CX Trends 2024: Unlock the power of intelligent CX

Ten trends every CX leader needs to know in the era of intelligent CX, a seismic shift that will be powered by AI, automation and data analytics.

By Adrian McDermott, Chief Technology Officer, Zendesk

Last updated January 29, 2024

We’re facing a seismic shift in the world of customer experience with rapid advancements in artificial intelligence, data analytics and other emerging technologies shaking the very foundations of our industry. Businesses are rethinking the structure of everything, from their tech stacks to their teams. In just a few years time, these forces will radically transform the pivotal connection between customers getting support and the organisations that provide it.

This is new terrain for all businesses, and understanding the challenges and opportunities – and planning wisely – will pay immense dividends. From greatly reduced CX costs to improved customer affinity, the era of intelligent CX will deliver a new level of connection between customers and the organisations they purchase from.

At Zendesk, we think deeply about the customer experience and how to make it better for every party involved. Now in its sixth year, our annual CX Trends report is the biggest and most important to date. We’ve identified ten distinct trends to help you navigate the road ahead. They fall into three innovation areas:

AI and intelligent experiences

The best customer experience is one with a personal touch. As 4,500 global CX leaders told Zendesk, they expect generative AI to accelerate the delivery of more humanised journeys, ones that leverage data to feel personable and interactive.

70% of CX leaders plan to integrate generative AI into many of their touchpoints in the next two years.

While CX leaders and their teams wrestle with how to effectively implement AI, they understand that if they’re successful, the rewards will be well worth the effort. They expect AI to greatly improve team efficiency, enabling agents to dedicate their time to higher-level work, with significant effects on chatbots and email communications with customers.

Meanwhile, customers are ready for this sea change: 59% of the 2,500 global consumers say they expect AI to completely alter how they interact with businesses.

In this first section of the 2024 CX Trends report, we also dive into how AI will turn chatbots into true digital agents, why AI transparency and decision-making are the order of the day, and the startling disconnect between CX leaders and their teams on everything related to AI, including strategy, tools and role impact.

Data and trustworthy experiences

One of the biggest challenges companies have faced over the years is putting their mountains of customer data to effective use. Now, as we enter the era of intelligent CX, businesses are heavily focused on being able to instantly modify user experiences, putting increased pressure on leveraging data in real time.

62% of CX leaders feel they are lagging behind in providing the more instant experiences consumers expect.

Being able to anticipate customer needs, resolve issues faster and provide hyper-personalised experiences would have already been accomplished if it were simple to do, but this is no easy task. Getting there means pulling data together from disparate sources and quickly synthesising it and, once again, AI is proving to be the solution.

While CX leaders increasingly feel confident that they’ll be able to modify user experiences instantly, they also face other emerging trends, such as data privacy being a non-negotiable aspect of their plans. As a result, CX leaders are requiring that robust security measures be an integral part of the customer experience.

Next gen and immersive experiences

Consumers have been shopping online for decades now, and purchasing goods and services via the internet continues to evolve. Now, live and immersive experiences are heavily influencing the future of online shopping.

Customers expect conversational commerce and eagerly tune into livestreaming sessions to learn about – and purchase – new products. It’s not enough for transactions to be seamless. They must also be engaging and leave customers feeling informed.

Consumers report they are only able to make purchases directly within chat-based conversations with agents 34% of the time.

To provide livestreaming experiences, CX leaders must be ready to invest in the right technology and seek expertise, often through external partners. And when implementing livestreaming or conversational commerce, CX leaders need to train their teams thoroughly whilst simultaneously updating privacy policies to protect customers.

These next-gen experiences also encompass refinements to voice channels which, in the wake of increasingly effective AI-powered digital agents, will be used to handle more complex issues that require a human agent. And finally, predictive agent management tools will play an ever-expanding role in helping CX leaders build teams that will operate at peak efficiency.

The era of intelligent CX is here.

While navigating this new era of CX might seem daunting, Zendesk is here to help CX leaders take advantage of the technology that will change customer experiences forever. Over the course of 2024 and beyond, we’ll be providing additional insights and best practice so your company can excel in this exciting new world.

CX Trends hub

To dive deeper into our insights, register for an event or check out our best practice guides, visit our CX Trends hub.

CX Trends hub

To dive deeper into our insights, register for an event or check out our best practice guides, visit our CX Trends hub.

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