Guest Blogs

CX Trends: What’s In & What’s Out

Delve into the latest trends and why they matter for businesses aiming to keep up with their customers' evolving expectations.
CX Trends

CX trends change regularly from year to year. How much should they matter to companies? Customers’ perceptions and tastes shift quickly, and the discipline of customer experience is constantly evolving to keep up. But staying on top of the latest changes is critical for companies to meet customers’ expectations.

Marketing and CX are often treated as different departments, but their goals are united. Every customer interaction with a company should mirror the values it expresses in its marketing materials. If a company’s marketing touts its commitment to customer service, then every customer service interaction should be exemplary.   

Penny Wilson, the former Chief Marketing Officer of Hootsuite, wrote, “No longer will people accept viral marketing. What consumers are expecting — and craving — is a more personalized, curated experience.”

When CX is done well, it’s a marketing superpower.

Customer Experience: A Definition
But first: what is Customer Experience? It’s not a single metric like an NPS or satisfaction score. And it’s not, as is often said, “the sum of interactions a customer has with a business.”

Instead, customer experience is a complex of sensations, emotions, perceptions, and expectations set by a company’s brand, its competitors, and comparable companies. 

The customer experience is an unbounded journey of words and actions spanning a customer’s initial impressions through their decision to become (or NOT to become) a loyal customer.

Attending to the customer experience means mastering subtle cues like sights, sounds, tone of voice, and non-verbal communication. To make CX even more challenging, customers’ awareness of the discipline increases constantly. Customers expect companies to react with empathy and suppress bias. 

In a nutshell, the discipline of CX is about measuring and designing every node along the customer experience path, even as those nodes change with customers’ expectations.

To get CX right, you need to simultaneously capture the complexity of human interactions while funneling it into actionable metrics you can use. 

Here are three CX trends that are out in 2024. If you’re still using any of these in your CX program, it’s time to make some changes.

CX Trends That Are Out

1: Overly broad metrics
The Net Promoter Score can be useful, but it’s often imprecise and fails to deliver actionable insights. Why? It lumps people who rate their experience as a zero and those who rate it as a six into the same general category. To get precise and actionable data, you need to be able to distinguish between a zero and a six. That’s a big difference! 

2: Using just rating scale questions in your surveys
On a scale of one to 10, customers’ annoyance with these questions is an 11! Plus, rating scale questions really don’t deliver the nuanced, actionable feedback you need to stay competitive.

3: CX as an afterthought
It’s clear when companies aren’t really invested in CX or fail to allocate enough resources to their customer experience programs. The days of pushing the customer satisfaction survey onto a single employee with extra time on their hands are over. Companies realize they must invest more in their CX programs if they plan to keep their customers. 

CX Trends That Are In

1: Using precise weighting factors
If you want your CX methods to be more precise, use a weighting factor because it better reflects the customer’s perspective. Almost all CX scores lack a weighting factor. But when it comes to experience, not all factors are equally important. If tech support matters most to your customers, then a weighting factor will help you act on that. Some aspects of the journey and some departments matter more than others.

2: Letting unstructured data shine
Customers’ comments and open-ended survey responses are a gold mine of data if you know how to analyze them correctly. Unlike surveys, customers’ comments can shed light on issues you didn’t know to ask about. AI can be a tool to analyze these comments under the right circumstances. And textual analysis can provide a level of detail that’s impossible to achieve with any rating scale.

3: Approaching CX with scientific rigor
Here are five ways companies can achieve an objective, disciplined approach to CX:  

  • Incorporate social science. Use persuasion techniques in your email invites or to increase survey engagement. Organizational psychologist Adam Grant and psychologist professor Robert Cialdini offer research-backed insights into human behavior that can have a measurable impact on your CX program.  
  • Be truly objective. Remove all leading constructs from survey questions and scrub your surveys of any bias. And don’t twist your analysis to fit a narrative that the data doesn’t support. 
  • Use nuanced statistical techniques and avoid overly simple metrics like the NPS score. 
  • Plan your CX program from the start. Spending more time upfront exploring what you do and don’t know about your customers will help you identify what questions are worth asking. Develop a hypothesis and test it. What actions can your company take that will truly be actionable? Don’t ask every question that occurs to you; just ask the questions that are worth testing.
  • Use sampling to get accurate data. Be sure your survey respondents represent your customer population, and not just those with a gripe or extra time on their hands. Understand how survey sample sizes can affect your resulting data.   

Surveys don’t just measure the customer experience. They are part of the customer experience. If you approach them with careful forethought, your customers will notice.  

Other CX Tech Trends to Follow in 2024
As consumers’ preferences change, technology is developing rapidly to become more personalized and immersive. Here are four CX technologies to watch in 2024:

AI-Powered Customer Service: Artificial Intelligence, particularly in the form of chatbots and virtual assistants, is being used to respond to customer queries, enhancing the efficiency and quality of customer support. But AI still has a long way to go before it meets customers’ needs. It still needs to be trained and constantly checked for quality assurance. As consumers, we’ve all experienced chatting with an AI bot to only to realize that it was a complete waste of our time. Will 2024 be when AI can solve customers’ problems?

Advancements in Omnichannel Support: Aided by AI and driven by customer demand, companies will focus more on providing a seamless and integrated customer experience across all platforms. For B2B companies, the focus will be on integrating communications between distributors, companies, and end users. For consumer-facing companies, the focus will be on ensuring contact centers, stores, and websites provide an integrated customer experience. Regardless of whether a customer is using an app, shopping in-store, or browsing a website, companies will aim to ensure consistent and efficient interactions – regardless of the chosen platform.

Mobile Optimization and Video Support: As mobile becomes the primary communication channel for many customers, businesses are optimizing their services for mobile screens and investing in face-to-face video support. Customers prefer greater use of video in support channels. There’s little appeal to an impersonal phone call when customers could instead get a personalized video on demand.

Visual Engagement Tools: Lastly, tools like co-browsing and video chat allow businesses to understand and solve customer problems quickly, enhancing the effectiveness of customer support and providing a more engaging service experience.

These tech trends highlight a shift toward more interactive, personalized, and technologically integrated customer experiences.

Harness Science to Drive Results
CX is evolving at lightspeed, and customers’ expectations are rising. Focused, scientific methods are essential for getting data that will drive results in 2024. Want to further explore the latest CX trends? Get in touch!


Martha Brooke

Martha Brooke is certified in Customer Experience (CCXP) and holds a Blackbelt in Six Sigma. She founded Interaction Metrics, a customer experience agency known for its scientific approach to surveys and other methods. linkedin

Previous ArticleNext Article