15 Customer Service Trends in 2023 You Didn’t Know Until Now

Customer service agent works on a computer

The top customer service trends in 2023 that leaders in the contact center and throughout an organization need to know about.

Empathetic, human interactions. Fast responses. Personalized conversations. The pressure is on the contact center to keep up with changing customer service expectations and deliver exceptional contact center experiences.

The cost of not meeting customers where they are with the types of interactions they expect? Brands risk losing out on not only customer referrals but also risk losing repeat business and driving dissatisfied customers to consider purchasing from competitors instead. This ultimately prevents an organization from hitting financial targets and driving revenue growth.

To keep organizations informed about the most pressing concerns for the contact center today, we’ve rounded up the top 15 customer service trends in 2023 you didn’t know — until now.

Get ready to adapt your contact center experience accordingly. By acting fast, your brand sets itself apart from competitors, is seen as a company of choice among discerning customers, and drives top- and bottom-line KPIs.

What Customers Say They Want: Top Trends Every Contact Center Leader Needs to Know

Knowing customer service trends is important for every contact center leader because it helps to adapt to evolving customer expectations, enhance customer satisfaction (CSAT), and stay competitive. Organizations and their contact centers are able to implement innovative technologies, improve agent training, and streamline processes to deliver efficient, personalized support.

Here are the most important customer service trends for every organization’s contact center to be aware of for 2023, according to a recent survey of 1,047 consumers in the United States who indicated they had interacted with a company’s customer service team within the previous six months.

#1. Consumers really want to interact with humans — bots, not so much

Being able to communicate with a real person, as opposed to an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered chatbot, is the first-ranked factor shaping which contact center channels consumers opt for. Half of the respondents (54%) say this is a top consideration, and it’s the largest influence across age groups (Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z). 

#2. If consumers can’t find what they’re looking for on a company’s website fast, they’ll bounce

Most consumers (60%) say they’re only willing to spend up to a maximum of 10 minutes on a brand’s website before taking another action.

#3. Consumers are only willing to be placed on hold for about the length of two songs

58% of consumers say they’re only willing to wait on hold for a maximum of five minutes before being connected to a contact center agent.

It’s why call center staffing and interactive voice response (IVR) need to be set up properly.

#4. Consumers want help instantly — not when it’s convenient for the business

“Getting an instant response” and having “complaints resolved in real time” are two of the top three motivating forces that determine which contact center support channels consumers end up using.

#5. Consumers want the option to receive a call back

Most consumers (66%) say they’d receive a call back rather than wait on hold if given the choice, with Baby Boomers and Gen Xers more likely to select this option compared to Millennials and Gen Zers. 

#6. Generic solutions aren’t going to cut it anymore

Nearly every consumer (95%) says it’s important that brands find a solution with personalization that meets their individual needs. 

#7. Customers want you to really know them so you can better serve them

Most consumers (79%) want brands to know about their previous customer service interaction history, and a similar share (81%) say it’s important that contact center agents know about their previous purchases and transaction histories. 

An even larger portion of consumers — nearly all at 95% — want customer service professionals to take the time to understand why they’re contacting customer support in the first place. 

#8. Brands can’t afford to overlook empathy

A sizable percentage (87%) of consumers say that it’s important for contact center agents to demonstrate empathy during customer service interactions. 

#9. Negative customer service interactions hurt your business more than you think, especially referrals

In fact, 52% of consumers say that a negative customer experience would impact their willingness to recommend a brand, even if it’s the first time something like that has happened. A greater share (62%) say it would impact their willingness to recommend a brand after multiple negative experiences. 

#10. Customer service experiences make or break customer retention

As many as 66% of consumers say negative customer service experiences motivate them to consider products and services from other companies.

#11. Brands can be forgiven for negative customer service experiences, but only if it only happens once

Most consumers (59%) say they will forgive a brand for a negative customer service experience if it only happens one time. 

#12. Consumers want to be heard by sharing feedback following a customer service interaction

Nearly three-fourths of consumers (73%) say they want the chance to share their feedback about their customer service experiences, with the preferred channels for doing so being via online reviews, email, and text message. 

#13. Consumers are more likely to be positive than negative

About 40% of consumers say they typically provide feedback about positive experiences, while 13% say they generally share feedback about negative customer service experiences. Another 39% say they weigh in about negative and positive experiences equally, and 7% say they generally don’t provide feedback about their experiences with customer service. 

#14. Be prepared to interact with Baby Boomers via traditional channels, Millennials and Gen Zers via newer support channels

Baby Boomers are more likely to reach out to customer service directly than younger generations, while Gen Zers and Millennials on the other hand are more likely to look for answers using a different website (such as Google Search) than older age groups. 

Similarly, Baby Boomers list talking to a representative in person as their preferred contact method, while Gen Zers, Millennials, and Gen Xers cite using mobile and web chat as their preferred method. 

#15. Don’t expect Baby Boomers to be happy about having to interact with a chatbot or automated voice assistant for support

Only 22% of Baby Boomers report that a recent chatbot or automated voice assistant interaction was helpful and even fewer (17%) say that the chatbot or automated voice assistant was able to resolve their issue or answer their question. Millennials and Gen Zers were more positive, with 41% saying the chatbot or automated voice assistant was helpful and about half (43% and 50%, respectively) reporting that the AI assistants helped them get answers or solutions. 

Why It’s Important for Contact Centers’ Customer Service to Meet Consumer Expectations

Customer service and the contact center play a key role in shaping the overall customer experience, influencing how companies perform in key areas such as customer retention and customer loyalty. While long seen as a cost center, forward-thinking brands are recognizing the true potential of the contact center as a revenue driver. Investing in customer service and contact center improvements has the power to yield a powerful ROI in the form of stronger business outcomes.