A new era of intelligent CX is catalyzing massive industry transformation: 7 in 10 leaders are completely reimagining their customer journey

by | Feb 21, 2024 | Public Relations

With generative AI at the wheel, the customer journey is heading into previously untraversed territory, and the rift between businesses with great CX and those without is about to become a seismic abyss—and those that miss the mark on implementing, or worse, don’t embrace AI at all will be left teetering on the edge. Meanwhile, those with the ability to bridge this divide will completely transform CX, delivering personalization at scale and elevating service quality while reducing costs, according to new research from customer experience software Zendesk.

The firm’s newly released annual Customer Experience (CX) Trends Report, reveals that 70 percent of CX leaders are reimagining their customer journeys using tools like generative AI. This adoption has real benefits—83 percent of CX leaders who are using generative AI in CX report positive ROI, proving these changes are setting a new standard for successful CX. 

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“We’re on the verge of the most significant inflection point we’ve ever seen in CX with the latest advances in AI,” said Adrian McDermott, chief technology officer at Zendesk, in a news release. “Businesses will need to rethink the structure of everything, from their tech stacks to their teams to how they deliver support. Companies that thrive will shift to a much more intelligent CX strategy, using AI to manage volume, lower costs, increase quality and ultimately improve customer satisfaction.”

Chatbots are evolving into advanced digital agents

Two-thirds of CX leaders believe chatbots can build a stronger emotional connection with their customers. This is largely due to AI chatbots evolving into skilled digital agents, playing key roles  in customer service and the overall customer experience. Their ability to mirror brand styles and evaluate their customers’ feelings and desires enables them to deliver tailored, accurate responses.

The transformation of chatbots into digital agents aligns with escalating expectations – 68 percent of consumers believe chatbots should have the same level of expertise and quality as highly skilled human agents. Furthermore, over half expect to soon interact with advanced bots for quick and immediate responses. Businesses are grasping the importance of upgrading chatbots into digital agents and plan to boost their AI investments to speed up this process.

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Live and immersive interactions are redefining experiences

Consumers have now come to expect more than just traditional support to truly enhance their experiences. More than half of those surveyed believe the way they interact with a company will completely change within two years.

People are embracing conversational commerce—buying products within chat interactions—and turning to live-streamed sessions for immediate help with shopping. To keep pace with this change, 72 percent of CX leaders are partnering with external vendors and experts to implement conversational commerce. 

Brands are also turning to social media and in-store influencers for sales—an approach that attracts new consumers and caters to those who prefer shopping at home. Sixty-five percent of CX leaders believe failure to leverage tools like live streaming that provide real time support will lead to lost opportunities.

CX leaders are the new drivers of data privacy

Amidst escalating privacy concerns and rising demands for AI-enhanced personalized experiences, data privacy is becoming a central responsibility for CX leaders. In fact, 77 percent of CX leaders see themselves as responsible for making sure their customers’ data is safe. Another 83 percent say data protection and cybersecurity are top priorities in their customer service strategy.

With CX leaders now active drivers of data privacy decision-making processes, they’re focused on delivering solutions that protect data while facilitating personalized experiences and deploying AI. More than half of consumers feel they’re constantly under the threat of being scammed. When they see that a company is proactive about data security, they’re more likely to feel comfortable providing personal information, leading to stronger trust and loyalty. 

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The future outlook for CX

Leaders are confidently preparing for the future of CX, not just waiting to see what happens. They’re betting big on smart customer experiences for 2024, signaling a landmark year for CX due to new technology.

Download the full report here.

Data from CX Trends comes from two survey sources. Zendesk surveyed 2,818 consumers and 4,441 customer service and experience leaders, agents, and technology buyers from 20 countries and organizations ranging from small business to enterprise during July and August 2023. Results from each survey were weighted to remove bias from the survey samples.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter