Digital CX trends for 2023 and beyond

There are emerging and evolving trends happening within digital CX technology, focusing on the newest iterations and where they could go in 2023 and beyond.
Digital CX trends for 2023 and beyond

In this article


Throughout this series of articles, we’ve explored the state of customer experience (CX) technologies—specifically how these CX technology trends can allow businesses to provide smarter, tighter customer journeys. It’s no surprise that global CX tech spending is estimated to reach $641B in 2022, according to IDC.

But this is just the start of where technology can enhance customer satisfaction and deliver more personalized, effective journeys.

In this piece, we’ll take a look at some emerging and evolving trends happening within digital CX technology, focusing on the newest iterations and where they could go.

CX technology trends

Let’s start at the beginning, with the role of technology in customer experience today.

1. The role of technology in customer experience and how future trends will impact technology

Technology forms the bedrock of any customer service interaction within the realm of customer experience.

Practically any avenue into a customer service department or wider CX services relies on tech; whether by phone, SMS, instant messaging, chatbots, websites, social media, or VR headset, all CX channels benefit from customized supporting technologies.

The services that have appeared in the last 5-10 years have also enabled customer experience teams to increase the ways they can enhance the customer management experience and the quality of insights they can obtain.

This is the era of personalization, omnichannel data, predictive customer journeys, faster resolution speeds, and convenient self-service options.

Then there’s smarter app development, high-speed internet (local and cellular), advancements in artificial intelligence, and the shift to the cloud; these are just some of the technological bedrocks that have enabled these new avenues and heightened insight mining in customer service, according to NasDaq

We’ve explored where technology is helping customer experience and service teams. Let’s look at how the cutting edge of these technologies impacts CX, today and in the near future.

Omnichannel journeys and customer experience

    As we’ve seen, myriad technologies have led to the proliferation of channels available for customers, tracking customer journey touchpoints, and enabling more customizable and flexible purchase processes. The thing is, that’s not omnichannel—that’s multichannel. It’s all well and good being able to use different digital channels; what sets apart the best customer journeys right now, and increasingly in the future, is an ecosystem of shared information between those channels—so the customer experience feels seamless, even when jumping across channels.

    A major aspect of the future of omnichannel CX is a move to ‘phygital’, as explained in a blog post from Emarsys. This is a combination of physical and digital experiences, from the mundane (stock checking online before picking up at a physical store) to more cutting-edge customer service (real-time price updates and comparisons on digital displays in-store).

    Aftercare awareness post-purchase

    There will also be an increasing shift towards aftercare as vital to good CX, says Karl Crisostomo in Supply Chain Game Changer. Journeys up until purchase are undeniably getting smarter, yet post-purchase touchpoints and interactions are often overlooked. Many sites still rely on website FAQs and customer service agents who need to ask a bunch of identification questions, which frustrates consumers.

    But aftercare that leverages all omnichannel data available through web, phone, email, chatbot, and app for a truly seamless experience? That’s the future.

      Predictive analytics’ effect on customer experience

        In the near future of CX, responding reactively to points in a customer’s journey won’t be enough to keep up with the competition. To succeed, teams must be proactive. Predictive analytics combines a mix of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning) to better understand and track key success factors in customer satisfaction to do just that.

        But here’s the thing: the field of predictive analytics is lagging behind demand, according to Nikhil Pereira, Customer Experience (CX) Practice Leader at Tech Mahindra. Which means businesses (and customers) might miss out on some potential game-changing impacts on CX that are still emerging, such as…

          Forecasting customer needs faster – predictive analytics track relevant customer data such as previous purchases, viewed products or services, and related interests to anticipate customers’ future needs even before the customer does. Proactively curating offerings, messaging, and recommendations actively engage customers at a new level of personalization.

          Speedy order fulfillment – by using real-time and historical data, predictive analytics forecasts optimal routes for last-mile product delivery so that companies can provide accurate delivery schedules and on-time arrivals. With customers expecting more next- or same-day deliveries, this will be a vital tool to meet customer outcomes.

          Reduce customer churn – sophisticated systems analyze customer effort, cycle time, retry rates, and feedback ratings to identify high-churn-risk customers. Predictive analytics can then use this to drive recommendations as to how you can maintain customer satisfaction before customers begin to churn.

          Artificial intelligence

            Artificial intelligence is now prevalent across many business functions and an ongoing area of focus within customer service and CX. It is becoming universal in underpinning many different CX technologies and avenues (personalization, chatbots, predictive analytics, etc.) and is also incremental in its own growth, becoming smarter over time as it is developed.

            Intelligence experience engines

            The next step that many on the cutting-edge of CX are looking to build is known as intelligent experience engines.

            “They design end-to-end solutions—for example, finding a location, scheduling an appointment, sending appointment reminders, providing directions, and guiding users through any necessary follow-up—that proactively lead customers toward achieving their goals. They also combine human enablers (cross-functional, agile teams) with data and technology that allow for rapid self-learning and optimization.” David C. Edelman and Mark Abraham, Harvard Business Review.

            And so it seems the future of AI for customer service technology is as a foundation that doesn’t just collect data on customers and their journeys, but then also can action on events that need to happen, whether autonomously or via a service agent.

              NLP customer experience

                Customers are no longer tolerating poor digital customer service, especially after many brands were totally unprepared to adapt quickly during the global pandemic. Frustration with lack of personalization, long wait times, and outdated CX software means 84% of technical leaders feel they need to implement AI just to keep a competitive edge according to HPCWire. Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Natural Language Generation (NLG) are proving influential in this vein.

                The understanding of language and the ability to generate responses has been around for several decades, but it’s really only had the ability to respond in a very basic way to limited prompts and asks. That’s where the changes are occurring as NLP moves forward.

                Transformer models are the first big breakthrough that will categorize a smarter level of NLP. These are systems that have the ability to “learn” in a way that machines could not previously. Semi-supervised, they digest enormous corpuses of text and become smarter and more refined as they do so (via Y Meadows).

                In addition to this is the democratization of artificial intelligence which has exploded into the mainstream. Once a huge, secretive, expensive project to build NLP engines, hugely powerful tools (such as GPT-3) are open source and available for all to use. B2B CX may well come to be defined by private instances of this kind of technology.

                  Metaverse customer experience

                    Although still in its rocky infancy, the metaverse looks set to become a stronger arena for customer experience as it continues to develop.

                    A large factor in this is that it can provide an omnichannel customer experience in a single channel—it’s digital, explored from home, but yet has the 3D, lifelike promise of physical stores to be explored by your avatar.

                    By 2026, 25% of people will spend at least one hour a day in the metaverse for work, shopping, education, social, or entertainment, according to Gartner, Inc.

                    Another powerful trend in the metaverse that is slated to enhance the customer experience is the combining of different areas of a business into one platform, meaning there are fewer gaps and switches occurring on a customer journey.

                    For example, an e-commerce customer could log into the metaverse to engage with your business. They could try out your products, check their account details, make a purchase and reach out to customer service all within that single channel, rather than hopping between your website, customer helpline, and taking a trip to a physical store. That’s an exciting prospect for the metaverse customer experience (via Enchant).

                      "Total" customer experience

                        As many brands are deploying technologies for significant CX gains, the new discipline of total customer experience (TCX) may separate the true frontrunners of the near future.

                        Total experience is a strategy that creates superior shared experiences by weaving together these four disciplines (via Gartner):

                          Multi-experience (MX)

                          Customer experience (CX)

                          Employee experience (EX)

                          User experience (UX)

                          By taking this all-encompassing approach, data from across your business—customer data, the employee experience, financial data, and more—can all be used to give a joined-up, holistic view of your business and how well it is serving all “end” consumers and their journeys. 

                          It stands to reason that there are customer data points that will show where weaknesses lie in how supported your staff are. Indeed, employee data may uncover tweaks and benefits that can influence the customer experience as well. Businesses are realizing that CX and EX go hand in hand, and a new “single-pane” view can create a distinct competitive advantage.

                            Hyper-personalized customer experience

                              Hear us out. We know that personalized experiences are a longstanding and vital cornerstone of CX, with most businesses looking to try and personalize their outreach to consumers as best they can. Hyper-personalized customer experience (HCPX) is something a little beyond just that.

                              Simply put, HPCX isn’t just personalizing your outreach and marketing. It’s using data, analytics, and AI to send highly contextualized communications to specific customers at the right place and time, and through the right channel, according to Deloitte).

                              This approach has technology at the very heart of it.

                              If you want to understand the true benefits of hyper-personalization, ask yourself the following questions:

                                Can you pinpoint where in a potential purchase pathway a customer is?

                                Can you give them the information, deals, and help that they might need at the perfect time?

                                Can you identify which channels an individual customer really prefers, and make sure you reach out to them via that above all others?

                                Can you use analytic prediction models to know the rhythm of a repeat customer and when they might find themselves looking to replace, replenish, or upgrade their previous purchases?

                                (There’s a great discussion of these points at Customer Think in a piece by Michael Hershaw.)

                                That’s where hyper-personalized CX is aiming to land; not just treating customers as individuals, but knowing when, where, and why they are engaging with you. And knowing this before acting so you can strike while the iron is hot.

                                  2. Wrapping up the direction of customer experience trends

                                  Virtual spaces, human-like AI education, and predicting the future; it’s an exciting, fast-paced time to be in the customer experience and customer service space. There is the technological ability to transform customer journeys like never before.

                                  There’s a lot to get your head around and understand, sure, which is why we’ve set up this CX technology hub of articles as a guiding resource, organized to be referenced easily. We’re passionate about better CX and have made it our mission to stay up to date with where the industry is traveling, now and in the future.

                                  For more information, case studies, technical guides and thought leadership, why not take a look at our resource center? Or better yet, come and talk with us; CX is a fast-moving beast and we’d love to give you the help and expertise to tame it.

                                  Outsource with confidence

                                  To provide the best experiences, we use technologies like cookies to store and/or access device information. Consenting to these technologies will allow us to process data such as browsing behavior or unique IDs on this site. Not consenting or withdrawing consent, may adversely affect certain features and functions.