Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, the region continues to adjust with cycles of change and adaptation. Customers today are more connected, consume more digital products and services, and are sharing more data because of their digital consumption.
For organisations, digital engagements, products, and services have turned mainstream as they accelerated the expansions of digital touchpoints and channels over the last two years. The stage is set for customer relationships that are built atop digital technology and data.
"The future of CX is digital-first. Organisations must rethink their customer engagement strategies, and leverage technology and data to help their customers achieve better outcomes and create long-lasting empathetic experiences," says Daniel Zoe Jimenez, associate vice president, digital transformation, future enterprise, and customer experience research, IDC Asia/Pacific.
He comments that organisations with digital-first CX strategies, and that are more progressive in mastering CX technologies and leveraging data, outperform those that do not.
To this end, organisations are investing in capabilities such as customer data platforms (CDP) and omnichannel engagement and/or commerce solutions.
These next-level capabilities are key enablers to master customer data and reinvent the customer experience. By using AI and real-time events to trigger the next-best actions and scale hyper personalised experiences, digital experiences will also feel more intuitive and human-like.
In scaling CX, digital self-help services with greater service transparency are expected to become more prevalent. The digital-physical boundaries will continue to overlap with the overlaying of digital content and information in the physical world for an enriched "phygital" experience, making digital even more pervasive than before.
IDC expects to see the osmosis of business-to-consumer (B2C) CX practices into the business-to-business (B2B) domain as organisations seek to drive more automation, efficiency, and precision in their marketing practices.
The analyst says digital-first CX will permeate organisations further and broader in 2022 and beyond, and these predictions will help organisations to better plan and execute their digital-first strategies.
Top 10 key future of CX
Prediction 1: Pay for data: By 2025, 35% of Asia/Pacific 2000 brands will openly incentivise consumers to share personal data in exchange for cash rewards, services, and exclusive experiences.
Prediction 2: Intelligent experience: By 2024, 25% of Asia/Pacific 2000 brands will partner to build shared customer data hubs to deliver innovative connected experiences and reduce data acquisition costs.
Prediction 3: AI comes to financial services: By 2023, 25% of Asia/Pacific banks will use AI-based sentiment analysis to improve customer experience on current and future products and services.
Prediction 4: Fighting AI bias: By 2025, 50% of the Asia/Pacific 2000 will increase data scientist diversity by 50% to improve trust in customer engagements, driven by data privacy and trustworthy AI regulations across the globe.
Prediction 5: Augmented personalisation first: By 2026, Asia/Pacific B2B companies will use AI interactions and analytics technology to deliver deeply personalised journey engagement, eliminating 40% of marketing and sales human touchpoints.
Prediction 6: Customers tracking complaints: By 2024, 25% of Asia/Pacific companies will offer to track transparency for customer complaints and this will become a best practice and a driver of brand choice, causing broader adoption by 50% of companies by 2025.
Prediction 7: Age of the CDP: By 2024, 30% of Asia/Pacific 2000 companies will deploy the next-best action across their omnichannel environment, driving demand for CDPs, omnichannel management, and customer service solutions.
Prediction 8: Instant customer authentication: By 2024, Asia/Pacific organisations will be forced to revamp their customer authentication process to reduce friction and recognise and authenticate customers securely within five seconds of connection.
Prediction 9: Return of analogue experiences: By 2023, to counter digital fatigue, 60% of leading Asia/Pacific organisations will look to differentiate by delivering trusted and memorable engagements that recreate physical experiences.
Prediction 10: AI-driven luxury: By 2025, more than 65% of luxury hotels in Asia/Pacific will have deployed a customer-facing smart assistant that leverages AI to drive a better customer experience.
"Customers today expect organisations to make the best use of the data shared by delivering empathetic experiences," says Lawrence Cheok, senior research manager, digital transformation and customer experience research, IDC Asia/Pacific.
He opines that in turn, organisations are investing in customer experience (CX) capabilities to better collate, analyse, and harvest customer data from an ever-expanding source of digital touchpoints and channels and deliver a digital-first experience.