2024 Predictions: Is the Future of Customer Interactions Defined by Advanced Software?

Over the last 12 months, we saw an onslaught of new technology solutions in customer experience, evidently fueled by the powerful capabilities of generative AI. Ever since ChatGPT debuted in November 2023, one company after another began implementing groundbreaking AI-powered features into their offerings, striving to deliver unprecedented results.

Generative AI promises to be transformative not only for the customer experience industry but for marketing as well. AI might also be the help you need when struggling financially. Yet, concerns around this technology remain.

While many are embracing the prospect of an AI-powered future, the customer experience industry is still trying to balance the human aspect of customer interactions with the support offered by AI. We've asked four experts for their opinions on the future of customer interactions in an increasingly technological world.

Brad Birnbaum, CEO and Co-Founder of Kustomer:

"Looking into 2024, I am excited for the evolution of CRM systems. Automation and AI, will, no doubt, continue to play an integral role in driving speed, efficiency, accuracy, and personalization in the industry. Conversational chatbots will be increasingly utilized across workstreams, from routine tasks to real-time support. Data analytics will help to take customer service to the next level, offering greater personalization and tailored solutions. This data will also be leveraged to better anticipate customers’ needs, delivering proactive assistance to minimize inbound support volume.

I also believe that voice will continue to grow and advance next year as consumers search more and more for human touch in customer support. While artificial intelligence can help to answer quick inquiries, it can also help agents with call transcription and summarization as well as sentiment analysis, allowing them to respond to more complex questions faster and with greater empathy. This is a customer service sweet spot, creating a harmony of AI with empowered human service agents."

Megan Trotter, Vice President, Social Impact & Sustainability, Zendesk:

“As more companies develop AI solutions, they must keep a keen eye on their environmental footprint and take steps to ensure positive impact. Specifically, leaders will need to call for greater transparency on AI’s climate impact. The lack of trusted data is now the biggest hurdle for effective actions. Additionally, leaders must incorporate the impact of AI into their sustainability strategy, and consider sustainability when developing AI-related business strategy. Another key component is cultivating collaboration on environmentally responsible AI across the AI value chain, including cloud providers, AI engineers, and end users.”

Clint Oram, Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder, SugarCRM:

"The use of predictive analytics powered by machine learning is now very real. But companies are today still dipping their toes into AI – evaluating how to trust it and apply it. I think AI will become completely mainstream in the next year, becoming the de facto way that every business manages customer relationships, sales, marketing, and service. The next AI frontier is Generative AI (Gen AI) which is changing the user interface for all business applications, including CRM, much as the iPhone did 15 years ago.

Close behind this paradigm shift is the advance of voice interface to applications. Consumers are already very comfortable with native voice-to-text capabilities, which will be expanded into the business world, becoming the new de facto user interface for business applications. Imagine simply saying to your CRM, “tell me what customer appointments I have today and show me the best route to take” or “update my forecast to add the deal I just had a call about.”  Even better, imagine your CRM app asking you if you want that done after a great prospect call."

Sachin Goregaoker, Chief Product Officer of Qualtrics XM for Digital Frontlines:

"Companies will finally fix digital-to-care journey potholes in 2024, eliminating breakdwons in the customer journey created during the e-commerce explosion over the last half-decade. The pandemic-induced e-commerce boom pushed businesses to accelerate digital transformation efforts to meet the increased demand for online experiences. For most businesses, it was not a seamless transition from primarily brick-and-mortar operations to digital commerce. This created major gaps in the customer journey, including digital support.

Recent Qualtrics research found that consumers are six percentage points less likely to be satisfied by their digital customer support experience compared to satisfaction from human support, even though research shows a great digital support can have an outsized impact on customer loyalty. We expect companies will increase their focus on omnichannel customer experiences, using direct, indirect and inferred signals to drive improvements and innovation –especially in their digital offerings.

  • In 2024, Businesses will finally prioritize improving their digital support infrastructure, leveraging technologies like journey analytics, session replays, AI-powered virtual assistants, and automated ticketing systems to provide smoother and more satisfactory customer support journeys.
  • Businesses will increase their collection of data from unstructured sources like support calls, chats, social posts, which will drive new insights that help companies identify areas that need improvement, including the customer support experience.
  • Agents, both digital and in the call center, will increasingly have access to richer information about the abandoned digital sessions, the context of their customer journey so far, and friction signals that will help them reduce time to resolution for calls and chats."