Trends to Watch | Evolving Customer Expectations

Jun 13, 2024 Matt Mattie, VP of Sales
Business team celebrating successful project work in the office

An often quoted Forrester Research statistic is that brands with superior customer experience bring in 5.7 times more revenue than competitors who lag in customer experience.  However, achieving and maintaining this level of customer satisfaction has become increasingly challenging amidst constantly evolving customer expectations. The American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) indicates that customer satisfaction scores took a sharp decline in 2022, and have not recovered as of the writing of this blog.  Research shows that poor customer service / experiences are costing US companies a staggering $1.6 trillion in customer churn. 

To address this challenge, companies must first grasp the nuances of changing customer expectations. By prioritizing the evolving needs and desires of customers, organizations can not only gain a significant competitive advantage but also foster greater customer satisfaction, loyalty, and ultimately, drive revenue growth. Moreover, staying attuned to evolving preferences enables companies to innovate, mitigate risks, and solidify their position as industry leaders. 

In this blog, we delve into the shifting landscape of customer expectations over the past few years, exploring key trends and their implications for businesses. 

Changing Customer Expectations: 

The COVID-19 pandemic served as a catalyst, accelerating the digital transformation timeline from 2025 to 2020. Vonage’s research highlights key changes in consumer behavior, including heightened demand for mobile-friendly experiences, personalized interactions, omnichannel service, 24/7 accessibility, and a redefined concept of speed. To meet these evolving demands, businesses must transcend traditional customer experience (CX) strategies. However, adapting to omnichannel service requirements increases the complexity and cost of delivering personalized service. As companies strive to meet customer expectations, interactions between customers and brands become more intricate, necessitating a holistic reevaluation of customer care programs. 

Demand for More Personalized Service: 

According to McKinsey, 71 percent of customers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions. Their report goes on to state that 76 percent of customers get frustrated when interactions are not personalized. Yet not all personalization is viewed equally.  For example, personalization that helps a customer find a better deal is valued most, followed by personalization that helps them save time, provide information they didn’t have before, and more. In Gartner’s Executive Guide: Maximize the Impact of Personalization are listed the top 13 preferred types of personalization in order, including 1) help me get a better deal, 2) save me some time, 3) provide information I didn’t have before, and 4) make the purchase process easier. 

Increased Complexity of Customer Interactions: 

While AI solutions have empowered customers to self-serve for the most routine of inquiries, live agents remain crucial for non-standard requests. This means the bulk of customer interactions now handled by a live agent are more complex. According to Harvard Business Review, the percentage of contact center calls rated as “difficult” by agents surged by 100% compared to pre-pandemic levels. This development places greater emphasis on agent training and necessitates advanced technologies to support them, leading to increased costs. 

Impact of Rapid Self-Service and Automation: 

There are conflicting reports circulating about the overall percentage of the population that prefer automation over speaking to an agent.  The most accurate answer to that question seems to depend on the customer’s age bracket and circumstances. Regardless, depending on how self-service interfaces or chatbots are configured and integrated, it can confuse or even frustrate customers. If the self-service tools are not user friendly, don’t provide the answers, or don’t follow logical experience paths, it can lead to higher customer dissatisfaction. For example, an article by Harvard Business Review found that 40% of customers contact a call center after they’ve tried self-service, indicating that customer self-service solutions too often fail. 

Channel Hopping Customers Want an Omnichannel Experience: 

A considerable 61% of organizations have already adopted cross-channel initiatives. Customers, presented with numerous communication channels, use multiple simultaneously to expedite issue resolution. This “channel hopping” incurs higher costs and consumes more time, involving multiple agents. Moreover, customers submit questions or information across these channels as they switch. Organizations that lack cross-silo visibility and holistic strategies to manage such scenarios are likely to overspend, introduce unnecessary customer friction, and experience lower customer retention and loyalty rates. 

The Growing Impact of Employee Experience (EX) on CX: 

As customer interactions grow increasingly intricate, the efficacy of policies, procedures, access to tools and information, training, and other factors influencing agent performance all significantly affect the overall customer experience. These factors all make up the Employee Experience (EX). 

MIT found that organizations in the top quartile of EX more successfully innovated and generated 2x the revenue on those innovations compared to companies in the bottom quartile. Further, the report found that industry-adjusted Net Promoter Score (NPS) to be twice as high. Common friction points among companies in the bottom quartile tend to stem from agent scripting, process design, availability to resources like supervisors, call routing, lack of real-time capacity to intervene in the call, the way customer information is displayed to agents, and more. 


Businesses must continuously adapt their Customer Experience (CX) strategies to remain competitive. Embracing personalization, omnichannel service, and prioritizing Employee Experience (EX) are essential steps in meeting these changing demands. Understanding the interconnectedness of EX and CX is not just beneficial but necessary for enhancing customer satisfaction, driving innovation, and fostering long-term loyalty. 

At ACT, we are uniquely positioned to help businesses navigate these challenges with our proprietary Total Experience Formula™. By integrating EX, CX, User Experience (UX), Digital Experience (DX), and Multi-experience (MX), we provide a holistic approach that ensures outstanding outcomes. Our 100% employee-owned structure ensures that every team member is personally invested in delivering exceptional service and innovative solutions. 

Partnering with ACT means leveraging our expertise to transform your CX design and outcomes. We are committed to helping you anticipate and scale for future needs, outmaneuver competition, lower operating costs, improve efficiencies, drive revenue, and increase customer engagement. By aligning our motivations with your success, we create value that extends far beyond traditional outsourcing. 

ABOUT ACT: ACT was founded 27 years ago on a winning formula – that the best solutions integrate Employee Experience (EX) + Customer Experience (CX) + User Experience (UX) + Digital Experience (DX) + Multi-experience (MX) for an outstanding Total Experience (TX) overall. We call it the Total Experience Formula™. Today, many of the world’s leading brands and Fortune 50 trust ACT to be an extension of their business to unlock their ability to respond quickly to rapidly changing competitive, business and compliance environments, to anticipate and scale for future needs, to outmaneuver their competition, to lower operating costs, to improve efficiencies, to drive revenue and increase customer engagement. 

As a 100% employee-owned company, we have placed Employee Experience at the center of our business strategy because we know that engaged employees ensure the best customer outcomes. As shareholders in the business, our Employee Owners have a personal interest in delivering value to our clients, and their motivations are uniquely aligned to our clients’ success. When clients first come to us, we consistently find it to be an opportunity to transform their CX design and outcomes with a Total Experience approach, starting at the Employee Experience level. 

ACT offers the operational expertise, technologies and best practices that you expect from a world-class BPO, combined with the innovative solutions, flexibility and individual

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