Methods & Participants
This report, the 2024 CX Leaders Trends & Insights: Corporate Edition, was developed based on results derived from a custom 90-question survey delivered via the SurveyMonkey online platform. Surveying occurred from October 20 through December 22, 2023. Private invitations to partake in the survey were delivered by email to the Execs In The Know community and via promotion within Execs In The Know’s private online community, Know It All. Invitations targeted individuals responsible for managing the customer experience and customer care programs of large Business-to-Consumer (B2C) and B2C/Business-to-Business (B2B) organizations, primarily in the United States and Canada. The survey benefited from the participation of 117 CX leaders with individual question sample sizes ranging from 86 to 117 responses. Forty-two percent of survey participants held a title of Vice President or above. We have a detailed breakdown of this year’s survey participants, including details about participation by industry, revenue, and customer type.


This year’s CX Leaders Trends & Insights survey results confirmed many of the trends first established last year. Spending on artificial intelligence (AI) powered customer experience (CX) technology continues to expand, as does the appetite of CX leaders to learn more about how to apply and maximize this rapidly advancing technology. Ironically, this investment is occurring at the same time as many CX leaders are stymied by legacy systems and outdated tools. Although the shift toward greater digitization is well underway, there are no shortages of challenges that could seek to derail further progress. Budgetary pressures continue to mount and increases in layoffs and hiring freezes means a “do more with less” mindset is emerging.

The 2024 CX Leaders Trends & Insights: Corporate Edition report, a follow-up to the Consumer Edition report released this past September. This new report introduces more than a dozen new and revised questions, along with more than 70 existing data points, providing unrivaled insight into the report’s four key areas: Workforces and Workplaces, Touch Points, CX Strategies, and CX Technology.

It is our hope that this information will help inspire and guide our readers as they tirelessly work to improve the customer experience at their esteemed organizations. Special thanks to project partners, TELUS International, who have been exceptional teammates in shaping and evolving this research. Be sure to check out the special commentary and analysis of findings from Kory Laszewski, VP, Global Sales at TELUS International. You can find Kory’s commentary on page 6. Also, a very special thank you to the 11 CX leaders who contributed their time and insights in reaction to a number of survey results. You can find their contributions throughout the report, as illustrated below.

There’s Good News
The good news: It appears the industry is succeeding in doing more with less, while also succeeding in taking an opportunistic approach to innovation. Companies are winning by establishing closer internal relationships, unifying goals and objectives, and putting the customer first. CX and customer first thinking is gaining strength and influence, and the timing could not be better. In fact, more CX leaders than ever before (46 percent) feel their organizations are doing a good job of driving loyalty with their CX operations, and a newly introduced question this year reveals that CX operations wields “Extreme” or “Moderate” influence at 76 percent of organizations (page 54).

The coming year promises to be an interesting on many fronts. While AI is exciting, CX leaders shouldn’t lose sight of their most important asset — their people. A shift back into the office has begun in earnest, and engagement and cultural immersion remain critical for a significant portion of the workforce, especially as that workforce slows in growth. By focusing on people first, including both customers and employees, brands will develop the relationships needed to overcome any of the challenges they currently face.

Highlights from this year’s research:
Seventy-three percent of organizations are currently investing in AI for their CX operations, up from 48 percent year-over-year

The most significant challenge for CX operations is “Legacy Systems/Processes/Tools,” with 35 percent of CX leaders naming this as their biggest challenge

• Seventy-six percent of respondents described the influence of CX at their organizations as either “Extreme” (25 percent) or “Moderate” (51 percent), with only 7 percent describing CX’s influence as “Little” or “None at All”
• More “Leadership Engagement/Recognition” is thought to be the top motivator for CX agents, with 59 percent of CX leaders naming it as one of the most effective
• More CX leaders than ever before (46 percent) feel their organization does a good job of using CX operations to drive customer loyalty
• The average percentage of outsourced agents working from home has fallen to 41 percent, down from 60 percent year-over-year

Verticals and Business Types
This year’s pool of 117 survey participants carry a vertical profile very similar to that of years past, with most individuals falling within one of three categories: 1) Consumer Electronics, Technology, and Software (23 percent); 2) Retail (16 percent); and 3) Financial Services and Insurance (14 percent).

The breakdown of business types, like the above industry breakdown, were also reflective of past reports, though there was a year-over-year bump in B2C-only businesses, up seven points compared to last year’s result of 25 percent. Businesses that operate in the B2C space typically have more complicated CX operations requiring more agents, support technology, and program support personnel. This slight shift toward larger, more complicated programs is work bearing in mind as readers digest this year’s results.

About the Participants’ Businesses Revenue and the State of the Business

Revenues of Survey Participants
How would you generally describe the state of the business over the past 12 months? As hinted at in the business type breakdown on the previous page, the demographic for this year’s survey participants skew slightly larger, and is also reflected in the revenue breakdown. This year’s survey cohort contains fewer companies with revenue of $1 billion or less (50 percent versus 54 percent last year), as well as slightly more companies with revenue of $50 billion or more (14 percent versus 9 percent). This, again, is worth consideration as readers examine trendlines and compare this year’s results with those of last year.

While it appears the companies of most survey participants are continuing a trajectory of growth, the energy of that growth has slowed in each of the past two years of surveying results. In this year’s results, 71 percent of companies are indicating some level of growth compared to 72 percent last year, and down from 82 percent when compared to results from two years ago.

Addressing Economic Uncertainties
The impact of economic uncertainties has expanded year-over-year, with the latest results indicating nearly half of all survey respondents (48 percent) are not only discussing conditions, but are also taking significant action. This represents a 25 percent increase in the percentage of companies who are actively and significantly addressing the uncertain economic conditions.

Has your company begun discussing or acting on the uncertain economic conditions?
In exploration of the types of actions being taken to address the uncertain economic conditions, there was a significant rise in the percentage of companies that have instituted hiring freezes and/or have committed to laying off employees. Making cuts to human resources are often viewed as the least appealing option for companies looking to reinforce the business against economic headwinds. At the same time, as the lump in layoffs and hiring freezes, there was a nine-point drop in the percentage of companies reducing budgets for new programs. Taken together, these indicators seem to suggest that companies are now battening down the hatches in the expectation that economic uncertainties will only grow more severe in the coming quarters.

Workforces and Workplaces — Workforces

Type of Deployed Workforce and FTE Count
In the second year of asking about frontline resources, “Internal Agents” remained the most common type of workforce among survey respondents with very little year-over-year change. Shared and Seasonal Resources also experienced slight bumps upward, which could be a sign that brands are trying to do more with less.

Which types of frontline workforce resources are deployed by your CX operations?
While this year’s cohort is generally the same as last year’s in terms of FTEs, there was an offsetting shift to smaller operations for In-House FTEs, and larger operations for Outsourced FTEs. Last year, 59 percent of In-House operations had 100 FTEs or less compared to 68 percent in the latest results. Conversely, only 5 percent of Outsourced operations had 5,000 or more FTEs last year compared to 10 percent in this year’s results. Most operations continue to fall into the 500 or fewer FTEs bucket, regardless of whether operations are In-House or Outsourced.

Headcount Changes, Agent Performance and Adjustments
As hinted at by the dramatic year-over-year rise in Layoffs and Hiring Freezes (page 14), workforce reductions are strongly reflected in the below results, showing both significant year-over-year increases in the percentage of companies experiencing headcount decreases, as well as moderate to significant decreases in the percentage of companies experiencing headcount increases. Headcounts, including both In-House and Outsourced operations, were especially hard-hit, with a 10-point increase in the percent of companies seeing a headcount decrease, combined with a 13-point decrease in the percent of companies seeing a headcount increase. That all said, the story is generally one of expansion, just not as rapid as last year. For companies that are in a position of growth, now is shaping up to be an excellent time get the best possible candidates while staffing up.

After four years of data, it’s apparent that agent performance has grown quite comparable regardless of whether an agent is trained in a WFH environment or in-centre. The gap between “Better” and “Worse” has remained tight between the two groups, indicating (along with the below results) that companies have made effective changes across the board and are perhaps better at honing in on the right set of hiring requirements.

Furthermore, several training technologies, like AI-powered simulated training, have come along recently, helping agents have a better onboarding experience and get up to speed faster.

How do agents trained in a work-from-home environment perform against agents trained in-centre?

Compare Your Operations

Percentage of companies that have adjusted their recruiting, hiring/onboarding, training, and/or coaching practices as a result of the shift to work-from-home.

Changes of Impact
In a question previously delivered in an open-ended format, the implementation of more and better virtual tools has been the most impactful way companies have adjusted agent-related processes. Many companies also continue to benefit from borderless recruiting, indicating that WFH is still very much alive and well. Finally, companies appear to be focusing on improved agent engagement, doing so not only in terms of touch points and meetings, but in terms of engaging to support agent wellness and higher levels of job satisfaction.
• Borderless Recruiting
• More Frequent Touch Points, Meetings, One-on-Ones
• Enhanced Pre-Screening Greater Use of Standardization
• Updated Hiring Requirements

Our approach has been slightly different than the results we see in the survey. Our highest impact initiatives were automation and our growing partnership with our third party contact centre. Over the past two years, we lifted and shifted transactional and repeatable tasks from our internal Tier 2 support teams to our external Tier 1 provider. At the same time, we began to leverage RPAs and other automation to continue delivering better experiences for our customers. As this work migrated to lower cost channels, we clearly saw the role of our Customer Support Associate had changed significantly. Many were hired for basic phone and data entry roles. In our evolving environment, the basics were covered elsewhere and the Tier 2 team needed more problem solving, critical thinking, and continuous improvement skills. We had analog associates working in our new digital world. We partnered with our HR team, re-evaluated job descriptions, priced them appropriately, and did a full gap analysis to understand the impact to our current team. We moved forward with new job descriptions, pay scales and team/individual training plans to ensure our team members could move with us into our elevated Customer Support team of the future. This change recognized the hard work of our teams, helped us to scale the business in a cost effective manner and positioned us as we continue exploring the myriad of new technologies available to improve both our associate and customer experience.

Workforce Motivation
In yet another question previously presented as an open-ended question, some of the most effective workforce motivators have been greater leadership involvement and/or recognition, more schedule flexibility, better compensation, and higher potential for career advancement. Companies should consider implementing one or more of these motivators within their operations so those ideas that can be quickly implemented, building up to the most effective motivators as time goes on.

In a new question for the CX Leaders Trends & Insights series, survey respondents were asked whether work environments impact what motivates agents. Interestingly, about a third of respondents (32 percent) indicated that these different groups of agents are motivated by different things. Although no followup question was provided to drill into the difference, results on the next page suggest more regular touch points, fun activities, and collaborative opportunities all go a long way in generating motivation and engagement among WFH agents.

Workforce Motivation
As the 21st century unfolds, contact centres have become pivotal in shaping customer experience, evolving from traditional call centres to sophisticated, technology-driven communication hubs. This transformation, highlighted in the “Workforces and Workplaces” section of the 2024 CX Leaders Trends & Insights: Corporate Edition report, reflects a paradigm shift toward digital fluency, remote work flexibility, and a global talent pool. By leveraging virtual tools for recruitment, training, and engagement, contact centres are not only expanding their reach, but enhancing the quality of customer interactions.

Incorporating workforce flexibility into contact centre operations significantly enhances agent retention and customer experience. Flexibility, including remote and hybrid work options, addresses key agent concerns such as work-life balance and job satisfaction, leading to lower turnover rates. Happy, engaged agents are more committed to delivering high-quality service, positively impacting customer interactions as well as the positive impact to the overall customer experience.

The strategic emphasis on nurturing agents’ passion for the brands they represent underpins the importance of aligning employee motivation with customer satisfaction goals. The report provides insights into the growing trend of work-from-home arrangements, signaling a shift toward more adaptable and resilient operational models. This evolution underscores the industry’s response to changing consumer expectations and the need for innovative solutions to meet these demands. In essence, the future of contact centres lies in their ability to integrate technology, people, and processes to deliver exceptional customer experiences, highlighting the critical role of human-centric and technology-enabled strategies in driving the next wave of customer service excellence.

The future of the contact centre lies in embracing workforce flexibility to enable both agent retention and customer experience. By integrating virtual tools and fostering a culture that prioritizes agent well-being, contact centres can achieve superior levels of customer experience.

Encouraging Engagement
With so many companies still heavily committed to WFH, survey participants were asked an open-ended question about the ways in which they encourage employee engagement among their out-of-office staff. Not surprisingly, a big chunk of the responses received were centreed around in-office time, in-person meetups, and investments in connectivity and communication solutions. Several CX leaders also talked about providing WFH employees with company funds to purchase equipment to make their WFH environment as comfortable and conducive to success as possible.

Below are a handful of verbatim from the responses received:

What are some of the ways your organization helps encourage and/or maintain employee engagement for work-at-home staff?

“We have scheduled collaboration days at our locations one day per week where we hold social events and encouragement workshops, as well as team meetings.”

“Virtual contests, video meetings and meetups”

“Volunteering in the community is a big part of our organization and these events provide opportunities for team members to re-engage with coworkers.”

“Utilizing a hybrid approach where all employees are in-office 3 days per week. Scheduling most meetings during in-office days to encourage in-person collaboration.”

“We’ve made serious investments in data systems and technology that enables workforce efficiency, regardless of location. We even provided for employees to purchase equipment and expense it to offer comfortable WFH environments.”

“Leadership and management that actually listens to employees and customers and knows how to actually architect/design an environment designed to succeed.”

Passionate Agents
Certainly, engaged agents are better suited to help customers. But what about agents who are passionate about the brands they represent? According to both CX leaders and, to a lesser extent, consumers, passionate agents are important. So perhaps brands should be asking themselves what they are doing to draw agents closer to the brand, including products/services and culture.

CX leaders are correct in believing their customers value agent passion for the brands they represent.

All material is drawn from and is copyright of The 2024 CX Leaders Trends & Insights: Corporate Edition report.

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