AI has lit the world on fire and reshaped expectations of what’s possible. The pace of change continues to accelerate – 95% of global executives believe customers are changing faster than their businesses can keep up.1 As we move into a new year, here are five trends shaking things up for digital experience leaders in 2024:
#1 – The transformative impact of AI on communications and experiences
Generative AI, natural language processing (NLP) and other AI technologies are transforming communications, web experiences, digital asset management, customer service delivery and agent experience management. There will be explosive growth in organizations using AI/ML to better understand customer priorities, values, behaviors, and emotions and tailoring experiences accordingly. Brands will test and learn when it comes to AI, tapping it to provide hyper personalized and empathetic communications, better service, enhanced agent experience, rich customer journeys, smarter creative operations, and engaging web experiences while speeding time to market and driving customer success.
#2 – Experience convergence
The increasing focus on customers alongside a renewed prioritization of employees has given birth to the Total Experience imperative. When employees are engaged and motivated, they want to do their best work for customers, so there is no doubt that a key contributor to customer experience is a positive employee experience. Further, the lines between different digital experiences are blurring – web, mobile apps, messaging, contact center, and immersive rich media are growing together. As customer interactions become more varied and complex, companies need to move from silos to journeys with a common data layer. Brands will need a Total Experience strategy to unify personalization along with content for communications and journeys to drive results and improve business outcomes for both customers and employees.
#3 – A renewed emphasis on customer success
In challenging economic conditions, organizations are leaning into customer success – and shifting it from a cost to profit center. Depending on what industry you’re in, acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one. Customer success will become a key driver of growth and take a proactive, thoughtful, and strategic role in growing businesses over time. In part, the customer success function will help brands evolve from one-off transactions to long-term, deep, and enriching relationships at every step of the customer journey.
#4 – The rise of conversational marketing
With ever-increasing customer expectations, there’s a big opportunity for brands to make communications more interactive, real-time, and conversational. Customer success leaders need to cut through the clutter with message delivery on a customer’s channel of choice. The bar for digital delight is always being raised. The entrance of younger generations into the workforce has made it imperative for brands to tailor their strategies accordingly with cohesive personalization at scale – embracing new channels like WhatsApp, RCS, SMS, and push notifications in addition to more tried-and-true options like email, print (and fax). Smart brands will go where their customers already are.
#5 – Focus on first-party data
In a much-delayed deadline that’s been looming large over the digital marketing landscape, Google announced it will block third-party cookies in Chrome by 2024 to improve user privacy. This limits the ability to track users anonymously across websites via cookie tracking pixels. Organizations will have less access to information on visitors, impacting targeting capabilities. As a reaction, brands will collect more first-party data from owned channels like email subscribers, loyalty programs, customer service interactions, and website behavioral data to better inform the marketing funnel. Companies will tailor web experiences and advertising based on content consumed rather than visitor identity. Authentication will take on more importance as brands entice users to sign in with email addresses or other logins to provide an even better experience.
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