10 CX and Customer Service Predictions for 2024 (Part 2)

10 CX and Customer Service Predictions for 2024 (Part 2)

GUEST POST from Shep Hyken

As promised, I’m back with the second part of my top predictions and trends for 2024 in the world of customer service and customer experience (CX). You can read the first five here. So, let’s get started with number six.

6. Social Cause Increases Customer Satisfaction — Earlier this year, my customer experience research found that 43% of consumers believe it’s important that a company supports a social cause that’s important to them. Only 24% said it wasn’t important. Furthermore, those who claim it’s important are the younger customers: Gen-Z and Millennials. Companies are recognizing this, and you’re seeing more advertisements about how brands are focused on important causes like climate change, diversity, poverty and more. Sustainability is one of the top social causes. The Human8 annual Global What Matters Report found that 78% of U.S. respondents believe brands bear a significant responsibility for the planet’s future. Consumers are factoring in a company’s cause and impact on the community—and the world—as they choose where to do business. Forty-one percent will even pay more if the company has a cause that’s important to them. In short, a social cause is now part of the customer experience!

7. Fewer Chances To Get It Right — In our customer service and CX research, we asked, “How many chances would you give a company you were loyal to before switching?” In 2021, the typical American consumer gave a company 3.4 chances if it made mistakes. In 2022, that number decreased to 3.3, and in 2023, it dropped to 3.1. I predict customers will only be loyal to the companies and brands that are loyal to them, which means delivering a service experience they can count on. And I have to emphasize the word loyal in this prediction. That number is even lower for customers without loyalty or love for the company. When it comes to customer service, the bar is higher than ever. Looking back at the first prediction (from last week’s article), our customers are smarter and compare their experiences to the best they’ve had from any brand, not just your competitors. So, get it right the first time. You won’t have many chances, if any, to win back a customer if you don’t meet their expectations.

8. Customers Want It Now — Customers will appear to be less patient than in the past because of what some refer to as the Amazonation of the consumer. Amazon has set the bar high for fast delivery, and now customers get frustrated when another company can’t meet their delivery expectations. But it is more than just delivery. It’s about time. My friend and customer experience expert Jay Baer did a consumer patience study and wrote a book about it, The Time to Win. He discovered that 64% of people say speed is as important as price. Speed, as in delivery and response times, is an essential part of customer experience, and it will only increase as the companies and brands that get it right put pressure on all the others.

9. Convenience Rules — Before the pandemic, convenience was a “nice-to-have” offering. During the pandemic, customers needed convenience, primarily in the form of delivery. And it’s no surprise that it was so well received that delivery became the norm. Convenience in all forms, not just delivery, is appreciated by the customer, and the demand has increased in all areas of business (B2C and B2B). Just as many people will pay more for speed (see No. 8), they will also pay more for convenience—even more than for a good customer experience. (Imagine if you combined service, speed and convenience!) More companies are recognizing what their customers want and adopting a convenience strategy, making it easier to do business with them. This trend will accelerate as convenience—just like a good customer experience—is demanded by the customer and becomes the expectation.

10. AI Will Not Eliminate Jobs — Yes, some jobs may be eliminated and changed, but for the near future, as in 2024, there will be minor disruption. I spend much time studying the contact center/customer support department. This is one place that AI could be used to eliminate jobs, as ChatGPT and other technologies create human-like experiences. Just six months ago, I wrote a Forbes article about my collaboration with Capterra on their 2023 CX Investments Survey to learn how customer service and CX leaders were investing in technology. We specifically asked about AI’s impact on increasing or decreasing CX staff. It was good to learn that only 9% are reducing staff because of AI, while 63% are increasing staff. Fears of layoffs will continue, thanks to hyperbole and overreactions to new AI capabilities, but for the most part, those fears are unfounded. There will be some layoffs, but there will also be opportunities for employees to learn new skills and find new places to work as a result of AI.

So, there you have it, my top predictions and trends for 2024. I’m always optimistic as I look to the future. That doesn’t mean I’ll put my “head in the sand” and ignore negative trends. When appropriate, I’ll share those as well. For now, let’s embrace the opportunities that are in front of us. May 2024 be your best year yet — and each year thereafter be even better than the last!

This article originally appeared on Forbes.com

Image Credits: Shep Hyken

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One thought on “10 CX and Customer Service Predictions for 2024 (Part 2)

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