Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

Customer experience

There is a clear disconnect between organizations and customers today. The missing part of the puzzle is a good and engaging customer experience. While it may seem deceptively simple, very few companies seem to get it right. Now, which company does not want to engage customers better?

Customers who have a great experience, spend more on your products and services, have better loyalty, and advocate your brand in their social circles. While this is something that every company seeks, very few seem to get it right. 

Based on insights from Cognizant, highlighted below are the key themes that will drive the next generation of experiences. The research is based on the analysis of more than 200 individual signs of change, leading to unique insights on fundamental changes in customer experiences.

    • Creatively driven: (Gen Z) has something that makes it unique: It is a generation that has grown up on digitally driven experiences. Creativity and emotion-led digital experiences will be critical for  brands in the near future. Brands will also have to conduct mood analytics to drive digital experiences. They will have to open more avenues for creating experiences on digital platforms than ever before. 
    • Phygital” Escapism: Phytigal is the convergence of physical and digital spaces, which can potentially create experiences that were reserved solely to the confines of science fiction. AR, VR, Haptic, 3D reconstruction and smell simulations, will drive truly immersive virtual experiences that are very close to real-life.  This will bring a new dimension to entertainment and shopping experiences, wherein customers a whole new virtual canvas to explore.  You may go and experience virtual tourist destinations, try on  the latest accessories, and meet your favourite movie star without leaving the comfort of your couch. 
    • Ethical Driven: Customers’s expectations of ethical behaviour from brands is set to increase. A catalyst for this is data rights as human rights. In other ways, every future experience shall be measured against a set code of ethics. There are two core aspects to this: Data sharing based on value exchange, and customized privacy settings where customers will expect a higher degree of data security from brands
  • Design that is environmentally focussed: Apart from a focus on creating rich and vivid customer experiences, the environmental impact of products and services will become a critical issue. We are already seeing top brands like Apple focus on reducing the environmental footprint of their products. There is an increased emphasis on efficiency, safety, and sustainable commerce. It will bring to the fore, key aspects of the shared economy.

Experience is everything

Apart from the aforementioned themes, brands have to keep the following points in mind while carving out technologically driven customer experiences.

Reduced tolerance:  Brands are less likely to have too many opportunities to get things right. A single bad brand experience can lead to customers moving away. Brand loyalty cannot be taken for granted anymore.

Get the basics right:  Speed, convenience, and tailor-made experiences will be what customers will expect from brands in the digital age.  Implementing  the right technology will be pivotal in driving fundamental customer experiences that are driven by analytics and automation.

Data price premium: Brands that consistently deliver great experiences will have an edge. Customers are more likely to trust them and share sensitive information and pay a premium for their products and services.

In this way, technological tools will give brands greater leverage to create truly immersive customer experiences that set them apart. However, there is a formula to get this right. Brands that can design customer experiences that go beyond expectations shall find new market opportunities opening up to them. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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