Customer Experience (CX) Trends that Shaped 2023

6 minute read, posted on 12/22/2023, by VXI Marketing

Banner - Year in Review: Customer Experience (CX) Trends that Shaped 2023

What Did We See in 2023?

With significant technological advancements, low unemployment rates, inflation-pinched and impatient customers, and a spotlight on social issues, contact center leaders were under more pressure than ever to not only embrace change, but to lead it. And lead, they did. Across audiences, industries, and geographies, here are the CX trends that VXI observed in 2023.

The quest for frictionless omnichannel continued.

Now that many contact centers have a full complement of channels, the focus shifted to breaking down barriers among channels, making interactions less engineered and more conversational, and guiding users to the channel that is most likely to yield the best outcomes. Consumers have noticed, and appreciate, the shift.

  • 93% of customers reported high customer satisfaction (CSAT) when there was a seamless channel transition. The survey found customers who experience seamless transitions from self-service to a rep spend 27% less time in assisted channels. (Gartner)
  • Consumers’ impressions of the consistency they received during a multichannel journey improved dramatically year over year, increasing by 29% in 2023. (EITK)
  • 55% of contact centers have implemented some form of right-channeling. (Deloitte)
  • 69% of customers say a convenient customer service experience alone will make them come back. (Hyken)

AI usage ballooned, especially for agent-assist.

While AI-enabled chatbots are no doubt improving, the real strides in AI usage in the contact center have been in relation to providing agent-assist capabilities. AI agent-assist offers the potential of increased employee satisfaction and retention – as well as customer satisfaction – and many companies are accelerating AI investments.

  • In the US, 47% of service organizations report the use of artificial intelligence, and 70% report the use of automation. (Salesforce)
  • 41% of consumers indicated that brands should be investing in training for agents and support staff to improve the customer experience. They believe brands should be investing in product and service knowledge (28%) and clarity of speech/accent neutralization (28%). AI can help with these elements. (EITK)
  • 36% of consumers either “strongly agree” or “agree” that AI-powered solutions are destined to be a beneficial part of interacting with customer care in the future. (EITK)
  • By 2025, 80% of customer service and support organizations will be applying generative AI in some form to improve agent productivity and customer experience (CX). (Destination CRM/Gartner)

Self-service gained traction.

Impatient and frustrated by previous poor service experiences, more and more consumers chose self-service in 2023. Support nomads turned to nontraditional feeds such as Reddit, YouTube, blogs, etc. when they could not find answers from the brand. DIYers are quick to pivot to crowdsourcing or, worse, competitors when channels fail.

  • 51% of respondents indicated that they had used one or more unassisted, self-help solutions within the past 12 months.(EITK)
  • 69% of customers say they value intuitive self-service options that allow for easy and quick access to information and answers. (Hyken)
  • 38% of Gen Z and millennial customers say they are likely to give up on a customer service issue if they can’t resolve it in self-service. (Gartner)
  • 49% of self-help users were very satisfied or satisfied with their self-help experience, with 35% indicating that the self-help solution was better than recent years. (EITK)
  • 9 in 10 leaders will invest in additional self-service capabilities in the next two years. (Deloitte)

Value trumped cost savings.

Although value-driven businesses may give customers the best quality and experience, they may not offer the cheapest options. Companies new to outsourcing often make investments based on cost reduction; in 2023, mature, forward-thinking outsourcers focused on long-term value. Great service makes cost irrelevant.

  • 47% of customers in 2023 would pay more if they knew they would receive great customer service. (Hyken)
  • 41% of Americans would spend more money if they knew they would never have to wait on hold for customer support help. (Hyken)
  • 68% would be willing to pay a little more for a product or service if it meant they would get world-class customer care support. (EITK)
  • 58% of respondents state value as most relevant to their organization in the next 12 to 18 months, or among their top three. (Gartner)

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) mindshare increased.

ESG is built on the premise that a business needs a purpose beyond profits and that leaning into that purpose will enable it to attract and motivate employees, suppliers, investors, and customers. ESG was a differentiator and influencer in partnering, purchasing, and recruiting in 2023.

  • 43% of consumers believe it’s important that a company has a social cause that’s important to them, 41% would be willing to pay more if a company had a social cause that was important to them, and 25% are willing to tolerate poor customer service if the company has a social cause important to them. (Hyken)
  • 86% of employees said they wanted to work for a company that shared their values, and 53% said it is very important that their purpose and values be aligned with their employers’. (PwC)
  • Only 31% of employees say their organization provides resources to support environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals. However, if they get it right, they can improve employee engagement by up to 43%. (Gartner)
  • 63% of corporates surveyed increasingly enter strategic partnerships to address purpose-led issues that create societal, organizational, and stakeholder value. (KPMG)
  • BPO providers that ignore ESG do so at their peril. Compliance with environmental standards is the third biggest pain point for CX decision-makers. (Ryan Advisory)

A Few Thoughts to Close Out 2023

If 2023 and the past few years have shown us anything, it’s that CX leaders need to continuously scan the environment and respond to incoming opportunities and threats. Change management is one of the best arrows in any CX leader’s quiver. The ability to align and engage stakeholders, create and commit to a plan, continuously communicate, train and retrain, collaborate, conquer resistance, and foster community will be coveted skills as contact centers evolve and the world of work changes in the next decade.

Recognizing that conducting SWOT analyses, developing strategy, delivering on today’s commitments, and leading an AI-enabled contact center’s transformation all at the same time is a tall order for any CX leader, we offer a gentle reminder that VXI’s team of CX advisors and consultants is always ready to help you plan and pivot to respond to the changing people, process, and technology landscape.

We wish you all the very best in 2024! May all your customers be merry!


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