The challenges of 2022 — when companies lost their customer focus amid rising customer expectations and a worsening economy — will create an inflection point for customer experience (CX) programs in 2023. CX programs that help their organizations achieve their brand aspirations — and have the data to prove it — will thrive despite corporate belt-tightening. Other programs will wither, since they’ll no longer have a strong economy to buoy them.

What does this mean for companies’ CX improvement efforts, and the CX programs that lead them, in 2023? Here’s a sneak peek at two of our top CX predictions for the coming year:

  • CX differentiation will erode in three-fourths of industries. The range between the best and worst CX in these industries will narrow as 25% of below-average brands improve and 50% of above-average brands decline or stagnate. Differentiation has already narrowed in at least one industry in eight of the 11 countries for which we have year-over-year Customer Experience Index (CX Index™) data — including 10 of the 13 industries we study in the US and five of the nine industries in Canada. Why is differentiation narrowing? Lower-performing brands are solving basic CX problems, while top brands are struggling to embrace transformative CX improvements. To stand out from this tightening pack, companies must embrace customer obsession and pursue CX innovations that differentiate their brand, rather than relying on CX strategies that consumers perceive as similar.
  • One in five CX programs will disappear — and one in 10 will be stronger than ever. The estimated 80% of companies for which great CX is not part of their brand identity will finally demand proof that spending on CX improvement is necessary, and some of these companies will dissolve CX teams that can’t show numbers. That’s bad news for the 54% of CX pros who told us that their teams are unable to prove the ROI of their projects. Some of these teams will be split up and absorbed into other business functions, while other teams will see their influence dwindle. In contrast, the 20% of companies that embrace great CX as part of their brand identity will reward CX teams that can show positive ROI. The leaders of these teams will join the one-fourth of their CX leader peers who already sit in the C-suite. They’ll also gain direct control of teams to which they previously had only dotted-line connections — such as customer success or the contact center — and earn larger budgets for personnel, technology, and project work.

Want to dig deeper into these and other CX predictions for 2023? Then check out our full report, and attend our live webinar on November 29! If you aren’t a client, download our complimentary Predictions guide, which covers our top predictions for 2023, or check out the Predictions 2023 hub for multimedia Predictions resources.