An SAP study, conducted in collaboration with industry experts, shows that the 5 most important trends in Customer Experience have become, in order of importance: AI Intermediaries, Relevant Experiences, Consumers become Collaborators, Communities Replace Markets, Brand Values vs own values.
AI Intermediaries. Artificial Intelligence algorithms are the new intermediaries between companies and customers. The complexity of everyday life causes a cognitive overload of the brain. In this context, consumers are based on AI algorithms to receive product recommendations, thus ignoring conventional interactions. People happily accept Netflix's suggestions for movies and series, Spotify songs or Google's results. A study by McKinsey consulting firm shows that 35% of Amazon purchases and 75% of Netflix selections are determined by machine learning algorithms.
Relevant Experiences. In their relationship with brands, clients are increasingly selecting relevant experiences, delegating the rest to AI assistants.
Companies need to shift their attention from routine to relevance. Even if they are still required to meet customer expectations - quality products delivered efficiently - brands now have to focus on customer aspirations, as well as how they want their lives to be.
Any part of the consumer experience that is not relevant, emotional and valuable will be left at a second level where it will be taken over by the AI algorithms.
"The product or service itself is becoming less important among all the factors that determine customer decisions. Customers want more positive emotions, reassurance, interactions that lead to the development of trust - in short, experiences. And these experiences need to be personalized, brands can not go on with the same approach * one size fits all *.
Thanks to the increasing processing power of data, the path for machine learning algorithms has been opened, which is the key to personalized digital experiences.
Therefore, companies need to be aware of the role of these technologies, as their competitors already do, "said Alexandru Jijian, SAP Customer Experience Central & Eastern Europe Manager.
Consumers become Collaborators. Companies create open platforms where consumers can participate in all aspects of buying experience. They can actively contribute through feedback on design, production, marketing, and ways to use the product, or passively, by giving companies the consent to use their data to develop products and services. As these platforms become smarter and the more features they add, the participation becomes easier, creating a valuable cycle. In return for giving their companies creativity and expertise, customers expect to receive better products and services, but they also enjoy status, recognition and feelings of belonging from contributing to something they are interested in.
Communities replace Markets. Technology makes it easier for individuals with similar concerns to discover each other and organize themselves in an infinite number of digital tribes, increasingly demanding in terms of usage or consumption experiences.
For example, Reddit has built over 140,000 digital communities, covering both serious topics and obscure themes. The ease with which these groups are formed, communicates and acts means that these social tribes do not always collaborate just for fun. Some are explicitly created to cause changes, even at the level of decisions made by companies about their products or services.
Own Values vs. Brand Values. Digital transparency makes buying decisions that were previously seen as personal or aesthetic choices to be transformed into moral choices. More and more customers are making decisions based on the fact that brands think and act like they do. Digital platforms have created a global awareness of the problems faced by humanity, such as climate change, violence and human rights. Meanwhile, social media and digital technology create more and more transparency in company operations, allowing customers to easily find out what brand values are. They then decide on brands and products that reflect their own values.
According to SAP, the future of buying experiences will be an expression of the deepest instinctive human behaviors, fueled by technological advances.