As we head into 2023, companies face a difficult crossroads. Inflation has consumers on edge, staffing shortages impact frontline workers, and technology continues to grow and evolve. But even with all of these changes and challenges, the best customer experiences are focused on one thing: people.

It’s never been more important to understand your customers and be willing and able to change and evolve.

Here are five CX trends as we head into 2023:

1) Automation and Self-Service to Ease Staffing Shortages

Staffing concerns remain a problem for all companies. But brands can’t make excuses—they need to find creative solutions to work around challenges. Automating contact centers and warehouses reduces the need for human workers without sacrificing customer experience. In 2023, self-service options will soar and expand to short videos and voice memos to allow customers to solve problems and get answers on their own time.

2) Phygital Experiences on the Rise

Phygital experiences that blur the line between physical and digital will reign supreme in 2023 and expand to new industries, especially banking and insurance. Phygital will expand beyond just kiosks and apps to innovative experiences that customers use to make large purchases, including cars and houses.

3) Every Experience Matters During Inflation

Consumer spending growth is expected to drop in 2023, and most customers are feeling the strain of inflation and a looming recession. Non-essential spending will decrease, which means every experience matters. Brands need to showcase empathy and build relationships for the future.

4) Widespread Immersive Experiences

Immersive AR and VR experiences will become the norm in 2023 as customers step into a new world. Immersive experiences will go beyond trying on clothing and makeup virtually to showcasing products and brands and building virtual worlds around products.

5) Fragile CX Budgets Mean Teams Need to Do More with Less

The majority of CX leaders think their budgets will increase in 2023, but a fragile economy puts those budgets at risk. CX teams will have to do more with less and focus on projects with the highest ROI. In 2023, we’ll also see the separation between great and mediocre CX teams, with the teams that thrive being the ones that can continually showcase their value.

2023 brings new challenges and opportunities for brands. Understanding customer demands and the trends coming down the pipeline can help brands prepare to adapt and deliver amazing experiences in the new year and beyond.