It’s that time of year: to look ahead to what the business trends of 2023 will be!
We’ve gathered some of the hottest trends for industry, the workplace, and customer service together here for your convenience. So let’s dive right in.
Here are our picks for the top 12 business trends to watch in 2023:
- Hybrid work becomes the standard
- SMS (texting) engages new audiences
- AI becomes critical to customer experience
- The rise of the super-app
- An increased focus on sustainability
- Data-driven decisions make the difference
- Secure communications are more important than ever
- Cloud communications mature to gold standard
- UCaaS and seamless integration rule
- Employee collaboration goes digital
- Chat and self service transform customer experience
- Streamlining the employee experience
Business trend #1: Hybrid work becomes the standard model
The trend of hybrid work is here to stay. Employees want flexible work arrangements, including both fully remote work and hybrid work arrangements. The line between remote workers and in-office employees is blurring, with more companies looking for ways to integrate flexible work arrangements into their culture due to an overwhelming demand from workers.
“The demand alone is enough for businesses—especially those that have roles that don’t require the context of an office environment—to seriously consider offering either fully remote or hybrid work going forward. “ —Gallup
To be on-trend, businesses need a communications platform that enables seamless internal collaboration and communication among employees regardless of where they may be working, as well as robust external communications with customers.
Business trend #2: SMS (text messaging) engages new audiences
Per SMSComparision, data shows that 98% of adults in the US have a cell phone with messaging services and that “95% of SMS messages are read and responded to within 3 minutes.”
Opportunity is knocking. If you’re not including SMS messaging in your marketing strategy, you should be! The average person checks their phone 150 times a day. This means that there are 31,000 opportunities to connect with your customers every day! With the usage of texting on the rise and phone ownership only expected to increase, it’s important that you understand how SMS is not just for texting anymore. SMS marketing is used for a variety of purposes, including customer engagement, push notifications, and event promotion.
Business trend #3: AI becomes critical to customer experience
Speaking of improving customer experience, AI has the potential to transform customer service by making it more personal, efficient, and effective. AI-powered self-service technologies can reduce the number of costly human interactions. In addition, AI will help make customer service more proactive and predictive.
The use cases for AI tech in contact centers are vast and varied. The most common applications include:
- Voice recognition software that can handle routine inquiries, such as balance checks or flight status.
- Chatbots that can answer simple questions or provide a list of options for complex requests.
- Text analysis software that can identify sentiment and other emotions in customer responses.
- Machine learning algorithms that can be trained to predict specific customer needs.
AI tech has created an environment where there is no need to lose customers because of poor customer service or product issues. AI can help businesses with customer service and provide a personalized customer experience. AI can also help predict anything from who will buy a certain product to when a company needs more inventory.
Business trend #4: The rise of the “super-app”
Gartner predicts that by 2027, more than 50% of the global population will be daily active users of multiple super-apps.*
Superapps are created to deliver mobile-first experiences that cater to the growing digital-native generation as consumers and creators of mini-apps and content. Mini-apps are lightweight apps which are created by third-party developers to be discovered and run within the target super-app.
WeChat or large enterprises are building workforce super-apps to consolidate and potentially replace an array of custom and vendor-supplied apps that are complex to manage and lack user adoption. Some consumer and business software providers are evolving their digital products and applications into super-app platforms to create a broader ecosystem powered by mini-apps.
As digital customer engagement continues to expand, more customer interactions will take place within super-apps.
Business trend #5: An increased focus on sustainability
“90% of consumers are more likely to trust and be loyal to socially responsible businesses compared to companies that don’t show these traits.”
The way we consume and produce goods has a huge impact on the environment and sustainability. To save the planet, companies are shifting their focus to sustainability.
Smart companies are aware consumers will pay higher prices for sustainable goods and services. Sadly, some companies use a deceptive practice called “greenwashing” to appear more sustainable and environmentally conscious than they actually are. But consumers are becoming increasingly savvy regarding greenwashing, and companies that engage in this practice can expect to see negative backlash in 2023 and beyond.
On the other hand, businesses that have truly gone green are often seen as more attractive and successful than those that haven’t made the change yet, which is why the focus on sustainability has increased so much over the past few years.
Business trend #6: Data-driven decisions make the difference
Predictive analytics helps businesses make better decisions by identifying patterns in data and predicting future events. This allows companies to be more competitive and successful in identifying customer needs, finding new revenue opportunities, and improving their overall performance.
Predictive analytics is an important part of a robust communications platform, used to improve everything from contact center staffing to sentiment analysis. The quality of predictive analytics has improved significantly over the past few years due to machine learning algorithms that analyze huge amounts of data and provide accurate predictions with high precision rates on a variety of topics, including customer emotions.
Predictive and prescriptive analytics enable companies can get a clear picture of what is working and what is not and form a logical analysis of what trends can be expected in the future. This allows companies to make wise decisions on resource allocation and development projects that can truly move the needle on company revenue growth.
Business trend #7: Secure communications are more important than ever
The need for secure communications has never been more apparent. As business becomes more globalized and interconnected, the threat of a data breach or other cyberattack has become more common. To prevent these attacks, organizations are turning to unified communications designed with security in mind.
In the past, contact centers were primarily used to provide customer service. Nowadays, they are also used for sales and marketing. In addition, they are being used as the first line of defense in cybersecurity by protecting customers from phishing attacks and other cyber threats.
Contact centers have developed in recent years to be more than just a customer service utility. They now serve as an integral part of a company’s security strategy.
Business trend #8: Cloud communications reach gold-standard status
There has been a major shift in the contact center industry driven by increased demand for IP-based communications, lower costs, and more efficient operations.
Cloud-based communications solutions easily integrate with other business systems and provide a more comprehensive solution for customer service, making cloud communications the gold standard for communications technology today.
RingCentral provides cloud solutions that integrate with legacy systems and offer more flexibility in customer experience than traditional on-premises solutions. Vendors are working to improve the customer experience with apps, IoT, and other technologies. It’s not just new technology that is making a difference in customer experience. Companies are re-designing their processes and workflows, so they deliver an exceptional customer service offering.
Business trend #9: UCaaS and seamless integration rule
UCaaS is an emerging trend in the business communications industry, and it’s predicted to be one of the top business trends for 2023 and beyond. Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is a unified communications and collaboration service that integrates voice, video, messaging, and content sharing, and is designed to be easy to use and affordable. Its easily scalable integrations with legacy systems allow organizations to cut costs, improve productivity, and increase collaboration among employees.
Business trend #10: Employee collaboration goes fully digital
Gone are the days when collaboration meant you had to be in the same office at the same time. Digital collaboration tools make it possible to work together, even from widely diverse locations and time zones.
Today, businesses are using messaging apps, online collaboration platforms, videoconferencing software, and more to stay in constant communication. With the rapid evolution of these tools, it’s never been easier to work with a team that’s not in the same office as you.
RingCentral’s suite of collaboration tools make connecting with your team and your customers easy.
Business trend #11: Chat and self-service options transform customer service
Chatbots are an artificial intelligence-powered tool for customer service. They are a great way to create an interactive and personalized customer experience. Chatbots can answer questions, offer product recommendations, and even integrate with third-party services.
82% of consumers rate an “immediate” response as very important when they have a question – B2B Community
These self-service options have a big impact on customer service. Customers want to find the information they need without having to wait on hold or talk to someone, so adopting chatbot technology can be a savior for the small business owner. They’re also more cost-effective than hiring additional human customer service representatives.
Business trend #12: Streamlining the employee experience
Organizations are struggling to manage the variety of productivity tools and enterprise applications their employees use everyday. In the next several years, companies will put greater focus on reducing the extra time employees spend jumping between interfaces, having to take additional time to recover from the disruption to concentration and regain the “flow” of work. Companies will look to eliminate these moments of distraction by centralizing notifications into a common, contextualized interface.
RingCentral answers today’s top business trends needs
RingCentral is on the cutting edge of today’s top business trends. With our AI and machine learning-based communications platform, we can help you proactively improve customer engagement and provide an exceptional experience. Our suite of AI-powered solutions can help you manage your communications, increase productivity, and reduce costs. Be smarter, faster, and better with RingCentral. Schedule your demo!
*Gartner, Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2023, October 17, 2022
Originally published Jan 09, 2023