The major trends to follow in 2017 to rethink the customer experience
Now, brands have to accept a certain loss of control over their content. This notably involves a shift from storytelling to storydoing. Brands now involve their consumers for their history and their values. This new approach is favored by social networks with shorter, more personal and more instantaneous content, in which video can bring added value to brand communication. To send a message, emotion and reciprocity are key points that brands must integrate into their marketing process to reach their target.
To convince potential customers, companies are also increasingly using augmented and virtual reality to show the real effects of their solution. Mixed reality has the advantage of reaching sectors as diverse and varied as video games, aerospace, automotive and retail. In transport, supermarkets or stores, virtual and augmented reality are revolutionizing the customer journey by creating a new relationship to the product for the consumer. Virtual reality headsets (Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Google Daydream, etc.) are becoming more democratic and thus offer new opportunities, like the Bordeaux start-up SimforHealth, which presented at CES in Las Vegas a virtual reality experience intended to prepare medical students for emergencies. For the general public, MK2 for its part has opened a space dedicated to virtual reality.
In addition to storydoing and virtual reality, which have already been fashionable for a few years, the Fjord Trends report highlights four strong trends that will encourage brands to reflect on their UX strategy from 2017.
Put people back at the center of the company
More agile, start-ups are breaking down silos to promote creative thinking, which means building new, more pleasant workspaces, like the Blablacar premises. Faced with permanent change, brands undertake to acquire and develop the skills necessary for the design of new products and services resulting from new technologies. This new concept involves a new approach to work based on people.
New tools have thus emerged to allow employees to shape the future of their business. Slack, Trello, Workplace or even Microsoft Teams are all alternatives for acquiring interdisciplinary skills and refocusing on people. This approach has notably taken shape in holacracy, a new style of horizontal management through which authority and decision-making belong to employees and self-managed teams.
Beyond the well-being that must prevail in the spaces in which employees evolve, 2017 will focus on the individual and his field of action. It is indeed becoming essential to break down process barriers and to work with greater ease and flexibility. Start-ups are by nature familiar with this “fail fast” operation, which consists in quickly experimenting with a project that seems viable. This culture of failure is also increasingly present in large groups seeking to become more agile.
The connected car, source of new opportunities and fears
The automotive industry is entering a new era with the arrival of self-driving cars. We already know the reversing camera that allows parking, or the trajectory control function … The automotive industry is now engaged in a major turn where new challenges are already being met.
With the connected car, it is a set of services that will have to be created by manufacturers but also by tech companies, such as Google or Uber, which upset the balance of the market. Travis Kalanick’s firm has also joined forces with Spotify to allow passengers to personalize their journey from the application of the Swedish platform. The imminence of the autonomous car is about to overturn the time spent in the car. It will no longer be wasted time but free and calm time dedicated to leisure (video games, reading, etc.) and to work, which will therefore open up a new market for telecommunications and entertainment companies.
However, this new field of possibilities offered by the autonomous car also has its share of fears. What about the apprehension around the algorithm in the event of an accident and questions related to insurance for example?
It is essential for manufacturers to prepare for these new challenges. The latter will gradually become researchers and designers. For those who will not follow suit, leaving the road could be premature.
From the global brand to the hyperspecialized brand
At a time when start-ups continue to emerge and even shake up many ecosystems, it is imperative for brands to capitalize on their initial know-how. The challenge now is to rely on a flagship service to develop it and make it competitive in the company’s business segment.
Brands must now position themselves as living brands, hyperspecialized, with a well-defined promise and service. Those which will concentrate on a unique and exclusive service will increase their objective while the brands which will remain too generalist will be quickly ousted, victims of the “hourglass effect”. Today, consumers are above all looking for a brand with a unique identity and service.
In this market concentration, during which GAFAM has managed to take precedence over digital evolution by combining efficiency, user-friendliness, accessibility and simplicity, the big brands are breaking the traditional codes of their processes to open up to collaboration.
Even within the concentration of the market, some brands themselves carry out the concentration of services, such as the Uber (VTC, meal delivery, etc.), Airbnb (accommodation, local activities, personalized itineraries, etc.) and WeChat platforms. (messaging, payment solution, e-commerce, etc.) which bring together a range of services.
Towards “emotional” chatbots
Popular with brands, the chatbot makes it possible to respond quickly and efficiently to consumer expectations in terms of access to products and services in real time. Beyond its primary function, the conversational robot allows brands to establish a bond of trust with their customers and guarantee the transparency demanded by consumers. Despite maturing artificial intelligence, it is still a long way from human interaction.
In 2017, the development of artificial intelligence will accelerate so that chatbots become emotionally smarter tools. If conversational robots are a privileged communication and purchasing relay with consumers for brands, especially on Facebook Messenger, they are however not yet in line with human reactions. They are not able to understand or conceptualize them. In the meantime, the airline company KLM already offers a service that combines chatbot and human intervention to provide information to travelers on their trip or provide after-sales service.
Artificial intelligence will quickly give way to “artificial empathy”. By 2020, a person will have more conversations with chatbots than with their loved ones, without necessarily realizing it. Chatbots will be able to enter into symbiosis with customer expectations and automate recurring tasks. At the same time, professionals will be able to focus on high-value customer relationship operations.
To learn more about the Fjord Trends 2017 report, visit the page: www.accenture.com/fr-fr/
The challenge for brands is to offer an ever more innovative, integrated and continuous experience … while placing, using technology, people at the heart of their systems. Find all these topics with Le Shaker.