Internet of Things, Blockchain and Others: In What Direction Will the Customer Experience Go in 2018?
As we are now well into 2018, as the Pisano content team, we have embarked on a critique of the past year, as well as a look at what awaits us in terms of customer experience in the new year. You can check out our article What Do Customers Expect From Brands in 2018? in order to see what the expectations where in terms of customer experience next year, and what customers want the most.
We are already familiar with many of the concepts that will be on our agenda in 2018. We've been talking some of them for a very long time, some of them have entered our lives in the last few years. But each one will either change shape with 2018 or will make us feel a greater impact on our lives. At the same time they are intertwined with each other and we will become more and more intertwined with the passing time as we treat the customer journey in a more holistic manner.
Personalization and Internet of Things
Although we started with the 2018 trends in the our article, we will talk about a concept that has been very much considered in recent years: personalization. The foundation of personalization lies with getting to know the customer and presenting him with the experience he wants or expects. The customer wants to work with a brand that knows what they want, and wants their brand to be able to predict what they want, how they want it and when. When an experience that is not specific to them is not offered, they do not hesitate to change their preferences. According to a survey by Retail Perceptions, 81% of the Z generation may give up "favorite" brands for higher quality. When it comes to low prices, the rate is around 72%.
When we look at this from a marketing point of view, we see that account-based marketing is leading and increasingly popular especially in B2B. In addition, with programmatic advertising, people are automatically faced with different ads based on their interests and past purchases. The marketing world is moving towards a more individual-focused direction. This leads companies to keep more data about each customer and carefully examine each customer throughout their journey. The internet of things means a lot of new data coming into our lives in this sense. We are now familiar with the finest details of our customers’ lives. This means that in more creative ways we can touch their lives and create delicately designed and personalized experiences.
Full Throttle Ahead for Omnichannel!
Despite the fact that we have frequently heard its name in recent years, another concept that has been shown among the trends in 2018 is omnichannel. The word "omni" is derived from the word "omniscient" which means, wise and knowing everything. When we say omnichannel, we are talking about channels that are connected with each other and aware of each other. Thus the customer can continue an experience started at one contact point at another, and culminate it at yet another. All channels can serve customers in harmony with each other. In the past we have talked about "omnichannel" in our blog and why it is important for brands. The fact that Omnichannel is still spoken of in 2018 is due to the fact that the holistic approach of the concept is adaptable to every period. The increasing importance placed on the “Customer Journey” by brands constantly increases the importance of contact points and the harmonious operation of these points, which we can also consider as stops along this journey.
Instant Messaging and Artificial Intelligence Continues to Rise
One of the most influential factors on the customers experience is the ability to reach their brands in the fastest and easiest way any time they want to support. Instant messaging, which has become an important part of our lives in the last period, shows itself at this point. Peter Ryan, a key figure in CRM, explains: “While SMS-based messaging are declining; newer, fresh and less restrictive options have gained popularity and companies need to adapt quickly to this new reality."
In addition, the improvement of artificial intelligence means that these messaging processes can be transferred to chatbots. While many customers would prefer a real person to a chatbot, there is no doubt that in some routine scenarios chatbots will reduce costs and make your workforce more productive. According to Gartner, AI is among the top 5 matters to be invested in as a priority before 2020 for more than half of all CIOs, and 85% of customer interactions will be carried out by machines by this date. This means that this issue will become increasingly important in the coming years.
When we enter 2018, transparency is a topic that is being discussed regarding artificial intelligence. This year, in line with the demands of the customers, we can see that companies share the details of the workings of artificial intelligence algorithms and decision-making mechanisms with customers. This will both show how brands are willing to earn the trust of their customers, as well as being a development that will lessen the doubts of customers about AI.
Blockchain's Effects on Customer Experience
Although blockchain technology is still in its infancy, it is expected to deeply influence the customer experience in the future. So what is this blockchain? What is it that makes it so incomprehensible? At the heart of Blockchain's technology is the fact that every process, or every block, is recorded. Each block, which is connected to the others like a chain, has a hash which is like its identity or DNA, and this chain is written to the system with this hash. For a process to be possible, those on the network give consent and then execute the desired command after confirmation.
Blockchain's fresh and exciting technology strengthens the belief that it will bring many innovations to the customer experience, but not even the most important names in the industry are sure of how this effect will actually take place. It is clear that it has brought a new payment method with bitcoin into our lives, and that it will protect users against password and identity theft. In addition, it is said that a particularly challenging period for marketers will begin, as the anonymity introduced by blockchain makes it harder to get to know the customer. This means that the personalization we talked about in the first part of our article and the marketing activities that are developing in this direction, will have difficulty in reaching the right customer.
It is already certain that 2018 will be an exciting year for customer experience and associated technologies. We will all see if time proves us right.