CX 2023

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Tips and best practices to unlock full CX potential in 2023

Article by Malcolm Koh, Director, Customer Experience Practice, Zendesk

As the year draws to a close, we’ve seen some predictions around customer experience (CX) trends coming true, with things like conversational services becoming more dominant and proactive, and AI-driven technology taking center stage with chatbots.

Businesses across the APAC region have taken notice. According to Zendesk’s CX Accelerator report, APAC organizations know they aren’t quite keeping pace with rising CX expectations, with only 19% of Singapore businesses scoring ‘very good’ on their ability to act on customer feedback – ahead of Japan (12%) but lagging behind South Korea (21%), Australia (31%) and India (58%).

Looking ahead into 2023, there’s no denying there’s more work to be done to improve CX, and as the global economy shows signs of slowing down, businesses must rethink their strategy if they want to retain customers – and find new ways to be cost-efficient.

Here are a few best practices to focus on to move your CX strategy forward in 2023.

Get personal if you want to build brand loyalty

Businesses know that CX is important for retaining customer loyalty and that solutions like chatbots and conversational AI are becoming increasingly important touchpoints to help build positive customer relationships. However, many still fall short when it comes to actual implementation, adopting a mechanical and outdated approach to chatbots. For businesses looking to build brand loyalty, it is imperative to find a casual, yet relatable voice, while keeping responses simple so customers can be directed to the right channels quickly. Studying customer behaviors can uncover insights into how to personalize that journey.

Chatbots should know when to hand conversations over to an actual human agent  – especially when issues get too complex – so customers don’t walk away feeling frustrated. Keeping conversations rich and fluid becomes key, and utilizing a comprehensive CRM solution will allow businesses to personalize their CX approach across multiple channels while consolidating valuable feedback so customer tickets can be responded to efficiently.

An example of this would be TNG Digital, where prior to adopting Zendesk’s CRM suite, they relied on a customer service platform that wasn’t centralized and had limited features, with many manual processes that had a high margin of human error involved. It was clear they needed a flexible solution to obtain more clarity and efficiency. Today, Zendesk empowers their business with a full suite of CRM solutions like Zendesk Guide, the help center software, and they also consolidated omnichannel queries through Genesys, thanks to a flexible third-party integration. Implementing an integrated CRM solution caused TNG Digital’s CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) ratings to rise by 12% over 12 months, resulting in the business being awarded the Best New Call Center in Malaysia in 2021.

It’s time to utilize AI and Machine Learning to your advantage

Digital transformation has been a buzzword long enough for businesses to take note and realize the importance of tech-driven solutions such as AI. According to Zendesk’s CX Accelerator report, 44% more APAC Champions (businesses that are considered the highest standard-bearers for CX) than Starters are already using a mix of AI chatbots and human representation when it comes to customer service channels. And yet, the full potential of AI remains untapped. There is still much more that can be done beyond just implementing AI as a catch-all solution for ticket resolution.

To fully harness the power of AI, businesses need to look towards machine learning for chatbots and other conversational solutions to grow and learn over time, allowing chatbots to adapt their responses based on AI-driven insights and better deal with increasingly complex issues, ultimately doing more with less.

For example, when Pet Lovers Centre’s customers flocked online following the COVID-19 lockdowns, the company integrated all touchpoints in Zendesk to optimize CX across channels to step up automation and self-service. Not only did this help tame ticket volumes, but it also led to a 60% decrease in chat messages and a 32% increase in CSAT scores.

Siloed teams are so 2022

Sharing is caring, as they say, and removing siloed teams means that CX can become so much more than customer agents – but rather a business unit that serves as an important touchpoint to gain valuable and actionable insights, which can inform strategic business decisions. In fact, 77% of leaders who currently view their service departments as cost centers say it could become a revenue driver for their organization – and they would like it to be.

Beyond just sharing information for quicker and more efficient ticket resolutions, CX teams can also capture key data and feedback on customer demographics and other aspects, such as product quality, webpage or platform UX, and details on sales promotions. These insights become invaluable to the business, sharing details on pain points that can be addressed so businesses can refine the customer journey. Scheduling regular cross-team meetings where these insights are discussed can help make change happen.

CX should grow with your business to drive growth for your business

It takes effort and focuses to implement CX solutions, but the trick is to start small and measure success. Too often we see businesses implement technology with good intentions, but in a clunky or lazy manner that ultimately doesn’t add value to the customers – or the growth of the business. By measuring success, you can easily identify what’s working and what’s not, while ensuring your 2023 CX goals are aligned with the business.

For businesses to flourish, it boils down to understanding the customer journey and providing a seamless, yet personal customer experience. This becomes even more relevant in today’s economic climate – as customer expectations rise and budgets shrink, it becomes more imperative for businesses to figure out pain points that translate into actionable insights efficiently, so they don’t fall behind. When businesses start seeing CX as an important driver for revenue and growth, only then will they truly be able to reap its benefits in 2023 and beyond.

The views in the article is that of the author and may not reflect the views of Tech Wire Asia.