Emerging Technologies that are Transforming Customer Experience

By Kirsten Oelrich 4 min read

The latest technologies that are emerging will be powering customer experience. Most of the experiences will be through smartphones. There are numerous ways to connect with customers, but to get ahead of the game one needs to know which technology to invest in. Here are four technologies that will have a huge impact on businesses this 2019.

Voice Capabilities

According to a survey in 2018, 28% of businesses have adopted voice technology to improve customer experience. 57% plan to deploy it within this year. Around 88% said that this technology will give them a competitive edge over the others, by improving customer experience. Voice apps and skills are still very simple when it comes to engaging experiences. Whereas voice capability and voice assistants are growing rapidly in functionality. Brands should use voice to augment other experiences, to engage consumer loyalty and drive actions.

There are two types of voice capabilities; one is a fully immersive voice experience that is entertaining and engaging. For instance, when users tell Alexa to “open Johnnie Walker” they can access general information about it as well as other information related to it. The second is more of a utility that uses data and audio feedback to make a user’s task seamless and easy. For instance, Starbucks’s app allows users to speak their orders to their phones. This year consumers will become savvier about using voice assistants and voice capability will be trending.

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Augmented Reality

Augmented reality has been around for quite some time. There are so many brands that are creating AR experiences for users around the globe. In 2018, the biggest development was the integration of AR support directly into smartphone devices having Android and iOS. Brands will create AR experiences to supplement current mobile experiences for consumers. In 2019, there will be a variety of experiments, as brands will try to figure out how to make this immersive format competent in the overall experience strategies. AR can currently provide short and quick interactions, where consumers can customize things. Other than gaming, it has been seen in the commerce-based industries.

Today, most of the AR retail apps focus on helping consumer experience brands and products without physically going to the stores. For instance, furniture brands like IKEA and Pottery Barn offer AR apps where one can select items and drag and drop in a room to see whether they complement their existing furniture and décor, before purchasing it. One can empty a room and start redesigning from scratch. Users can make also direct purchases from the app. A beauty brand Cover Girl has an AR makeup station where customers can virtually try on a variety of products and can share their makeovers on the social media.

AR can bring another exciting prospect for retailers is to recreate the brick and mortar experience for customers. This would be one incentive for customers to leave their homes and generate business for the stores. These latest functionalities, that allow smartphone users to share and modify the AR environment will bring about a rich AR experience that’s focused on collaborating and interacting.

Integration of other brands in In-Car Screens

By 2020, 10 million self-driving cars are expected to hit the road. This will give rise to a new era of on demand services and in- car entertainment, as drivers will become more like passengers. Some car brands have already let customers purchase goods and services from various brands, right from their cars through their dashboard screens. In 2019, more car brands will be bringing other brands into their cars. Car brands are currently trying to figure out in- car experiences that aren’t intrusive for drivers. When the customers are in the physical store, there is ample of opportunity to create more connection and opportunities to reach out to them.

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AI and Machine learning

AI will be essential in the future. 72% have labelled it as a “business advantage.” For many years, companies have had AI and Machine Learning in their agenda. Chatbots for customer service has been the most developed. Marketing departments have been integrating AI in their customer journey strategies. They use it to predict where the customer is in the funnel and send them the right message at the right time.

AI will also be used for facial recognition. Image recognition can be used to identify any kind of media, especially video. This year AI will be used more concretely, as it will specifically be used to help resolve and identify customer services issues faster and to identify potential leads or new project opportunities. Eventually facial recognition for content personalization will be trending.

The retail industry is already using AI for optimizing the merchandising and supply chain, personalization and customer service. AI will also make in-store experiences smarter and frictionless. For instance, Amazon Go experience is powered by AI. Similarly, many more stores will introduce smarter in store experiences this year. After that, there will be new ways to communicate promotions and other opportunities while customers browse in store.

In a couple of years, when AI and Machine learning will be integrated it can have a huge impact and affect every aspect of an organization. AI can help everyone do their jobs better and create new business opportunities.

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Kirsten Oelrich

Written By

Kirsten Oelrich