Customer-centric trends shaping 2023

In 2013, as his company continued to cement itself as one of the world’s leading innovators, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos revealed that innovation was not even the top priority for his organisation. Instead, the most important measure of his team’s success was how happy their customers were.
Customer-centric trends shaping 2023 | Probe CX
“I would define Amazon by our big ideas, which are customer-centricity (and) putting the customer at the centre of everything we do,” he told 60 Minutes 1 before later expanding in Forbes: “We see our customers as invited guests to a party and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” 2
Customer-Centric Trends Shaping 2023


Customer-centricity may be a relatively new buzz term but the concept is nothing new. From the first time a shopkeeper said: “The customer is always right”, organisations have realised the benefits of satisfying the needs and wants of people on the other side of the counter. What is different today is that customer-centricity has become a business strategy in its own right, with teams heavily invested in putting the customer at the heart of all decisions related to products, services and experiences to create satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy.

Customer Centric Trends Shaping

It is no surprise that research by Deloitte and Touche3 found that customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than those not focused on the customer, while 64% of companies with a customer-focused CEO are more profitable than their competitors. It is one thing to know the importance of customer-centricity and another to stay ahead of the curve. With that in mind, here are four customer-centric trends set to shape 2023.

  1. ‘Phygital’ shopping
    Online shopping boomed during the pandemic, with companies rushing to update their digital presence to cater for shoppers stuck at home. With people having returned to high streets and shopping malls, the pressure is now on to develop and deploy technologies that streamline and enhance the in-store shopping experience. From digital kiosks and in-store apps to QR codes on products and retail signage, expect to see more ‘phygital’ experiences that merge digital and physical shopping. Amazon is once again leading the way, with customers at its first physical clothing store in California able to scan ‘Shop this Look’ QR codes on mannequins, select items they want to buy and have them sent directly to the pickup counter4.
  2. Authentic pricing
    Everyone knows inflation is on the rise but consumers are wary that some companies are using the economic scenario to profit-gouge. With American corporations recording their highest profit margins in more than 70 years, a US subcommittee analysis found 80% of Americans believe certain organisations are excessively hiking prices far beyond what their costs necessitate5. Expect customer-centric companies to take a stand by not only managing their prices to reflect the reality of inflation but promoting the fact across their social media platforms. It is all about playing the long game and boosting loyalty among customers who appreciate businesses that are on their side.
  3. Non-robotic AI
    The modern customer is happy to engage with chatbots but they are becoming increasingly frustrated by those that sound overly robotic and are unable to handle more complex queries. First-generation, rules-based chatbots are now seen as CX ‘killers’ and that is why 2023 will herald even more adoption of knowledge-based AI chatbots that are powered by Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and Natural Language Processing (NLP). From understanding a caller’s intent and directing them to an appropriate agent to using voice biometrics to reduce the number of proof-of-identity questions, such technologies are the epitome of customer-centricity.
Customer Centric Trends Shaping 2
  1. Omnichannel personalisation
    As the saying goes, some things never change and that will be the case in 2023 for the ongoing investment in omnichannel personalisation. Customers love nothing more than a brand that appears to understand them and offer individualised solutions, especially when that level of service and care unfolds regardless of the platform they are on. Omnichannel personalisation will continue to be a priority for companies, with targeted display ads, product suggestions and seamless connectivity across communication channels crucial in nurturing happier customers and, in turn, greater revenues. Studies have found that 66% of customers expect companies to understand their needs and that number will only rise as more people are exposed to omnichannel personalisation6.

Summary

To return to where we began, Jeff Bezos has turned his Amazon dream into one of the world’s biggest companies and he has done so by never failing to forget the business’s best asset. “The most important single thing is to focus obsessively on the customer,” he said. “Our goal is to be the Earth’s most customer-centric company.” Bezos does not have sole rights to that goal though and by tapping into the above trends, other organisations can join him on a customer-driven journey in 2023.

Reference
1. Amazon's Jeff Bezos looks to the future - CBS News
2. 5 Time-Tested Success Tips From Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos (forbes.com)
3. WM Digitalisierung.pdf (deloitte.com)
4. Amazon Opens First Physical Clothing Store, Amazon Style: Photos (businessinsider.com)
5. Subcommittee Analysis Reveals Excessive Corporate Price Hikes Have Hurt Consumers and Fueled Inflation, While Enriching Certain Companies | Interior News Wire
6. 9 Customer Experience Trends & Stats That'll Define the Next Year (hubspot.com)

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