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8 CX Design & Strategy Trends You Need To Know: Looking Back On The 2019 Contact Center

Our 2019 survey reveals that only Only 12% of consumers believe brands have made “significant improvements” to their customer experiences over the past several years.

Matt Wujciak

Experience Design

“ROX [return on experience] is the new ROI,” says Neha Sampat, Forbes Councils Member and CEO of Counterstack. 

She’s not wrong. A good customer experience makes a person five times more likely to recommend a company and more likely to purchase from that brand in the future.

CCW Digital’s 2018 consumer preferences survey revealed that only 18% of customers were very satisfied with the experiences they were regularly receiving that year. 

Make no mistake, the emphasis on CX exploded in 2019, as the discipline emerged as its own department and field of study, replacing many traditional marketing efforts across industries. 

In fact, after decades of struggling for buy-in, the customer experience function (as seen in my recent article, as well as Forbes, the WSJ, and many other business advisory outlets) has finally secured a seat at the executive table.

Read More: Why CXOs Are Replacing CMOs

But despite the rise of AI and automation as ways to enhance the CX, emerging executive positions like Chief Experience Officers and Chief Amazement Officers, and the international popularity of CX influencers like Shep Hyken and Annette Franz, our 2019 survey reveals that only Only 12% of consumers believe brands have made “significant improvements” to their customer experiences over the past several years.

And the customer contact community is more than aware of this reality. In a recent CCW Digital study, contact center leaders declared “experience design” to be their biggest area of focus going forward. 

In rating it more important than other crucial topics like AI, and lingering concerns like complaint management, these organizations are professing a refusal to be reactive and one-dimensional in 2020.

They aim to build customer-centric experiences from the ground up. 

Read More: Walmart Shoppers Can Now Use Apple's Siri To Order Groceries: What This Means For The Future Of CX

Here are 8 key findings on CX Design and Strategy, according to our 2019 market study:


1) According to the study, top pain points in the contact center include long wait times, the need to repeat information, trouble finding the right channel and multiple transfers. Poor CRM, and insufficient data aggregation are driving forces in the disorganization of contact centers, and ultimately, unsatisfied customers. 

2) Consumers view phone, in-person, live chat and email as the most reliable engagement options. Those platforms aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. However, SMS, social media outlets like Twitter, and review platforms like Yelp will continue to gain popularity for instantaneous customer inquiries in 2020. 

3) It takes only 1-2 bad interactions for many customers to consider a competitor. Consumers have more purchasing power and options now more than ever, at the touch of a button. As NYT best-selling author and CCW advisory board member Shep Hyken says, “customers compare you to the best service they’ve ever had.” In other words, you might get a second chance to retain a customer. But don’t count on a third.

4) Nearly 84% of consumers are open to sharing positive experiences on social networks. While bad experiences cost companies business, great experiences drive spiraling advocacy. And according to Yelp, the timeliness of a brands’ response to a (positive or negative) experience, has a drastic impact on advocacy and loyalty. “Timeliness is everything. If you aim to respond within 24 hours, you increase your chances of having a reviewer upgrade their review to a higher star rating by 33%.”

Read More: The Pyschology Behind Personalized Customer Experience: Instilling A Human Touch Into Your Brand

5) While the phone is still king in the contact center, more than 71% of consumers are open to using bots. That doesn’t mean bot technology and chat software is necessarily right for everyone... yet. In fact, underdeveloped chat platforms (subject to typos or poor natural language processing capabilities) have proven a costly PR nightmare in recent years for some of tech’s wealthiest companies.  

6) “Urgent Investment Areas” include customer feedback, customer satisfaction measurement, employee training, dashboards, and knowledge management.

7) Many brands admit to struggling with properly using AI, achieving a 360-degree of their customers, measuring customer intent and optimizing customer journeys. These challenges are responsible for the  pain points identified in trend 1 (long wait times, the need to repeat information, trouble finding the right channel and multiple transfers). 

8) For 75% of consumers, personalization is not about in-depth conversations. It is about proving you know the customer – and then using that knowledge to create a better experience. While Chick-Fil-A style manners are important in personalized customer service, individualizing experiences is also about tailoring customer data, targeted ads based on consumer behavior, and customizable products and services.