do great CX in ways that are more actionable, more impactful, and, importantly, more meaningful.
2023 is here. It's time to be great.
Trend 1: It’s going to get worse before it gets better
The world is in turmoil. We have been through a global pandemic, supply chain issues, war, energy crisis, skills shortage and economic uncertainty. People are fatigued and burnt out from struggling through these challenging times. There is definitely light at the end of the tunnel, but there's still more tunnel to go before it gets better.
We’re facing an uphill battle with the coming recession, leading to cost pressures across the board. As the world becomes more complex, this will only amplify our challenges with more channels, more customers, more products, and more moving parts than ever before.
The road here has been rocky, and we’re seeing experience debt and technical debt grow across organisations. Choices are being made to cut costs and cut corners because of the landscape we are in, and this sadly impacts the customer experience and the bottom line.
In the long term, what may be seen as a quick fix now will only accrue interest companies will need to repay in the future. If companies continue to compromise when these debts are due, they will perpetuate a vicious cycle of inferior products, services and experiences for customers and employees.
Technical debt and experience debt aren’t new concepts born out of 2022, but they are pertinent now more than ever in 2023. Organisations are and will continue to be challenged at a fundamental level - and we can’t drown in debt, no matter how hard it may be to measure.
Reduce what you are doing, and be strategic in doing so - you can’t do everything, so choose carefully. Prioritise those projects that align to your corporate strategy. Don’t be afraid to let go. Back yourself with what to let go of, and justify the argument on where and what to invest in. Listen to your customers; they’ll tell you what it is that will add value and will provide your argument for you. Leverage customer data and the customer's voice; if you aren't doing this, you need to start now. Your customer's voice is crucial in responding to this trend.
Prioritisation comes back to strategy. And the new year is the perfect call to action to check in and sense check where you are at, how you have been working, where you will go and what you will do now. Customers don’t expect everything in CX to work well. Choose your “peak moment” and end the interaction well.
Take back the power of Tech
Monolith tech stacks, high-code, legacy CRM systems… for years, these have had too much power and control in organisations. You need to deal with these issues and release some of that technical debt. We know cutting back can be tricky, particularly when considering the sunk-cost fallacy. Great digital solutions can be delivered with Enterprise Low Code/No Code, which gives people the power to build things quickly and, importantly, change them quickly too. Gartner forecasts that by 2025, 70% of apps will be built by Low-Code. Why? It removes technical debt. If you build the right things and build them right, using technology that is fast, and easily adapts and pivots to what your customers need, there is no way you can go wrong. Take back technology and rise above technical debt.
Trend 2: The Pressure is on us
The future of CX is in our hands, and we are all responsible for not only shifting the way things are heading but preparing ourselves and our organisations for what's next. Strategic choices need to be made by us and need to be made now.
Entropy is a measure of disorder. In the context of CX, entropy refers to when a system is working hard, and energy is expended, but desirable results aren't produced. And over time and without attention, entropy only increases. People and organisations must collectively figure out how to work smarter, not harder, to minimise entropy. Times are challenging, and fatigue is real, but the pressure is still on. It’s on us to have meaning and purpose and make an impact.
Accountability is King
Take self-accountability for making things happen. If you reduce what you and your team are and become laser focussed, you will be able to do what you choose to do better. This may be more difficult in the traditional hierarchical structures, but, if you work from a basis of evidence and insight, you’ve got justification that can cut through hierarchies. The best idea should win - no matter who it’s come from. Fight for idea meritocracy. Build it within your teams. Hold other people accountable; divide and conquer; that’s the only way you will achieve more with less.
Entropy is the root cause of many failures in organisations and people working harder than they need to. Stop wasting time and energy; sword fight entropy. If you set up a business process and just let it run, entropy will cause the process to slow, get off track or completely break down. So preempt this happening! Minimising entropy is a far better strategy than cutting corners now to reduce costs - which only leads to debt in the future. Strategic choices need to be made. And making a strategic choice to invest in working smarter and reducing entropy will see leaders thrive in 2023.
Work better together
Don’t hold knowledge in a silo - share insights across the whole organisation. The importance and benefit of breaking down silos and cross-collaborating can not be understated. Your teams perform better, understand more, and consider the whole organisation's ecosystem when deciding where and what to invest in. It is so rare to see all heads of departments in a room; we need to see more of it - only the best in the business are already doing it. Great Customer Experiences don't happen in isolation. When you have all key decision-makers in a room together simultaneously, you bypass the usual barriers to change, improve CX more efficiently, and start fixing problems you never thought possible.
Trend 3: We've forgotten the basics
Over time, organisations have lost their way. They’ve had ideas, gotten excited, seen new technology, and tried new things, different things, but what they haven’t done is stop, edit, and like losing investments, let go when things are barely hanging on.
Instead of throwing every tool and technique at the wall and seeing what sticks, go back to basics.
One of the fundamentals of doing business is the customer. It sounds simple, but without customers, there would be no business. Organisations' decision-making over time has become clouded, and because of decisions to focus elsewhere, customer has been lost at the centre.
Customer Experience needs to be a core strategic choice that organisations choose to invest in and improve in 2023.
Go back to first principles
First principles thinking (or "reasoning from first principles") is a problem-solving technique that requires you to break down a complex problem into its most basic, foundational elements. The idea is to ground yourself in the foundational truths and build up from there. This is a key way to solve complexity.
Upskill yourself and your team. There is a real risk that in the tech world (Silicon Valley, to be specific), we’ve created a whole generation of people that don’t have the skills required to face the challenges we face. The World Economic Forum predicted 50% of employees globally will need upskilling by 2025. We need to teach, coach and develop skills in strategic thinking and Design (service design, human-centred design, UX design, coding etc.). Skilled teams can then be empowered. Share the accountability with better roles and more responsibility. The importance of a well-educated and supported team cannot be understated - and a strong team working smarter together will reduce entropy.
Under promise, over deliver
Look to under-promise and over-deliver. Your customers will appreciate this. It’ll catch them off guard, and importantly, it will delight them. Under-promise and over-deliver is one of the easiest ways to achieve Great CX.
- Make it easy for customers and Work better together.
- Reduce what you are doing, and be strategic in doing so - you can’t do everything, so choose carefully.
- Fight for idea meritocracy. The best idea should win - no matter who it’s come from.
- Hold other people accountable; divide and conquer; that’s the only way you will achieve more with less.
- Don’t hold knowledge in a silo - share insights across the whole organisation. Great Customer Experiences don't happen in isolation.
- Upskill yourself and your team. The importance of a well-educated and supported team cannot be understated.
- Customers don’t expect everything in CX to work well. Choose your “peak moment” and end the interaction well.
- Look to under-promise and over-deliver. Under-promise and over-deliver is one of the easiest ways to achieve Great CX.
Keeping these CX Trends coming in 2023 helps to ensure your focus will remain on building the smartest teams that work well together and deliver great customer experiences - great CX that is more actionable, more impactful, and, importantly, more meaningful.
2023 is here. It's time to be great.