Each year, DMG Consulting surveys our international customer base of enterprise, contact center, and IT leaders and asks them to share their customer experience (CX) and contact center goals, as well as related technology investment priorities for the upcoming year. Figure 1 shows the top 10 contact center priorities for 2023.
Source: DMG Consulting LLC, January 2023
Improving the CX remains the top priority for companies of all sizes and was cited by 81.1% of survey participants, an increase from 76.4% of respondents who selected this item in the 2022 study. The remaining items in the chart reflect the various ways companies plan to enhance their CX. 55.7% of survey participants intend to improve their self-service systems. Since self-service has become consumers’ preferred method of assistance, it is great to see this priority near the top of the list. Reducing operating costs and improving productivity came in 3rd and 4th place, identified by 49.1% and 48.1% of survey respondents respectively. These two goals are typically near the top of contact center priorities, as companies need to keep their costs down. The emphasis on cost reduction and productivity improvement takes on even greater emphasis in tough economic times. This doesn’t mean that companies won’t invest in new systems and operational initiatives; it does mean that investments need to have a strong supporting business case and a rapid payback.
Improving employee engagement came in 5th place, chosen by 37.7% of survey participants. Enterprise executives increasingly appreciate the contributions of their employees in delivering a great CX. Updating contact center systems and technology came in 6th place, prioritized by 35.9% of respondents. This is a similar result to the 2022 edition of this study, which was 35.8%. Good systems and applications are needed to deliver a great CX at scale. In a related category, improving agent automation came in 7th place, identified by 30.2% of participants. Due to innovations in artificial intelligence (AI) and automation, solutions that provide real-time guidance and reduce the time agents spend writing after-call summaries can help decrease average handle time while improving the experience for customers and agents.
Undergoing a digital transformation came in 8th place, cited by 28.3% of survey respondents. This category was ranked much higher in the 2022 edition of the study, when 39.8% of survey participants selected it. Digital transformation remains a critical initiative for companies, but once it has started, many enterprises prioritize new initiatives while they work on the old ones. DMG expects to see organizations continue implementing various phases of their digital transformation for at least the next 5 years, as there is a lot of work still to be done.
Migrating systems to the cloud was the 9th place CX and contact center goal for 2023, identified by 19.8% of survey respondents, which was up from 15.5% in 2022. There is no longer a debate regarding whether to transition systems and applications to the cloud; the discussion now is when to make the move. The holdouts, which include the largest contact centers, have started the process. In some situations, this is because their premise-based vendors are actively encouraging them to migrate; in others, it is because companies are accepting that the future of CX and contact center technology involves cloud-based solutions, which is where most of the market innovation is happening.
The goal rounding out the top 10 for 2023 is adding new customer support channels. 18.9% of survey respondents identified this as a priority, compared to 26.8% in 2022. This is an area companies will continually need to address as long as there are new channels.
Companies are looking to the future by emphasizing and investing in improving their CX. It may take more time and effort to get a project approved in 2023 than it did in the first half of 2022, but initiatives with quantifiable benefits that also enhance the CX and employee engagement are expected to be top investment priorities this year.