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15 Customer Experience Predictions for 2024

Updated: Apr 3

15 Customer Experience Predictions for 2024

1. Economic conditions remain challenging for most customers, with price, value, and making budgetary savings being the three most significant factors driving much of a customer's behaviour. However, brands should not ignore sustainability, a growing factor in customers' decision-making.

As economic conditions have tightened over the last couple of years, many brands have resorted to less than imaginative tactics to protect their margins. Reducing the quality of a product or service or reducing the volume of a product whilst the price remains the same. However, customers are savvy and tend to spot these types of tactics from a mile away. They then switch to brands they feel are genuinely trying to help them make their budget work but are also increasingly aligned with their sustainability goals and values.

2. The physical retail store is set to play an increasingly important but also evolving role.

In the wake of the pandemic and the massive shift in digitisation, economic conditions are forcing customers to pursue all online and offline channels to achieve their objectives. Yet, in many cases, customers still want to visit a store and speak to a human. For businesses, this is both a challenge and an opportunity. However, for those who get it right, the reward will likely be higher satisfaction, improved market share and increased customer loyalty.

3. Despite the excitement and possibilities surrounding generative Artificial Intelligence (AI), employee experience will remain the number-one board-level priority.

The focus on employee experience was a trend that appeared in 2023, and it is heartening to see this continued focus at the board level despite the amount of attention given to generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) over the last year.

4. Meanwhile, the adoption of generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) will continue apace.

Unsurprisingly, the focus on generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) will continue into 2024. Whilst there is much hype around the technology, it offers an almost endless set of possibilities, which are expanding daily. However, as we have watched developments over the last year, we have told folks: Embrace the opportunities, but take your time with the hype. That opinion still stands.

5. The knowledge gained from establishing contact centre generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) use cases will help solve challenges in other business areas.

For as long as we can remember, we have believed that the contact centre is an undervalued and under utilised source of data and insight. With the emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and how it can be applied, particularly in a contact centre setting, we are now seeing that view shift. We are on the cusp of a renaissance of the contact centre. And it's about time.

6. Marketing teams are set to become more effective and productive.

Content creation has always been a major lift for marketing teams, taking up significant time and resources as they seek to create relevant, engaging and personalised content and distribute it across various channels. The emergence of generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its ability to ease this load and streamline the process from ideation and generation to performance analysis will be invaluable to the marketing teams and brands that embrace the possibilities.

7. And, onsite search should get a revamp (finally!).

In today's digital world, when presented with a question that we don't have the answer to or a situation unfamiliar to us, we invariably search for information and help on the internet. Brands understand this and spend a lot of time and resources working with third-party search engines to help customers easily find answers to their brand-related questions. However, most brands have focused primarily on their work with third-party search engines in recent years and should have paid more attention to their websites' search experience. As a result, the search experience on most brand websites could be better. Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI), when applied in the right way, can fundamentally change the search experience. However, if it only improves the onsite search experience on a brand's website, then that alone would be welcome.

8. However, security concerns and trust issues will persist.

Customers, professionals and leaders' concerns surrounding generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) are accurate. Many of these are technical in nature regarding things like data use, bias, privacy and security. These are likely satisfied by communication and responsible deployments. Others are more personal and often centre on the rate of progress and the possible displacement of labour. These latter concerns can be alleviated, in large part, through familiarisation and education. However, it is clear that the worries and anxieties are real, and businesses and vendors would do well not to ignore them and to make sure that they also focus on bringing people along on the journey.

9. Developing business, industry and function-specific models and approaches will address some concerns.

Many companies are sitting on large amounts of under utilised data, so it's great to hear that business, industry, language, and function-specific models and approaches are now being developed. Funnelling this data into models built explicitly for particular use cases will go a long way to minimising the risks associated with generative Artificial Intelligence (AI).

10. Board members will address other business concerns with a focus on governance and building organisational competencies.

To help improve employee and customer outcomes, experimentation with and adoption of generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions will likely continue apace in 2024. However, to do that ethically and responsibly, organisations must build up their internal skills, understanding and governance capabilities to minimise the risks inherent in this new technology.

11. Many organisations will need help proving the Return On Investment (ROI) of their generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) investments.

While many organisations have a clear vision of the operational benefits and the concomitant improvement in employee and customer outcomes they could achieve by deploying generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, there is still much flux around pricing and use models in the industry. Thus, establishing these investments' Return On Investment (ROI) may prove challenging.

12. Organisations need to get their data house to profit from these developments, focus on integration challenges, and reduce technological complexity.

This prediction feels like the elephant in the room.

For example, Southwest Airlines is a past darling of the customer experience world. They suffered a catastrophic system failure earlier this year, resulting in thousands of cancelled flights and countless stranded passengers, pilots and cabin crew.

Suppose organisations want to avoid a catastrophic mishap like the one Southwest Airlines faced. In that case, they will do well to focus on getting their data house in order and addressing both their integration and technological complexity challenges.

If they don't, they may be in danger of adding more bricks to the top of an already unsteady stack with their generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) initiatives.

13. the rise of advanced technology for fraudulent purposes will further test customer trust. But, innovative ways, including insurance policies, will emerge to lessen these risks.

Cyber Crime Magazine defines cybercrime as the "damage and destruction of data, stolen money, lost productivity, theft of intellectual property, theft of personal and financial data, embezzlement, fraud, post-attack disruption to the normal course of business, forensic investigation, restoration and deletion of hacked data and systems, and reputational harm" and it's incident and costs have been steadily increasing ever since the early days of the Covid-19 global pandemic.

So, predicting that some nefarious types will use new and emerging technology for fraudulent purposes is no surprise. But, we think the public's awareness of the capability of deep-fake technology will be accelerated over the course of 2024 by how this technology operates in political campaigning, given that there are a significant number of hotly contested elections scheduled to take place over the course of 2024, including elections in the U.S., the U.K., and India.

So Powell's prediction about how insurance use and increasing costs could have a regulating effect on technology companies and the technology itself is exciting and worth watching.

14. The demand for talent will heat up.

Given how technology and digital self-service tools have developed over the last few years, the need for people with both higher-order critical thinking and problem-solving skills and an ability to be empathetic in their interactions with customers, even under pressure has been coming for some time. The advent of generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) has accelerated it. The bigger question is, do these technological shifts and the demand for talent forewarn the start of reforming the contact centre as we know it?

15. Finally, organisations should exercise care in whom they partner with.

Different reports suggest that over 2022 and 2023, it has gotten harder and harder for start-ups to raise funds. That trend will continue into 2024. It will impact brands and the experiences they want to deliver if the technology supplier they choose fails or gets bought. As a result, they should do their due diligence not just on the technology they choose to purchase but also on the company they are buying it from.

These are our predictions for 2024. If you would like to join the conversation, please share your thoughts.

If your business would like help navigating customer experience in 2024, get in contact with us to discuss further:

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